by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Would it be ethical for a structured settlement broker or structured settlement firm or owner of structured settlement firms to systematically share and monetize contacts and/or other nonpublic information it has developed via referrals from personal injury lawyers or insurance companies, by accepting money from J.G. Wentworth, or any other company in the structured settlement secondary market?
I put this out to my readers because I have now heard from two sources that this is purportedly ongoing and revenue apparently deemed significant enough for the purported firm in question to purportedly disclose the purported cash flow and revenues from the purported activity, in a due diligence package for prospective financing.
The structured settlement secondary market is an under regulated industry. Why an agency in the primary market would act in this purported manner is and should be the topic of critical important industry wide ethical discussion.
- If it is true, what are the ramifications to the life insurance companies who have appointed the structured settlement agency and/or its agents, which have Gramm Leach Bliley obligations?
- If it is true, what are the ramifications to the firm's agents who, may or may not be aware of this purported practice, who are on the approved lists of certain property and casualty companies who might find this as grounds to expel the firm and its agents from their approved list?
- If it is true, how long has this practice been going on? What information is being shared with J.G. Wentworth?
- If it is true, have any of the firm's members or affiliates served on the NSSTA Board of Directors in any capacity at the time this purported activity has been going on?
- If it is true, is it an action of management or did the individual brokers have knowledge?
- If it is true, how many of the cases have involved structured settlements with cases adjudicated in Bronx County New York where the firm's agents would have had to sign a structure broker's affidavit that could be violated by this activity?
- If it can be proven that the agency, and/or individuals deliberately attempted to conceal this activity through a non disclosure agreement, what role should that entity and those with knowledge associated with it have in the structured settlement industry going forward?
- If it it is true, what disclosures were made by the agency and/or its agents at the point of sale, directly to the annuitant, to a lawyer of any of the parties, or on its website or sales materials handed out when soliciting insurance company clients, about how the annuitant's confidential non public information would be used?
- If it is true, how many unsolicited phone calls and/or mailers have the annuitants been subject to as a result of the activity? How many of these contacts occurred within the first year that the annuity, or other qualified funding asset was placed?
If you are involved with this agency I welcome hearing your justification for this purported activity.
In the mean time I trust that my industry colleagues should recognize the importance of having a frank discussion on this topic.