Monday, July 27, 2015

A Tangled Web Update

A few months ago, we posted on the strange case of the elderly housekeeper and the $1 million life insurance policy. At the time, we wondered how she was able to qualify for that much coverage given her apparently meager income.

More information has come to light that (perhaps) explains the apparent discrepancy.

According to her family's lawyer, Ms Fox "was not some poor, desolate little lady ... Her husband owned and operated mobile homes and RV parks and developed them. They had a pretty substantial income and made some pretty good money selling those.”

And then there's this:

In 2013, Mark Buckland (Mrs Fox's son-in-law) called the agent who wrote the policies [ed: yes, "policies" - told you this was a convoluted situation], and asked about converting them from term pans to whole life. When he was told that the total monthly premiums for such a conversion was north of $6,000 (yes, that's thousands) he took a pass.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's his next move that's, um, interesting:

Allegedly, the agent (Charles Mercier),  "suggested entering into a plan where a third party invested in one of the converted policies so that they could share the benefits when the policy paid out ... that transferring one of the policies to a third party was “legal and done all the time.”

Um, no, it's not, and these kinds of "arrangements" have come under increasing scrutiny. Add to that the fact that Mercier wasn't even licensed to facilitate such a deal, and one has the makings of quite the kerfluffle.

Meantime, the beneficiaries are suing the carriers to try to collect on the policies.

Ellery Queen fans should definitely read the whole piece.
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