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Mont. Lawmakers Mull Viatical Investments

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The Montana Senate is considering S.B. 151, a bill that would affect efforts to sell interests in viatical settlements to investors.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Brueggeman, R-Polson, Mont., would impose disclosure requirements on companies and agents selling viatical-based investments to meet new disclosure requirements.

The bill would require that sellers describe the risks of investing in viatical settlements adequately, according to Montana State Auditor Monica Lindeen.

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Lindeen, who requested the bill, referred to viatical settlements as “death futures” and said she acted because she believes settlement-based investments expose investors to “a high risk of fraud.”

“Unless we take action now, we would be allowing ‘investors’ to purchase an interest in someone’s life insurance policy, allowing them to profit from the policyholder’s early demise,” Lindeen says.

The text of S.B. 151 can be found here.