For more information:
Doug Head, Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Viatical association pursues initiative for further accountability
Orlando, FL (August 25, 2003) In a special August 14th meeting in Atlanta, the nine-member board of the Viatical & Life Settlement Association of America (VLSAA) agreed to pursue new levels of accountability for the industry, including standardized good practices, increased self-monitoring and the possibility of future, impartial audit visits to members by teams of outside experts.
"Thus far, as I have spoken with our members informally about these ideas, it looks like they are certainly in favor of such measures," says Doug Head, executive director of the VLSAA. "Our members know that higher and higher standards of accountability are necessary if this industry is going to realize its full potential."
The mainstream viatical and life settlement industry came into being to meet the crisis of the AIDS pandemic, having existed previously in limited form. Viatical settlements enable people who are seriously ill to sell their life insurance policies for an immediate cash settlement. That practice soon made way for life settlements, which also enable people to sell their life insurance policies; rather than being based on serious illness, life settlements are usually transacted by seniors and other high-net-worth individuals for estate and financial-planning purposes.
"Our board is unanimous in its pursuit of these refinements," says Bryan Freeman, who is president of the VLSAA board and the founder of two Atlanta-based settlement companies. "It is a big step for the association and, I think, an important shift toward a new era in this oft-criticized industry. It is time we formalized procedures like these that will really allow us to hit our full stride as we help more and more consumers."
The VLSAA in an Orlando, FL-based non-profit trade association founded in 1994 to serve as a national resource center, providing information about viatical and life settlements. The VLSAA, which currently has 31 member companies, is the industry's largest and oldest trade and professional organization.
For more information about the VLSAA, please visit the organization's web site, www.viatical.org, or call 800-842-9811.
To speak with M. Bryan Freeman, the president of the VLSAA board, please contact his information officer, Drew Plant, at 678-637-5532 or AtlantaWriter@mindspring.com. Freeman is a licensed life insurance agent with 25 years' experience in that industry; he has worked in the viatical and life settlement industry since 1989.
To speak with Doug Head, executive director of the VLSAA, please contact him at 800-842-9811 or email@example.com. Head has been the association's executive director since 2001, and has worked in the viatical and life settlement industry since 1991.
Also available to speak with you: A former state insurance commissioner who believes reforms are necessary, but that the settlement industry is very much needed by consumers. And, a current state insurance commissioner who takes a firm hand with the viatical and life settlement industry, but believes a greater sense of accountability will help the industry flourish.