A few weeks ago I received an interesting call from author and factoring promoter Patrick Hindert, who is a member of both the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) and The Society of Settlement Planners (SSP). He wants to debate. Game on.
Hindert told me that he is interested in "growing" the "structured settlement industry" yet he continues to display factoring plumage. Who hasn't been subject to "factoring diarrhea" from Hindert? A survey of Hindert's writings in the last 4 years shows virtually no criticism or opinion of such companies' business practices including, among other things:
- The "cash now" advertising fraud on consumers
- The pervasive deceptive "big for small" lure.
- The message by some of such companies, like Structured Asset Finance (123 Lump Sum) and others that stable value assets should be transferred (at a large discount) to buy depreciating assets.
- The methods that some such companies use to get leads on apparently confidential sealed cases)
- The advertising of terms associated with structured settlements that falsely suggest to consumers that factoring companies have insurance licenses and are regulated accordingly.
- The consistently "off the mark" high discount rates charged to consumers by Peachtree Settlement Funding. Has Hindert ever suggested that consumers should shop to get better rates OR suggested as an academic, the benefit or value of dealing with such a company that consistently charges rates almost twice the most competitive market rate?
- The Rapid Settlements representative's creepy practice of showing up at citizen's doors that was covered in Rip Off Report.
- The use of our nation's flag and the seal of the Better Business Bureau by Patriot Settlement Resources to promote "cash now" advertising fraud.
- The offering of kickbacks to certain structured settlement brokers, settlement planners financial planners and lawyers to get leads, the acceptance of same and the absence of adequate disclosure of same to consumers and the resulting effect on the transaction.
- The factoring industry chiseling away at structured settlement protection act requirements to obtain independent financial advice by structured settlement recipients. At the same time inconsistent Hindert promotes settlement planning.
Consider all of the above while Hindert authored numerous challenges and criticism of the trade associations to which he belongs. While I may agree with some of his criticism of the industry (which has heretofore been slow to adapt to new media) as healthy, Hindert's selective silence in comment and criticism of "cash now pusher" business practices is notable. How do the above business practices help consumers?
Hindert has been an active promoter of the flawed "one structured settlement industry" theory (primary/secondary market) and this author believes the de facto endorsement by the co-author of the seminal industry text has emboldened the factoring industry members who engage in behavior that enrages judges and the plaintiff's bar. How does he resolve the regulated vs unregulated issue?
What are Hindert's specifics to his apparent theory that Route 1 to (primary) industry growth is through the unregulated and unlicensed factoring industry? Vague is no longer in vogue Hindert!
Hindert is called upon to write a white paper laying out the specifics of his thesis.