by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Why should any structured settlement annuitant trust a " settlement advocate", when that person was involved in a group of entities that were banned from doing business in his home state of Maryland, for 7 years?
Settlement Advocates purports to be an "settlement advocate", but is associated with Ryan Blank from Owings Mills MD, a Director of and under whose leadership Annuity Sold,
LLC and related companies were companies banned in Maryland for 7 years for deceptive and misleading business practices, following an Attorney General investigation that was announced in January 2018. Read the Maryland Attorney General Press Release. Aside from being a Company Director, Ryan Blank's shady business dealings included court scraping as I documented in this January 31, 2015 post that showcases Blank's Prezi proposal to Atlanta based Fairfield Funding, and the use of a pseudonym Ryan Einstein which was fraudulently held out as having a Law degree and PhD from Yale. In addition Ryan Blank's Einstein Structured Settlements made shameful use of paid testimonials that were used in public facing promotions and routinely attempted to brandjack its competitors.
Ryan Blank has neither the credentials, nor credibility, in the structured settlement space to be trusted. The address displayed on the Settlement Advocates website is 20701 N Scottsdale RD Building 107 Suite 485 Scottsdale, AZ. The address on the Settlement Advocates' website corresponded with a mailbox in a UPS Store in Grayhawk Plaza, located at Suite 107 , not building 107 in Scottsdale. Settlement Advocates is not listed as a tenant at Grayhawk Plaza. There is no registration with the Arizona Secretary of State on file. Download Public Search - Arizona Secretary of State Settlement Advocates
A search of the NAIC Producer database at the time of posting, shows that Ryan Blank holds no active insurance license in Alabama, Arizona, California , Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida. His Maryland insurance license expired in May 2012 and shows inactive. Ryan Blank is not listed a current or former investment adviser in the IAPD database.
Settlement Advocates/Ryan Blank claims to work with certain insurance companies that it/he identifies. It is evident from looking at the list display, that Settlement Advocates/Blank simply copied a very old list from a structured settlement broker's website and made a false claim to work with the insurance companies. Without an insurance license and an appointment Ryan Blank could not work with any of the insurance companies. It's fair to say also clear that Settlement Advocates/Ryan Blank is not up to speed, despite the Settlement Advocates' website having a copyright of 2019. Anyone who is up to speed on the structured settlement industry would know in 2019 that
- CNA/Continental Assurance was acquired by Wilton Re in August 2014.
- American International Life Assurance Company of New York was merged into United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York in 2010.
- American Mayflower is part of Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, since December 2006.
- Presidential Life and Aviva were acquired by Athene since 2012 and 2013.
- Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston was acquired by Lincoln Financial in 2018
- Travelers Life & Annuity which was acquired by Metropolitan from Citigroup in January 2005, and renamed MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut, was spun off from Met into Brighthouse Financial, when Brighthouse was established.
Note: Settlement Advocates/Ryan Blank is not related to Kansas based Settlement Advocates of America. On February 10, 2020, in an unsigned cease and desist letter to SAOFA, Blank's company claimed the other company was making unauthorized use of its trademark and claimed "under federal registration laws, we are the owners of the trademark..."
Federal registration of a trademark is the process for filing for federal protection of a mark representing a business or commercial activity. The federal statutes governing the registration of trademarks are found in 15 USC, sections 1051-1127. This group of laws is known as the “Lanham Act”. The registration process is managed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a federal administrative agency.
When I performed a search of the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database on July 19, 2020, there appears to have been no attempt to register " Settlement Advocates " or even its logo as a mark representing business or commercial activity.
Finally, the SettlementAdvocates.org website may be untrustworthy to visit as its security certificate is invalid and expired April 29, 2020. Download Settlement Advocates.org security certificate expired 4-29-2020