by Barbara Nevins Taylor
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet; Shakespeare wrote.
By the same token a pension advance company that changes it’s name and continues to do the same thing is pretty much the same company and raises the same alarm bells for people who think about borrowing money against their pensions.
We reported about Darren Scott in our story Pension Advance Plans Take a Big Bite. Darren thought he was borrowing $5,000 on his pension and wound up owing over $24,000. He tells us now that he received an email from Pension Annuities and Settlements, the company he borrowed from, announcing a name change.
They wrote: “Pension Annuities and Settlements is pleased to announce the new name of our company, Future Income Payments LLC. This is simply a name change for the consistency of branding. Our Management Team, Processing, Collections Team, methods of payment by you, etc., remain the same.
We are not a new company, we are the same company with a new face.”
The email goes on to remind Darren and others that he, and they, are still obligated to pay the debt to this company, by whatever name it calls itself.
The old face of the company was attracting a good deal of scrutiny.
We recently reported, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Consumer Services Division filed charges against Pensions, Annuities and Settlements, LLC (PDF), and Pension Funding, LLC (PDF). The called the companies unlicensed lenders and accused them of making illegal loans with excessive interest rates that ranged as high a 129.9 percent
Washington’s DFI Director of Consumer Services Deborah Bortner said, “Loans that are made by unlicensed companies with interest rates exceeding the legal limit are particularly harmful when large loan payments cut into retirees’ limited monthly pension income.”
And on the East Coast, as ConsumerMojo previously reported, New York and other states are investigating pension advance companies. New York State subpoenaed records from Pension Annuities and Settlements.
So stay tuned.