Jack Meligan, President of Settlement Professionals, Inc. and former President and Founding Member of the Society of Settlement Planners ("SSP"), who I've known for 11 years, sent me an email last night (copied to the SSP Board of Directors). Among his beefs was that I hadn't addressed Symetra's foray into the factoring business enough, particularly in relation to the fact that it is still a member of NSSTA with its factoring company, Clearscape. The feisty Meligan later apologized when i sent him the links to 5 articles that I have posted. I suggested that he subscribe to my blog feed and the same goes for any interested parties who want to stay in the know or, on occasion, be entertained or have good natured pissing off.
Meligan apparently has a problem with Allstate's Advanced Funding Exhange Notice (AFEN") Download AdvancedFundingNoticeASCNB-202_Smith_.pdf , Meligan wasn't specific but he asked me "where's the outrage?", again for reasons he could not articulate. The late Clara Peller would've had a field day!
This morning I contacted Allstate and spoke directly to a representative in its AFEN unit. Allstate has only been offering the AFEN since July 1, 2003,. It is Allstate's internal program that offers an alternative to its annuitants instead of going to the likes of Rapid Settlements, 123 Lump Dumb, JG Wentworth (and its Alter Egos), Peachtree Settlement Funding et al. As previously reported, unlike Symetra's Clearscape program my sources tell me that Allstate does not solicit the sale of structured settlement payment rights on annuities issued by other companies.
According to my sources, Allstate sends an AFEN notice annually with the annual update form and privacy notice. Since the AFEN has only been available since 2003 there are many of its structured settlement recipients who are not aware of this rider. That an insurance company is making a new feature available on new contracts to existing contracts is nothing new and, whether you like the feature or not, the gesture is something that should be looked at positively. Once again this is an alternative. If presented with a "qualified order" approved by a Court in accordance with IRC 5891 (and applicable state law) Allstate is not preventing a structured settlement recipient from factoring their rights to another company.
- My sources tell me Allstate's standard is that it will not enter into any such transaction where the structured settlement annuity is in effect for less than two years from date that the annuity was issued. Other factoring companies will entertain such transactions at anytime (now there's some real outrage!) Does Meligan or the SSP Board of Directors know the position of the factoring companies "in its den" on this point?
- My sources tell me that Allstate will do whatever it can to help the annuitant do what is in their best interests and will often discourage such sales.
- My sources tell me that Allstate has a $25,000 minimum. Small payment requests are turned away
If a person receiving structured settlement payments is desperate to sell and they do not like what Allstate is willing to provide as an alternative through AFEN then there is nothing to prevent them from going elsewhere. There is a free market.
Allstate is not using or facilitating predatory advertising tactics like other factoring companies through their websites and sploggers. They are not inappropriately using key words on the Internet.
Meligan bashes Allstate yet it's a good bet that he and his firm Settlement Professionals still do business with Allstate as do other members of the SSP.
I have long called for the Society of Settlement Planners ("SSP") to disclose its position on factoring, yet they seem afraid to do so, despite accepting a survival lifeline offered by entities offering these services. Why are they so afraid to do so? The sleeping lion, its former President, has roared to his pride. Now, back to the water buffaloes, or is it Oz?