by John Darer® CLU ChFC CSSC
Dovetailing from Patrick Hindert 's 5 part series about JG Wentworth's statistically irrelevant survey of 116, he's now set forth his intentions to begin a multi-part series promoting JG Wentworth.
What makes this interesting for trial lawyers, judges, regulators and plaintiffs is that Hindert is a Associate member of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association and former Executive Director. NSSTA has a real dilemma on its hands. Even though Hindert's actions seem to be in conflict with and undermine the association's own branding initiatives and bylaws NSSTA permits Hindert to serve on its Legal Committee, where he serves at the pleasure of the NSSTA Board of Directors. In the opinion of this author it seems to possess an overriding fear that it will be seen as stifling Hindert's rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
For the benefit of NSSTA members and other interested parties Article II 2 (C)(d) of the NSSTA Bylaws states that an Associate member (like Hindert) who is not eligible to be a Professional Member but has a legitimate interest in the business of the Association and may, in the sole discretion of the Board, be admitted to Associate Membership. An Associate Member shall have no vote nor be eligible to serve as Director or Officer of the Association. Associate Members may participate in Association activities as approved by the Board.
Currently no factoring companies or factoring brokers are members of NSSTA, with longtime former members James E. Lokey, Rhonda Bentzen and Symetra Life Insurance Company departed in recent years due to factoring activities. Given the alleged power of the bylaws it is puzzling why Hindert's open promotion of factoring, in particular JG Wentworth, is permitted "in the sole discretion" of the NSSTA Board of directors.
This author proudly endures the consternation of certain members of the NSSTA Board of Directors for repeatedly calling this inconsistency into question and firmly believes his represents the majority view. When some trial attorneys and competitors question structuring due to the perception of easy factorability of structured settlements, what professional NSSTA member wants to be scarred with JG Wentworth promoter Hindert's membership? The NSSTA Board of Directors must simply get into the face of fear and resolve the inconsistency. To paraphrase the contemporary political slogan NSSTA members and structured settlement stakeholders "need change they can believe in".
If NSSTA Board does not resolve the inconsistency (which among other things affects the credibility of NSSTA) and NSSTA Board continues to permit Hindert to do his factoring promotion thing as an associate member of NSSTA, why not fall on its sword , scrap its own branding initiatives and adopt Hindert's "Structured Settlements 3.0", merge with the cash now pushers trade association NASP, and have one single periodic payment industry? NOT!