A note about viatical settlements


Your interpretation of investors, which is based on the "20-20" program

on viatical settlements, is faulty -- as is that program, which I

criticized on my web site (it's still there).


The investors who were featured are unusual. They used an unexpected "windfall" to invest and they clearly were greedy, with no humanitarian

motive to the investment. Investors who contact me are upset because

they are afraid they were defrauded, or because they are forced to pay

pemiums they can ill afford -- and in violation of their agreements with the viatical companies. Nearly all these investors were inappropriate

for a high risk, speculative, unregulated investment in that they used

IRA funds or other retirement funds AND had no investment sophistication. Even those that used their life savings for this – as much as 250K or 400K -- did not consult any outside advisor.


Instead of devaluing human life, when properly done viatical settlements allow people to die with dignity. And often prolong life because they

relieve financial stress. I have many stories of families that were helped enormously by these settlements. The need is great. Your conclusion, that as a matter of public policy we should provide benefits for disabilities and catastrophic illness, is exactly right. But no government benefits will be sufficient to save a family home from foreclosure -- and viatical settlement funds often are used for this purpose.


Gloria Wolk


consumer advocate and author

Bialkin Books - No sex, no violence, no foul language -- but our books

were banned in Florida and Texas.


©Copyright 2001 by Gloria Wolk. Reposted with permission. All rights reserved subject to fair use.