The Business Practices Declaration of the Structured Settlement Transparency Intiative has been amended to account for changing times when more and more structured settlement brokers and settlement planners are involved in the structured settlement secondary market in some capacity. Download SSTI Declaration 2011
The structured settlement industry and the legal community it serves, needs no further proof that referral fees or kick backs paid to structured settlement brokers for (in some cases) doing nothing more than making a referral to a "cash now pusher" is potentially harmful to the selling structured settlement annuitant at a time when they may be the most desperate and vulnerable. The potential for harm is most acute when such compensation is undisclosed and the selling annuitant has no opportunity to understand it, respond to it, or have the opportunity to negotiate their position. While not illegal, in an under regulated business where discount rate differential could mean a 50% or 100% difference in cash received, a referring broker could potentially receive a higher fee (and the annuitant would have to sell away more of their financial security). Simply beating Peachtree or Imperial may not be the "litmus test" of what is fair.
The 2007 version of the Declaration was adopted by only by 5% of the entire industry. To this day very few companies or individuals publicly disclose their business practices in this area. It is a subject commonly omitted from websites although it is common knowledge in the industry and by the Boards of its trade associations that this activity goes on. One factoring industry operative has even recently served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Settlement Planners and claimed that she derives business from industry peers. Another factoring company, Woodbridge, proudly proclaims that it has paid out millions in commissions to brokers.
The structured settlement transparency intiative is a completely voluntary thing. Nobody is forced to sign a declaration although they are strongly encouraged to do so. The structured settlement watchdog WILL NOT publish the names of those who choose not to participate. A broker is free to choose whether or not to partcipate. We continue to encourage companies to state their business practices on their websites.
Those who signed declartions in 2007 or 2008 will still be published as then signed, however we encourage those partipants to amend their disclosures to the 2011 version.
Those who wish to participate need simply download, complete and notarize the 2011 declaration, and return via FAX to 203-969-2303. The download link is above.
Please note that this is a private initiative and is not sponsored by any structured settlement industry trade association.