Oct 29

Louis-D-Brandeis-quote

The Oligarch Recovery – U.S. Military Veterans are Selling Their Pensions in Order to Pay the Bills:

Moore soon found himself two months behind on rent and at least 10 days from payday. In bed that night, he saw a TV ad for Future Income Payments, a company based in Irvine, Calif., that buys pensions in exchange for a lump sum. The company said it had worked with military personnel and government workers. Ten minutes later, he got up and made the call.

The next day, a company representative called Moore back and explained that he would receive a $5,000 cash advance for selling part of his pension. In exchange, Moore would have to pay the company $510 a month for five years  — a total of $30,600.

If it were a typical loan, that would amount to $25,600 in interest — a rate of 512 percent.

Most of the companies advertise nationally on news sites and in military magazines, consumer advocates say. One ad highlighted in the recent congressional hearing on pension advances featured two smiling people in uniform below the words “This is our America.”

The effective interest rates charged by pension advance companies can be abusive, Cartwright said. But it is particularly “egregious” that the companies go after military retirees, targeting income streams that are backed by the federal government, he added.

– From the Washington Post article: Some Retirees are Making a Terrible Mistake with their Pensions 

Welcome to the oligarch recovery. An economic rebound so robust that an ever increasing number of Americans are being forced to borrow money at usurious rates just to pay the bills. Today, I want to introduce you to the latest scheme to profit from poverty: Pension Advance Companies.

Here’s some of the Washington Post’s article on the subject from today:

Keith Moore, a 40-year-old military veteran recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder in Oklahoma, remembers the day last year when he sold off a chunk of his pension.

He had left the military after 21 years of service, because his disabilities — PTSD, arthritis and other injuries — made it difficult to work.  But the transition to civilian life came with a different struggle: the need to provide for his family and pay the same bills with only half the paycheck.

Moore soon found himself two months behind on rent and at least 10 days from payday. In bed that night, he saw a TV ad for Future Income Payments, a company based in Irvine, Calif., that buys pensions in exchange for a lump sum. The company said it had worked with military personnel and government workers. Ten minutes later, he got up and made the call.

The next day, a company representative called Moore back and explained that he would receive a $5,000 cash advance for selling part of his pension. In exchange, Moore would have to pay the company $510 a month for five years  — a total of $30,600.

If it were a typical loan, that would amount to $25,600 in interest — a rate of 512 percent.

Pension advances are complex products that offer retirees a lump-sum cash advance in exchange for all, or part, of their future pension payments. Consumer groups say they are pitched disproportionately to retired military members and federal retirees.

Future Income Payments is just one of the companies that offer such products. In a 2014 report, the Government Accountability Office identified 38 companies that had recently offered pension advances. At least 30 of the 38 companies were affiliated with one another in some way, sharing a parent company, a broker or another business relationship.

Future Income Payments did not return calls seeking comment.

Would you return a phone call when your business model consists of peddling 500% interest rate loans to broke U.S. military veterans?

Most of the companies advertise nationally on news sites and in military magazines, consumer advocates say. One ad highlighted in the recent congressional hearing on pension advances featured two smiling people in uniform below the words “This is our America.”

Because pension advance companies can describe their products as pension sales and not loans, they often avoid some of the stricter oversight required of lenders. That includes laws that protect consumers from high interest rates and regulations that require lenders to clearly disclose the interest rates consumers will face.

The effective interest rates charged by pension advance companies can be abusive, Cartwright said. But it is particularly “egregious” that the companies go after military retirees, targeting income streams that are backed by the federal government, he added.

Moore said that in hindsight he should have read the paperwork more closely. But at the time, he was worried about providing for his family.

His pension payments weren’t large enough to cover rent and electricity and other expenses for his wife and two children. Things piled on in the spring of 2014 when his car broke down.

Of course, this is just the latest example of average Americans being preyed upon as they descend further into inescapable poverty. Recall:

Use of Alternative Financial Services, Such as Payday Loans, Continues to Increase Despite the “Recovery”

The Oligarch Recovery – 30 Million Americans Have Tapped Retirement Savings Early in Last 12 Months

Another Tale from the Oligarch Recovery – How a $1,500 Sofa Costs $4,150 When You’re Poor

Thanks for playing suckers:

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 10.07.49 AM

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “U.S. Military Veterans Are Selling Their Pensions In Order To Pay The Bills – The Oligarch Recovery”

  1. James Says:

    A truly sad story.
    I never understood those payday loans or this pension loan crap. If you don’t have the money this week, what makes you think you will have it next week or month for the next 5 years??
    I understand that desperate people do desperate things, but come on guys. If your tapped out now you surely can’t add more debt on top of the current debt!:(

Leave a Reply