In 2009 Texas lawmakers attempted to impose reasonable regulations on companies that sell questionable or downright bogus financial products to elderly Texans. Under then Texas law, annuities with fixed maturity dates can be written so that no benefits are paid until a person reaches up to 115 years of age. To get out of the contract, the elderly citizens then face huge contract surrender charges. One 87-year-old woman, for example, complained to state regulators that she had been duped into signing a 14-year annuity contract, meaning the benefits wouldn’t kick in until age 101. Other complaint, which don’t list the names of the people who sent them in, speak of surrender charges as high as 18 percent. The chief enforcement officer at the Texas Department of Insurance, Catherine Reyer, said the lure of a big payday, from huge commissions, is driving much of the abuse. Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has open enforcement cases against Midland National Life Insurance Company and seven other insurance companies based on annuity sales and marketing, officials told The Associated Press. Midland National is part of the Sammons Financial Group and is affiliated with the North American Company for Life and Health and Midland Annuity. Midland National Life was lobbying the Texas lawmakers to enact these anti-consumer laws while the TDI had an open enforcement case against Midland National based on Midland’s annuity sales and marketing. An enforcement case is similar to other law enforcement investigations in that its focus is to determine whether Midland National has committed any criminal or administrative violations of Texas law. Since then Midland National has chosen to continue their questionable behavior. This year Midland National agreed to pay a $1.3 million fine in February as part of a settlement with the California Department of Insurance and further agreed to make reforms to its business practices after a probe showed Midland National was allegedly misleading senior citizens when selling annuities deemed inappropriate. This fine may have been a result of Midland National making a $31 million dollar payment last year as part of a settlement of a federal class action lawsuit in California that had alleged that Midland National had used deceptive sales practices in selling their products. Sammons, Midland National, and its sister company North American for Life and Health have paid settlements in many states over the past ten years as a result of their sales practices and the adverse effect it has had on the senior citizens that have purchased them. Midland National has given seniors something to think about if their agent offers them a Midland National Life product. .
This review (Midland National Life Insurance Company Review) was originally published at Holy Smoke !.
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