by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC CeFT RSP CLTC
Is a Structured Settlement a Hot Potato? In a case of "Boise* will be boyz", for a while some industry free radicals, seeking a plausible " eggsplanation"' of purpose, scrambled to relabel their practices.
It started with the Lake Oswego special "Settlement Planning starts from the premise that structured settlements are not the answer to everything that everyone needs or wants to do with their settlement dollars". Settlement Professionals Inc. 2011 No, settlement planning still DOES NOT start from that premise. But others were almost apologetic about structured settlements as they tried to position themselves for the bounty on offer from trial lawyers.
Yet a few years on many are using the term "structured settlement planning", including an SPI spinoff. I can see the term "planning with structured settlements", but "structured settlement planning"? Is the term settlement planning not resonating enough? Maybe. Back in 2007-2008 or so, the late Richard Halpern shared with me that The Halpern Group had market tested the term and found that settlement planning had no resonance and found that recovery was more well known and so recovery management was born. Settlement planning has come a long way since then.
Fast forward to March 2018, where members of firms representing more than 50% of the industry premium are using the term "structured settlement planning" so I guess the term structured settlement is not such a dirty word, or a word to be fearful of after all.
- Structured settlement planning conflict of interest "In this edition of The Settlement Channel, host Mark Wahlstrom, whose firm is an affiliate of SPI, looks at the issue of compensation disclosure, compliance and what standard the planner is bound by who is offering your client a structured settlement, or settlement plan. Too often structured settlements are put forward with out a clear indication of who is being paid and who the agent or broker is working for".
- The term structured settlement planning is referred to in a seminal text.
- Settlement Planning Services....structured settlement planning services Jacksonville Florida plaintiff structured settlement brokerage March 2018
- Two firms from Houston
- An Orlando firm
- A Chicago firm
- Two national firms from California and a large CA producer for an Atlanta based firm.
- Several Buffalo NY firms
- A Tallahassee firm
- Even Annuity Sold fraudsters Ryan Blank and Richart Ruddie have used the term "structured settlement planning" with Einstein Structured Settlements to advertise a fake " structured settlement planning" seminar in Chicago in 2014, so they could generate lead for their companies, (Annuity Sold JRR Funding, Greenspring Funding et al ) which are now banned in Maryland for 7 years, in their case for various acts of fraudulent business conduct (according to the Maryland AG press release 1/8/2018).
What is Structured Settlement Planning ("SSP")?
What exactly is structured settlement planning?
A. A key word grab that recognizes the drawing power of the distinct key word structured settlement with something that gets lost on the web, with an organized assortment of human beings planning living communities.
B. An amalgamation of structured settlements and settlement planning for people who do not want to go "all the way".
C. An amalgamation of structured settlements and settlement planning that implies planning using structured settlements or planning using periodic payments as a separate and distinct service
D. An amalgamation of structured settlements and settlement planning that implies planning using structured settlements or planning using periodic payments as part of a broad range of services and/or business models
E. A "devious plot" to hijack the Society of Settlement Planners' acronym ("SSP")
Somewhere in the irreverence the answer may be a combination of choices.
The Silver Lining to "Structured Settlement Planning"
The fact that "settlement planners" are using the term "structured settlement planning", separate and distinct from "settlement planning" is recognition that there is specialized knowledge and skill in planning with structured settlements. A structured settlement is a core settlement planning tool and it is also a tool, which, if effectively used, can bring about settlements that result in the satisfaction of the parties. Planning ahead adds an additional dimension to the process and allows participants to see issues and mind the gap.
Lastly, much as AIG found during a brief branding switch to Chartis during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the AIG brand was alot stronger than anyone thought, it is clear that improving interest rates, re-imagining usage of the structured settlement tool as part of comprehensive solution and various other reasons have led to a broad realization that "structured settlement" is a term that resonates with stakeholders.
The use of the term structured settlement planning and the ability to shape a discipline is also a way to differentiate from those misleading charlatans and fraudsters that reside in the structured settlements secondary market who give unlicensed and unqualified financial advice.
*Boise Idaho (as in Idaho Potatoes)