For starters, although there's nothing funny about factoring abuse, we decided a comic book expressing our cynical view of the practice might help readers get a sense of what can happen when individuals sell their structured settlement benefits.
While the TV commercials would have viewers believe the companies advertising to purchase future income benefits are nobly helping clients merely access funds they should be immediately entitled to (they aren't), we wanted to reveal what happens when benefits are purchased.
Who benefits most when clients sell their benefits?
Why did NPR report several years ago that the phrase "structured settlement" was THE most expensive Internet ad word money could buy?
In short, providing relief to the original structured settlement payee is far from the primary reason factoring companies exist and we hope our light satirical take on the subject will help put some things into perspective.
Did you know?
In some situations, factoring can address hardships and thereby provide a benefit. In fact, some life companies will factor their own structured settlement contracts.
A Different Viewpoint
And finally, because we simultaneously hold a far less cynical view of the practice and realize there are indeed situations where the ability to convert future payments to immediate cash are necessary and helpful, we'd like to give equal time to a respected expert in the area.
While cynical about the marketing tactics and predatory pricing some companies employ, we do appreciate the availability of factoring for those truly in need.
It is factoring ABUSE we find so abhorrent.
Not all settlement purchasers should be painted with the same damaging brush as the one used by the Star Tribune journalists. Not all engage in combative marketing strategies and questionable ethical behavior. And not all offer to buy future income streams for "pennies on the dollar."
Although the horror stories are the headline grabbers and must always be condemned, the Star Tribune fairly provides examples of transactions that were considered "a good deal" so we know there are situations where people are treated reasonably.
Factoring, done right, can actually add value to the settlement process by addressing client worries about being locked into something long term should a future hardship arise.