In the past a number of settlement planners, including some of the known "structured settlement factoring vig takers", criticized AFEN (Advanced Funding Exchange Notice), a rider that is included on all structured settllement annuities issued by either Allstate Life Insurance Company or Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York.
The AFEN rider provides the ability to exchange future periodic payments for cash in hardship situations, provided strict guldelines are followed, including obtaining a "qualified order". To Allstate's credit, when the AFEN was introduced it was determined that existing Allstate annuitants would also qualify. Extending new product features to existing policyholders (in this case annuitants) is nothing new to the insurance industry. In this case, notices were sent out to those existing annuitants whose structured settlements were established prior to 2003. According to sources confirmed by this author today, it was recently determined that best efforts have been made to notify all existing annuitants and that NO FURTHER NOTIFICATION MAILINGS will occur. Annuity contracts issued since AFEN was introduced include a copy of the notice.
Unlike the aggressive approach employed by Symetra Assigned Benefits Service Company business the Allstate AFEN program is very passive, according to my sources . Allstate's AFEN unit has a toll-free number 866-739-2318, which is manned by one person and a back up. A call to that number today reached a voice mail. There is no gigantic call center. The AFEN unit will only respond to annuitant initiated inquiries.
That being said, if you are receiving structured settlement payments and you (1) are having a hard time financially; (2) contemplating a business deal; (3) contemplating paying off debt; (4) contemplating a major or minor purchase and you have been tempted to sell the rights to your structured settlement payments, contact a financial professional with no financial interest in the transaction to help you evaluate your options.
Previous Structured Settlements 4Real posts containing discussion and/or references to the Allstate AFEN Rider
The Water Buffaloes or Oz? (6/2006)
Thankfully It's A Free Market (6/23/2006)
Factoring Broker Gives Allstate A Bend Over, But Their Tushie Isn't Red! (12/15/2006)