by Structured Settlement Watchdog
CrowFly LLC is making dubious claims that might be getting Genex Capital's CEO Roger Proctor's knickers in a twist, for one. Specifically Genex Capital's direct competitor CrowFly, LLC of Buffalo has made the claim that it is "The first online marketplace for selling & buying structured settlement payments". Is CrowFly really the first? Crowfly's claim appears not to be true. Here's why.
FinTech and Structured Settlements factoring actually started twelve or more years ago
More than a decade ago, an August 29, 2008 press release states the following "Annuity.com and QuoteMeAPrice.com today announced a strategic alliance to co-market and officially launch the revolutionary Quote Me a Price structured settlement and annuity marketplace quote engine".
Said Bill Brioch CEO of Annuity.com at the time, "Sean over at Quote Me A Price has a brilliant application. Instead of annuitants, tort victims and financial professionals selling their annuity or structured settlement to one funding company, they can now enter their information into the Quote Me A Price competitive quote engine and obtain multiple competitive bids from multiple funding companies. It's ethical and, in my opinion, will revolutionize this troubled industry."
"Put simply, what QMAP does," said Sean C. Houlihan, CEO of QuoteMeAPrice.com "is save people money and time." Houlihan explained that some individuals go with the first funding company they talk to; most spend weeks or even a few months on the phone obtaining quotes from the plethora of funders. With QMAP you simply enter your payment information once, and the funders come to you. No more suffering from countless sales calls. It's all web-based. "The industry standard for a cashing in future payments for a lump sum can be exorbitant, through Quote Me Price people have obtained funding for as low as six percent. Make funding companies compete and the bid prices go way up. It's just that simple," Houlihan said.
In February 2010, I posted a video for Legal Broadcast Network featuring my interview with Andrew Cravenho of the Settlement Quotes, LLC Factoring Exchange. I wrote in a blog dated February 18, 2010 that viewers can learn about this viable alternative to going to the "usual suspects". "If your clients have exhausted all other financing alternatives and have no other way to raise liquidity but to sell a portion of their structured settlement payment rights, a settlement factoring exchange may help make the process easier. An organized bidding process avails the seller of a group of individual investors and companies who compete for the business and the exchange takes a small fee".
Factoring Company Competition is Good for the Consumer, my December 14, 2010 blog post, sheds some contemporaneous light from a decade ago.
SSQ was established in 2007
Genex Capital ended up acquiring QMAP and Structured Settlement Quotes.com (SSQ) in November 2011. Genex Capital via SSQ claims Structured Settlement Quotes ("SSQ") is America's #1 Structured Settlement Marketplace having served over 11,000 customers and transacted more than $500 million in payments since 2007, and counting.
It also claims, "at SSQ we created the first marketplace for you to sell your structured settlement, lottery or other annuity payments. SSQ claims in 2011 SSQ's customer average discount rate was 8.67 percent, competitive at the time.
Benjamin Geber patent application in 2014
A patent application was submitted in 2014, claiming rights back to 2012.Read Structured settlement auction patent application United States Patent Application 20140164210 Geber, Benjamin (Vienna, VA, US) Worch, Michael (Gaithersburg, MD, US)
Then there's the judicial opinion in Bonham Investments Corp. v. Parker, No. CV 2011 5892, District Court, First Judicial District, Kootenai County, Idaho (Idaho Dist. Ct. Aug. 24, 2011) which implies that an "online auction system" has to do with "selling structured settlements . . . ." Rather than selling structured settlements – i.e., selling annuities that fund structured settlements – the opinion describes how the plaintiffs and defendant had a dispute over a plan for online auction system involving the secondary market for sale of structured settlement payment rights. Apparently, some of the plaintiffs had purchased the rights to structured settlement payments in a 2010 factoring transaction [ Source: Secondary Market Insurance Blog Nov 29, 2011]
I brought this to Crowfly Founder John Bair's attention in an email dated June 27, 2018. That's what makes it all the more puzzling why CrowFly is making the questionable claim. So apparently CrowFly apparently is not the first online marketplace to buy and sell structured settlements. So why does CrowFly make the claim that they are?