AARP Vermont State Director Greg Marchildon first noticed online ads for these companies last year and became concerned. “We’re the second fastest aging state in the nation, behind Maine. And about seven in ten Vermonters rely on Social Security and their pensions, if they are lucky. So we wanted to put a cabosh on this before it really got started,” he told us.
Marchildon went to state Treasurer Beth Pearce and she embraced the issue. She immediately teamed up with legislators to craft a bill that Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law in April. Treasurer Pearce told ConsumerMojo, “We don’t want companies charging an inordinate amount of interest and putting elders at risk. The newly-enacted law is about consumer protection.”
Consumers all across the U.S. need similar protection against pension advance schemes and that’s why AARP is working to convince states to consider new laws.
Regulators are also taking a hard look at what’s going on. New York and Massachusetts launched investigations into companies that advertise advance or lump sum settlements on pensions. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “. . . backdoor high-interest loans will not be tolerated in our state.” The New York Department of Financial Services subpoenaed records from a number of companies, including Pensions Annuities & Settlements LLC., the company Darren did business with.