Factoring and structured settlements.

A few weeks back Earl Nesbitt, the general counsel for NASP, the National Association of Settlement Purchasers joined Mark Wahlstrom at the LB Network studios while in Phoenix for a judicial education conference.

As anyone who does any work in the structured settlement market knows, the impact of factoring companies such as J.G. Wentworth, Peachtree Funding and others in advertising to annuity holders to "get cash now"has been a major concern of NSSTA and others. We have entire blogs and private initiatives that attempt to address the key word purchase price inflation these companies cause for topics such as structured settlements, settlement planning and structured annuity. A quick scan of Google shows that those terms alone are among the most valuable on the internet, largely because of the huge margins a factoring company can make on the purchase of someone's future payments. I, as much as anyone, am aware of the fact that these terms have been usurped by factoring firms through this saturation of advertising to the point where many legislative and judicial leaders consider the factoring firms "the structured settlement industry" and not NSSTA and it's supporters.

However, as my readers and viewers know i'm actually quite neutral on the issue of factoring, particularly in light of the fact that it is legal, has a clearly defined process that is required to get it done and in a large number of cases is a result of lazy or careless planning by the annuity broker who sold it to the client with little thought toward their cash needs.

This two part interview with Earl Nesbitt goes into a lot of those issues, particularly advertising, the idea of judicial education on factoring process and cooperation between the primary and secondary markets. If you are curious as to what N.A.S.P is up to, what the factoring industry has planned given the recent turmoil in credit markets and the future of factoring issues, you might want to check out this video series.

I will be addressing in some length later this week the topic of NSSTA and it's minuscule investment in advertising, marketing and education, particularly in contrast to the aggressive approach taken by the secondary market. Unless the leaders of our profession had failed to notice, J.G. Wentworth, Peachtree and others are essentially crippled at the moment by the collapse of their banking, hedge fund and secondary market sales options. NOW is the time for NSSTA and it's members to commence judicial education on structured settlements, the value of annuity products, the safety of what we offer and why responsible factoring has a role in our industry. Now is the time to build bridges, move past our battles of the last five years and grow our business and part of that is going to be getting off the factoring company bashing routine that has been the primary focus of our profession for many years now.

Lets get proactive and start selling our product and it's virtues, reclaim the brand now that the factoring companies have fewer dollars to advertise, lobby and influence buyers and get out of the fox hole and build our profession.