by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC CeFT RSP CLTC
A Canadian structured settlement factoring company claims in a press release to be "working alongside Texas Trial Lawyers to help clients manage their settlements". Now the pay to brag scheme is taking a step further and Strategic Capital claims to officially be a Texas Trial Lawyers Association Sustaining Partner, which I've confirmed with the TTLA (this afternoon) to mean that Strategic Capital has agreed to pay TTLA a minimum of $27,000. Between $27,000 and $36,000 is a sustaining Partner according to the TTLA.
According to Send2Press Newswire, the March 28, 2023 press release was issued on behalf of the news source (Strategic Capital) who is solely responsibile for its accuracy
But what exactly does "working alongside Texas Trial Lawyers to help clients manage their settlements" mean? What sort of license does Strategic Capital possess " to help TTLA members' clients "manage their settlements". What would the Texas financial regulators say about structured settlement factoring companies advertising that they have been working alongside trial lawyers "managing settlements" with solutions that amount to pennies on the dollar? Texas is a state that has taken a strong stance against public court records on structured settlement factoring deals. What does Strategic Capital's $27,000 to $36,000 buy in Texas?
Follow the "Habit Trail"
In March 2022, Strategic Capital issued what turned out to be a dubious press release regarding a "Groundbreaking" "Relationship" with a settlement planning organziation. See my report about it here Factoring Company Dubious Press Release About "Groundbreaking" AASC "Relationship" - Structured Settlements 4Real® Blog: Structured Settlements | Settlement Planning News and Commentary (typepad.com)
In my March 11 2021 post, I laid waste to Strategic Capital's Ric Perez' public claims about "no advertising"
Strategic Capital Caught "In Flagrante Pubblicita" with Word Nerds in a Case of Scrabbled Eggs - Structured Settlements 4Real® Blog: Structured Settlements | Settlement Planning News and Commentary (typepad.com).
From December 20, 2020
Strategic Capital Does Not Buy Structured Settlement Annuities, Even in Kentucky as Its Advertising Alludes - Structured Settlements 4Real® Blog: Structured Settlements | Settlement Planning News and Commentary (typepad.com)
where Kentucky Justice Association endorsement letter mischarcterized what Strategic Capital does. Stratcap still posted the letter.
From June 29, 2018
Strategic Capital Employee Gave Company Customer LinkedIn Review One Month After He Was Hired - Structured Settlements 4Real® Blog: Structured Settlements | Settlement Planning News and Commentary (typepad.com)
Not a Good Look for Any Trial Lawyer Association Leadership and Membership
Beyond the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Strategic Capital states it has relationships (let's face it, what are effectively "paid endorsements") with trial lawyer groups across the country, including the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives (NATLE), the Kentucky Justice Association (KJA), the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ), and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (the other TTLA). All of these are believed to be paid relationships (see my March 11, 2021 post, by following the link above)
- While TLAs need fundraising money to further lobbying efforts, the extent of these financial contributions may not be fully known to clients of lawyers when unlicensed and uncredentialed vendors are recommended by the lawyers who make the audacious claim to be "managing lawyers' clients' settlements".
- Even if a client, or fomer client of a TTLA lawyer is exploring raising cash, it is wise to always shop around, every time The sales practices of structured settlement factoring companies is unregulated. With exception of North Carolina, which is the only state with a discount rate cap, the limit is what the presiding judge approves.
If members of TLAs are truly concerned about structured settlement factoring and are not shy about accepting large financial contributions from companies in that industry, how about making it more legitimate by lobbying for a licensing standard for every entity and individual in Texas engaging in factoring so that a regulator can fine, suspend or revoke authority from bad actors?
For example, this Texas case involving a Florida company
FL Company Preyed on Mentally Disabled Man's Structure and Caused Alleged Loss of Government Benefits - Structured Settlements 4Real® Blog: Structured Settlements | Settlement Planning News and Commentary (typepad.com)
They should be lobbying for it anyway.