Continues focus on compliance
Atlanta, August 8, 2012 -Habersham Funding, LLC, an Atlanta-based firm that does business nationally, has been licensed as a life settlement provider in Rhode Island.
“We have long supported responsible regulation of the industry, and are proud to add the Rhode Island license to our extensive list of existing licenses,” says Adam S. Hicks, Habersham’s general counsel. “Regulation fosters a healthy secondary market for life insurance and protects all parties to the transaction.”
Habersham, which was founded in 2001 by settlement industry pioneer M. Bryan Freeman, provides the funds for life settlements and viatical settlements. Life settlements enable seniors who no longer want or need their life insurance to receive an advance cash payment for their policy. Viatical settlements enable some people who are terminally ill the same type cash settlement.
“Given that ours is a relatively young industry,” Freeman says, “participating in the regulatory process is a responsibility we take seriously. We know that dealing with a reputable settlement company that understands the importance of complying with the law is critical to advancing consumers’ right to sell their life insurance policies.”
Freeman also notes that consumers have an added incentive to seek out licensed settlement companies, as some settlements are eligible for tax-free treatment, but become ineligible if the deal is not transacted through a licensed settlement company.
“Regulation gives consumers confidence to explore this very powerful option,” attorney Hicks says. “The industry began as a niche service for people who faced serious illness. Today, it has come into its own; life settlements are embraced by attorneys, accountants, financial planners, and insurance agents, for their clients who range from people of modest means to high-net-worth individuals.”
“Having a secondary market for life insurance policies,” Hicks says, “gives the policies liquidity not previously enjoyed. And, with the senior population growing rapidly, this means we have an opportunity to work with them and their advisors in the tradable life policies market, currently worth billions of dollars, and growing.”
With its licensure in Rhode Island, Habersham Funding can buy life policies in 48 U.S. jurisdictions (including Washington, DC). Habersham’s predecessor company, and Freeman himself, entered the settlement industry the same year it came into the mainstream- 1989. Freeman and Hicks both frequently speak about the secondary market for life insurance and related topics, and Freeman is a former four-term board president of the Life Insurance Settlement Association and continues to chair that organization’s External Affairs Committee.