I'm working at a call center for various legal matters right now. One of my cases is a really huge and clusterfucked bankruptcy
The tl;dr is that the company, Life Partners, bought out people's life insurance policies, giving them cash while they were still living, and then sold interests in those policies to investors. So investors pay x dollars for stake in this policy plus ongoing premium payments
and then when the insured croaks, the investors collect their portion of benefit.
This, of course, fell to shit as people refused to die and the premiums plus the initial investment began to vastly exceed the unmatured benefits. Sooo...people realizing they had bought a lemon would occasionally abandon the policies which was fine for them, except several people had interest in the policies, so if this person stops paying premiums, that person either has to make up the shortfall or abandon their interest as well.
Blah-blah-blah, something, something, SEC, stiff fines, CEO and Board of Directors removed, Chapter 11, widespread fraud, etc, etc. Hail Eris.
Writing it like that it's almost funny. Talking to investors daily, though, is starting to break my feels pretty hard. There are some straight assholes who call up just to yell at me because their insureds haven't died as promised. There are savvy people who are cool enough to talk to, except they're often working me to try to get info I'm not dumb enough to give (I'm a neutral who is very well trained at avoiding unauthorized practice of law). Lawyers, who are a breeze. And here and there some real heartbreakers.
...the worst heartbreaker (so far) is the reason why I had to vent here.
The deadline to file a claim is September 1. It has to be in our hands by then or...fuck you. I'm talking to a man who has interests in several policies (likely puts his total unmatured claim in the 6 figures). He's asking me to explain what's happening in laymen's terms. I have an easy lay answer for that--that's something only a lawyer can do for you. He's not hearing that. Nor is he hearing that "claim" in bankruptcy terms is different than "claim" in law-suit terms, so he thinks that filing a claim means he's trying to sue the company, and he doesn't want to do that, so he figures no response is necessary on his part.
He keeps asking me over and over if he does nothing by the first, will he cease "owning" this investment on the second. The simple answer to that is yes. The ethical, responsible, legal
, answer to that is, "blah-blah-blah, forever barred from making any future claim, blah-blah-blah. ASK A LAWYER
." I tried everything short of breaking UPL to get this guy to hear that he is misunderstanding something pretty severely and the implications could be a total loss. Usually "talk to a lawyer" is a funny game I play with more savvy people who are trying to get me to say something I'm not going to say. With him it was me practically begging him not to walk off a cliff. I honestly went deeper into gray area than I really should have (cherry picking bits of definitions, making a "hypothetical" argument, pleading tone, leading statements), but in the end...nothing.
I don't know why I'm this fucked up over a fool and his money. Maybe it's principle or something. Maybe it's every slightly shady trick I have in my playbook still fell short. Maybe it's thinking about my own Mom's vulnerability as she gets older and less aware. I don't know. But I am fucked up over it.