by Structured Settlement Watchdog
The "Unclaimed Funds" Structured Settlement Silly "Fortune Cookie" Letter
I've learned that some structured settlement payees have received a mailer from Settlement "Client Relations Dept" "Immediate Verification Required", and bears the toll-free telephone number of 888-556-2740?
Here's what I've discovered:
The mailing department of Fortune Settlement Solutions has been blitzing people with structured settlements to generate leads with the teaser of "unclaimed funds" using the mailer displayed below [Disclaimer: the green nail is not mine :-)].
FACT: THERE ARE NO UNCLAIMED FUNDS. You could call any structured settlement factoring company and get an offer to buy your payments (for pennies on the dollar),
What Happened When I Called 888-556-2740?
I called 888-556-2740 yesterday after receiving a call from Pennsylavania concerning a similarly worded letter.
With the targeted addressee listening in on the phone I dialed 888-556-2740. The person who answered the phone at 888-556-2740 was really cagey, claimed to be from New York and said the name of the business was Structured Settlements and that it was registered to do business in New York and that they were based in Manhattan. I looked up the name and there was no such company. It would have been much simpler to simply say who they really are, like the person who answered the follow up call today, at Fortune Settlement Solutions from Miami Lakes, Florida and located in Miami Dade County.
I called the same number today and spoke to Will from Fortune Settlement Solutions and he was far more professional and straightforward from the start of the conversation.
Silly "fortune cookie" letters like the one displayed have plagued the structured settlement factoring industry for years.
Why Are Structured Settlement Factoring Company "Fortune Cookie" Letters Misleading?
"Fortune Cookie" letters are misleading in that:
- the target is receiving payments from a structured settlement,
- the target's information has possibly been acquired through court scraping or other means.
- the sender factoring company or its agent knows that the target has previously sold some payments, has more payments that can be sold for a nice profit to the sender factioring company.
- the sender or its agent knows that the structured settlement payments that the target has not sold ARE NOT unclaimed funds
- the sending factoring company vounts on the gullibility of the targeted structured settlement payee.
Why do some structured settlement factoring companies send these "Fortune Cookie" letters?
Why do people open fortune cookies?
Are "Fortune Cookie" letters a legal way to solicit structured settlement payees?
With few exceptions, due to the strategic failure of state legislatures over two decades, the structured settlement factoring industry has survived with no regulation of sales practices of participants and no licensing. It is pretty uqnique for a segment of the financial services industry.
There is no question that Structured Settlement Factoring "Fortune Cookie" letters are misleading for the reasons bullet pointed above.
The tide may be changing, if other states follow the example of North Carolina, in which a new bill HB845 introduced in April 2023 would implement historic changes to its structured settlement protection act from 2024. In addition to dlegating oversight to its Department of Insurnace, among a long list of umpteen prohibited sales practices introduced is a prohibition:
"Intentionally advertise materially false or misleading information regarding its products or services"
Last updated July 2, 2023