by Structured Settlement Watchdog
The minute you file a petition to sell structured settlement payments, the vultures smell the fresh meat and begin circling with all sorts of scams.
One man received almost 50 such mailers during a 30-45 day period. Many make dubious claims. Others are laughable in their approach.
A. The Structured Settlement Audit Scam
This is a scam where structured settlement payments buyers try to get you to believe there has been some type of audit. For example:
Fortune Settlement Solutions LLC Miami Lakes FL
In an enveloped that is from FSS " Asset Verification Department", "Limited time offer". Claims "No hidden charges and no hidden fees", yet Fortune Settlement Solutions markets a solution that is always a money loser. How can this be Florida Attorney General? New York Attorney General? The signatory to the letter is Joshua Rivers, Senior Underwriter. Google Joshua Rivers. He doesn't come up on the grid in a search 3/9/2019. Possibly a person who does not exist. That wouldn't be the first time in the structured settlement secondary market, where sales practices are unregulated.
Rising Capital Associates LLC Delray Beach, FL
Rising Capital sent a mailer with the header "Audit Alert-Time Sensitive" bearing the subject line "Internal Audit for: John Hancock Life insurance Company." An audit is "an official inspection of an individual's or organization's accounts, typically by an independent body.". Rising Capital is suggesting that it has done an internal audit for John Hancock Life Insurance Company. Given that John Hancock has its own internal auditors, why would they hire Rising Capital Associates? One wonders what Martin Sheerin, the John Hancock CFO will say when he sees Rising Capital's fulminating piece of bullship? A copy of Rising Capital's work is on its way to John Hancock. A Cardeno Vice-President-Audit Department doesn't appear to come up on the grid on 3/9/2019.
B. Escheat or Cheat?
A postcard sent in the last 30-45 days to a structured settlement annuitant, is characterized as an "Unclaimed Money Alert" and to call to verify a refund. We Pay More Funding LLC 401 East Las Olas Bivd Suite 130-692 Ft Lauderdale, FL corresponds to the address on the post card. If you truly had unclaimed property you should start with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
C. Fake "Critical Update"
A dubious purported entity called the Settlement Administration Center sent multiple mailers in less than 30 days to an annuitant stating " Critical Update: Your Hancock Policy". Opening the envelope reveals just more "vulture vomit", greeting the annuitant with "Our settlement division has determined that you are pre-approved for the attached (fake) check" based on a prior transaction filed in court on...with.....". So the apparently fake Settlement Administration Center has a fake settlement division and there is no update from "Hancock", the alcoholic with super powers from a popular 2008 movie featuring Will Smith, or John Hancock Life Insurance Company.
D. National Contract Review Services
A brand of Novation Ventures, like Novation Settlement Solutions, this urgently warns that the annuitant is in immediate jeopardy of losing money, which is true since Novation has scraped the court records and discovered a petition filed with a competitor. But it is deceiving because everybody, I mean EVERBODY is a money loser when they sell their structured settlement payments. It's just a question of how much of a money loser. In fact Novation states in the solicitation that " you have nothing to lose but your own money". Ask Cedric Thomas how true that statement is when dealing with Novation Funding, for which Novation Settlement Solutions is a DBA. Thomas, then a young African American adult from New York, forum shopped to Florida, who was royally shafted for over $1.4 million on the factoring deal. It was nowhere close to the maximum payouts that Novation advertises. FACT: You don't lose any of your safe money by not selling your structured settlement payments.
E. Mailer From UPS Store Mailbox in Handwritten Envelope
Handwritten note on a fake internal memo from a "K Branche", that purports that there has been an underpayment on a prior transaction (implied from the same company). Small print mentions a purported company " Funding Direct". The return address corresponds to a UPS Store mailbox #223 at the UPS store located at 10465 N. Tatum Rd Suite 200-223 Phoenix, AZ 85028. The postmark on the mailer however, is from the zip code 24551, Forest, Virginia.
F. One For The Birds
- Annuity Capital out of Audobon Pennsylvania is one for the birds. Annuity Capital claims to specialize in structured settlements, yet has been sucked into the "awarded a structured settlement vortex". There is a reason that the term structured settlement includes the word "settlement" and that is that a structured settlement is a settlement and not an award!
- Annuity Capital uses the misdirection endemic to the structured settlement secondary market about waiting to receive "all of your payments", knowing full well that the best they can do is pay you pennies on the dollar and you will as a result NEVER receive all of your payments if you choose to do go forward and sell your payments. Pennies on the dollar is not "freeing", yet Annuity Capital makes that claim in multiple mailings to an individual over the space of 30-45 days. Structured settlement factoring companies in general are not the right advisers to determine if a structured settlement is in your best interest, since their solution always makes you a money loser.
- Annuity Capital also inaccurately suggests that an annuitant could actually sell the structured settlement annuity policy that funds their future payment stream, when it is impossible to do so.
- The mailer insert is printed on unimpressive less than flyer weight paper that looks circa late 1980s or early 1990s. If Annuity Capital wanted to convey confidence in their tag line " turning annuities into opportunities", perhaps they could use current decade heavier weighted paper.
G. The Full "Uncashed Check" Monte
CBC Settlement Funding of Conshohocken PA, tries to hoodwink an annuitant with "our records how that you have an uncashed check for $_______ associated with your annuity payments at the same time they solicit for a $1,000 cash advance. Given that the annuitant and recipient of the unwanted email, never did business with CBC before, why would he/she have an uncashed check with the CBC Pinocchio?
H. The Delivery Notice Scam
Made to look like a delivery slip or door tag from a commercial package delivery service
PandaRun Delivery Doortag, having a return address of a UPS store mailbox at 501-8 Old Greenville Hwy, Box 133 Clemson, SC 29631, bearing a postmark of Hanover, PA. Panda Run is a video game and also sounds like a Chinese fast food restaurant. I don't recommend dealing with any company that will not reveal its address.
Another company uses "Home Delivery Receipt-Unable to Deliver. No mention at all about structured settlements, but the return address corresponds to a member of the National Association of Settlement Purchasers.
Tickles the Funny Bone
An incredible 20% of the mailers came from a single company in a 30 day period, including envelopes in all shapes and sizes, typed and handwritten, one that included a card. Most companies sent mailers more than once during the same time frame.
The funniest is one written by "Katie Fields" mailed from Long island New York, but the envelope had a California return address label with a butterfly. Cute. The letter on note stationery printed with the image of 3 fanned out dollar bills, states " I may have money for you. Call me to claim the Money (emphasis theirs).Who needs to go to the track, when this trifecta is your incentive?
To heighten the "putative romance" of selling your payments, one company offered a bountiful dozen red roses for free in advance of Valentine's Day, if you gave them all sorts of personal information , not the least of which is the details of your available annuity payments and due dates. It might be cheaper to just buy the roses for your sweetie and keep your information to yourself. An "A' for creative effort on that one though Scott Solomon.
Then there's " Rap Cash" operating out of Box 485 at UPS store 4110 in Scottsdale, Arizona, located at 20701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Suite 107. I don't recommend any annuitant even consider using a firm that will not provide its actual location up-front.
Another company appears to be giving away a BMW 3 Series (3 Year Lease) with all the caveats that you might expect.