by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP CLTC
How does a settlement planner resolve conflicts of interest that result from advising sellers of structured settlement payment rights and buyers of structured settlement payment rights if those buyers are other plaintiffs?
When representing the seller of structured settlement payment rights, shouldn't the settlement planner, after determining that there are no other feasible alternatives to a structured settlement transfer, be seeking to get the seller the best price from a settlement purchaser who has the ability to complete the transaction?
When representing the buyer or investor (which might include a plaintiff, plaintiff's trust or a plaintiff attorney), and after first determining whether such investment is suitable, the settlement planner should be seeking the most attractive yield from the seller of the structured settlement payment rights consistent with the cash flow needs and risk tolerance of the investor?
Is a settlement planner who seeks the best for the annuitant/ plaintiff while wearing the sell side hat, conflicted when seeking out a higher yield for the buy side investor (including another plaintiff) because it means some selling annuitant/plaintiff is not getting as good of a deal on the sell side? If the settlement planner is too kind on the buy side is he or she abrogating his or her duty to the buyer?
Unlike the placement of structured settlement annuities, with structured settlement payment rights, there is no licensure and products are not registered with the state insurance regulator prior to being able to be sold.