by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Strategic Capital, a company which among other things, engages in structured settlement factoring transactions, earns its second trip to the Structured Settlement Advertising Wall of Shame this week for a real doozy.
"Many annuitants ****use us to structure their settlement****s over a payment schedule to their liking, not the insurance company's" is the from Strategic Capital's advertisement in a blog called cityknowitall.com
As of May 29, 2006, the Georgia Insurance Commissioner's on line agency search shows no record of any valid insurance license for Strategic Capital! Download AgencyStatus-StratCap.pdf . Structured settlement is a defined term under the Internal Revenue Code and it involves the sale of an insurance product. To sell an insurance product you need a license. Strategic Capital clearly states "use us (i.e. them)to structure their settlement" so what kind of practice is Strategic Capital engaging in? Are they engaging in the practice of insurance (as the language suggests to a reasonable person)? Have they earned commissions or fees from people who "use us (i.e. them) to structure their settlement?" Or are they inappropriately using an insurance term in a way that is confusing to consumers and as a result, possibly an unfair trade practice that effects lost opportunity to those brokers and agents who have taken the time to obtain the appropriate insurance licensing. Many of the major structured settlement brokerage firms have offices in Georgia, including 4 headquarters. There are many potential people affected by this kind of practice.
Strategic Capital claims the exclusive endorsement of Majestic Settlements and Bradford Settlements who are two based in Georgia based structured settlement firms as well as the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers. I spoke to one of the structured settlement brokers who indicated that he was not happy about the Strategic Capital posting and was going to speak to Strategic Capital to remove the alleged endorsement. On April 25, 2006 I reported on this blog how Strategic Capital tried to claim legitimacy by advertising attendance at the NSSTA Basic Training seminar. Strategic Capital is not a member of the NSSTA (National Structured Settlement Trade Association). None of its current employees holds the professional designation of Certified Structured Settlement Consultant. They are not structured settlements brokers so why is it that their advertising suggests that they are?
This is a prime example of what insurance regulators and attorneys general throughout the United States need to know about.The lack of regulation or enforcement of regulation in factoring company advertising and business practices (related to the sale of payment rights) lets companies like Strategic Capital run loose using insurance terms without an insurance license and contributing to consumer confusion. It has to stop.
John W. Oxendine are you reading or listening? Someone needs to send these folks a message.