by John Darer
An ad posted on Craigs List selling personal details of structured settlement annuitants for $3 a head is yet more evidence why Congress must move to better regulate the way partipants in the structured settlement secondary market conduct their business.
For $3 the Craigs list vendor, who is purportedly from Texas, will give you
- A valid structured settlement annuitant's name
- A structured settlement annuitant's valid address
- A structured settlement annuitant's valid telephone number
- Details of whether or not the structured settlement annuitant has sold payments before.
For prospective buyers of your name, it may seem like a bargain when it's over $50 a click for Google Adwords.
The Craigs List vendor claims to have 1,500 such leads Download Craigs List structured settlement annuitant leads for sale $3
Some may see the irony in the statement by the Craigs List vendor in the above link, wherein he or she states "it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests".
Given that structured settlements are private and often confidential transactions, how is it possible that this information is getting out there? Why are you receiving a flurry of unsolicited phone calls, post cards from "cash now hustlers" ?
Lead generation websites
- Such websites frequently spring up, sometimes supported by official sounding do-it-yourself press releases and fake testimonials. Rule #1 Don't trust them!
- One website beststructuredsettlement.com is nothing more than a form to fill out. Do so at your peril.
- The latter and alot of these websites are registered anonymously. Thus you really do not know who you are dealing with. Who would you have recourse against if you wanted to. In more than one case we have discovered fake identities being used and in at least one case fake academic credentials.
- While privacy policies may be posted on these sites, what good are they if the personal or company top be held responsible for spilling your personal indedentifiable information to another cash now hustler, is a figment of somebody else's imagination?
- This creators of these sites may not even be United States citizens. They may be in Canada, India, Phillipines, Malaysia. Ukraine, China or elsewhere, making it costly and impractical for you to go after someone spreading your personal details, particularly where the websites are registered in countries that do not subscribe to Hague Service Convention. By the time you go through the Letter Rogatory protocols, the domain could have moved somewhere else.
Information Gained from Culling Court Records.
If you have previously sold structured settlement payment rights to even a reputable firm, a court mst approve the transaction. There is a public record of all the paperwork at the court . People hustling your personal data may not even have to go to the court house to obtain the information.
For example in Texas and in California, most counties are online and with a little patience, a little time, the names of firms that might buy such deals, a credit card and your favorite beverage , you too can obtain this informatuon quickly and easily. In other states you can identify the case records online and then make a request to the Court for a copy of the records. You mght have to pay the Court a copying fee.
A factoring company can employ someone or use a third party to cull court records. Some factoring companies have even advertised that they have extensive database of annuitants. However, one also has to wonder why any substantial company would sell information it could use itself?
Structured Settlement Broker
I'd hate to think that anyone on the primary side would do such a thing.. If it were true, and found out, the individual would likely lose company appointments and be out of the industry. I've heard of several scenarios where the annuitant questioned the structured settlement broker who srote the annuity (including one in Texas) regarding the unwanted contact the annuitant received from a purchaser of tructured settlement payment rights .
The Annuity Issuer
Has information about its own annuitants but also has duties to keep information private under various Federal statutes. Highly unlikely.