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Mass. Seeks Settlement Data

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Massachusetts is asking a Canadian rating agency to explain how it grades life settlement securitization deals.

The state has concerns about the impression that bundling life insurance policies to create an investment “closely parallels the subprime mortgage market and subsequent meltdown,” Carol Anne Foehl writes in a letter to Daniel Curry, president of DBRS Ltd., Toronto.

Foehl is a staff attorney in the enforcement section of the Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth’s office.

Foehl refers in the letter to Massachusetts’ past problems with life settlement deals, including legal actions Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin brought against advisors who allegedly had used fraudulent means to induce seniors to buy and sell life policies.

Foehl asks DBRS to explain how it establishes a rating for a life settlement securitization transaction and how it is paid for ratings by Oct. 7.

DBRS representatives were not immediately available to comment on the letter.