by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
Just how many investors were sold "secondary market annuities", which were are neither annuities nor insurance products, by various merchants now spending hundreds of thousands to protect their livelihood?
"There are 150+ investors, plus 5 affected firms that are fighting for payment rights that you legally purchased and we are all on this boat together experience the same or similar concerns and no one is more concerned than me. There is no way Somerset or any other firm could have predicted this".
[Source: Thomas Hamlin email to Investors dated September 18, 2018].
Merchants of Secondary Market Annuities Fighting For Clients and some for Survival of Business Model
According to Somerset's email to investors "Somerset teamed up with 4 other groups who also had dealings with Access Funding to retain one of the top law firms and attorneys in Maryland Martin Himeles of Zuckman Spaeder https://www.zuckerman.com/people/martin-s-himeles-jr to defend your payments. That said, as you can see from the update below the law firm is going a superb job and that comes as a price, e.g. Somerset’s portion of the bill is in the 100s of thousands of dollars" . [ Source: Ibid.]. Note that Somerset has suspended sales of factored structured settlement payments streams for more than 2 years. It also no longer uses the a website secondary market annuities in its URL.
The Danger to Investors in Factored Structured Settlement Payments Streams Is Very Real and Has Always Been There
The transactional risk has always been there in factored structured settlement payment streams which is one reason why have been so persistent and passionate about exposing the risks and the misleading marketing to investors, to the chagrin of some of the merchants. As Linda and Robert Wall found out, after being screwed beyond belief in a series of Third Circuit decisions, unrelated to the Access Funding scam, what they invested in was not as advertised. They lost their entire investment thinking they were buying annuities when they didn't.
"After the Court of Special Appeals rules, whichever party loses may ask the Maryland Court of Appeals (Maryland’s highest court) to entertain a further appeal, a request that court may but is not required to grant. As a result, the appellate process may continue for quite some time. At the end of the day, if lower court’s ruling is reversed, that may affect the court’s summary judgment ruling dismissing the Attorney General’s claims against your right to receive payments. If the lower court’s ruling is affirmed, your payments should be secure, although it is impossible to rule out other efforts by the Attorney General to challenge the Circuit Court’s ruling in your favor.
Hamlin goes on to say "If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. There are many procedural twists and turns that may occur in litigation of this nature, and I don’t understand all of them. What I can tell you is that as matters stand now, the claims challenging your payments have been dismissed, and unless the appellate courts reverse that decision, your payments are secure. Our counsel continues to monitor the proceedings and will do everything possible to defend the Circuit Court’s decision". [ Source: Thomas Hamlin , Somerset Wealth Strategies email to Investors April 16, 2019]
Ominous words..."Unless the appellate courts reverse that decision, your payments are secure"
Less than one week after Hamlin's April 16, 2019 email, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the trial court's summary judgment.