NASAA President to Testify Before Senate Committee Examining the Life Settlement Market

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2009)—North American Securities Administrator Association President and Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in a hearing exploring the growing life settlement industry and its impact on seniors.

The hearing, “Betting on Death in the Life Settlement Market – What’s at Stake for Seniors?” will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29 in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

“We commend committee Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) for examining the impact that life settlements have had on our citizens and the need for strong regulation of these financial products by the appropriate regulatory authorities,” Joseph said.

NASAA members have been very active in response to problems associated with viaticals and life settlements, terms which have become interchangeable. Viatical settlements emerged in the early 1990s in response to the AIDS crisis to create opportunities for terminally ill patients to receive money by selling their life insurance death benefits for much more than the cash surrender value available from insurance companies.

The offer and sale of investments in viatical or life settlements has been marked by a wide range of fraudulent practices over the past 20 years. Citing deceptive marketing practices and numerous instances of fraud, NASAA first raised awareness of problems in the viaticals industry in 2002. “Despite substantial successes by securities regulators in their enforcement actions, and higher standards among some industry participants, abuses continue, and diligent oversight of these products remains necessary,” Joseph said.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications

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