Gerry H. Goldsholle, J.D.
Viatical settlements have been around since 1989, yet they
are wholly unknown to the vast majority of North Americans and are understood by
only a very few. And as history shows, what is not understood is often very
dangerous. Closely related to viaticals are life or senior settlements, which
are of even more recent vintage, even less known, less understood and
potentially far more dangerous.
In their short history viatical and life/
senior settlements have been a magnet for the ethically
challenged and the criminal. Why are viatical settlements and life/senior
settlements attractive fields for con artists to ply their trade? They are
complicated, and poorly understood financial arrangements involving life
insurance, which is itself poorly understood. They appeal both to peoples fear
and their greed. They involve significant amounts of money. They often involve
those who are seriously ill, elderly, and/or financially strapped. They are
nearly totally unregulated. The transactions lack the elements of
standardization and transparency that exist in nearly every other financial
transaction. And the players are nearly totally free from effective regulatory
oversight, reporting, or scrutiny that applies to every other area of financial
Tens of millions of dollars have been lost by life
insurance policyholders who were persuaded to sell their policies to third
parties for pennies on the dollar. Hundreds of millions of dollars more have
been lost by investors who were persuaded to invest their funds in something
they were led to believe was guaranteed -- other peoples life insurance
policies. Although many investors were wholly naive and gullible, the roster of
investors includes some who were extraordinarily sophisticated, who let greed
take the place of good sense.
This important book collects and explains, for the first
time, all the important legal materials in the viatical settlements field.
Prepared by one of the most knowledgeable experts on the subject, Gloria Grening
Wolk, this book will be an indispensable resource for lawyers, prosecutors,
consumer protection officials, regulators, and legislators concerned with
Wolk has been a courageous crusader in the never-ending
battle against financial fraud and abuse in viatical settlements. But in modern
America such battles often require private lawyers to act on behalf of the
abused and aggrieved, particularly as public officials have limited resources
and other priorities. As Charles Dickens once said, "If there were no bad people
there would be no good lawyers." Yet good lawyers need knowledge or their task
becomes too daunting, the learning curve too steep.
It is in that spirit that this book makes a major
contribution. Wolk has prepared far more than a compendium of raw legal cases.
She has included extensive, carefully edited and highly relevant material,
including cases, statutes, rulings, motion papers, briefs and valuable
commentary. Her insightful comments guide the reader to greater understanding of
the material. It not only tells lawyers what the law is or what to
do but also how to go about doing it.
Wolk has anticipated each step in the process, from the
preparation of a complaint to a defendants likely response to the motions and
the likely defensive steps an adversary will take in a litigation. The papers
and briefs can serve as models, which will enable lawyers, prosecutors, consumer
protection officials, regulators, and legislators to immediately adapt the
material, saving countless amounts time for themselves and money for their
clients. Of course lawyers seeking to help those who have been victimized in
viatical settlement scams would be wise to remember what Nietzsche observed, "A
book full of brilliance imparts some of it even to its opponents."
More about Viatical Litigation: Principles & Practice
-- Who this book is for.
The Table of Contents
Note about returns: We will replace any book that is damaged on delivery.
We do not
buy or sell
viatical or life settlement contracts
Our first two books,
no longer in print
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