Lining Up to Steal Your Pension
men and women are fighting and dying in
Well, not exactly.
One group of Americans is preying on some of our veterans – the ones lucky enough to have survived their wars, the ones who are now settled back in the states with their families and friends.
In 2003, nearly 1.7 million veterans received approximately $33 billion in retirement pensions from the federal government. These are the good people being targeted by these creeps.
retired Sgt. Kevin D. Jones, for example. The
New York Times reported on
Do the math: The total cost to Jones was $60,000 – the equivalent of an annual percentage rate of 56 percent.
When Jones had paid $26,000 to C & A by allotment, he instructed the Pentagon to cease making these payments. C & A promptly sued him, as they did for every other veteran who followed Jones’ example.
Make no mistake about it: These loans are illegal, since it is against the law for veterans to assign their pension benefits. These companies get around the law by characterizing their loans as “pension advances,” for which they purchase a “stream of payments,” according to Leif J. Grazi, a lawyer for C & A.
C & A claims it no longer is making these loans, because they have not been especially profitable. Since the company has not yet been audited, there is no way to reconcile this statement with the fact that the loans in question earn the company a whopping 50 percent or more on their outstanding money.
The Pentagon has not come down on either side of the argument, apparently preferring to let things sort themselves out in the courts. This means that right now, when a veteran submits an allotment request for payment of his or her pension directly to a financial firm, the Pentagon complies without question.
The Bankruptcy Courts have been helpful in solving some of these matters. According to the Times, Bankruptcy Judge Brandt wrote in a recent decision, “in the words of Gabby Hayes, ‘Sayin’ it don't make it so.’ ”
parasites still prey on the unsuspecting veteran, such as Carl Bachmann’s
But his interest rates are just as outrageous as are C & A’s, and his clients still assign their pension payments to his company by allotments.
According to Steven P. Covey, a managing member of Structured Investments Company, their operation through Retired Military Financial Services is different, because they offer much lower rates.
After a careful examination of the Retired Military Financial Services website, I could find no mention of interest rates, but it appears to be between 30 and 45 percent – which, I guess, is lower than C & A’s rate. On the other hand, their website is set up to make the deal appear as attractive as possible, and appeals especially to the veteran who is not so well educated.
All of these firms advertise in “trusted” publications like Army Times or Navy Times. They use names that engender trust, and try to push every patriotic button they can to entice the unwary veteran to get his or her retirement money early, right now, immediately.
By walking the fine line between the legal and illegal, these firms manage to survive and grow fat with profits wrenched from the lives of unwitting veterans, who perhaps should know better, but are duped by a venue of “trust and compassion,” and then are taken for everything these maggots can get.