Q. How can I find out more about policy premiums?
A. For additional information regarding policy premiums not answered in this section, please visit the Policy Billing Page by Clicking Here.
Q. Can I use the cash value in the policy to pay my premiums?
A. No Investors, either individually or collectively, will have access to the policy cash value (if any) for any purpose including the payment of premiums that come due.
Q. Is it possible that the face amount of the policy could change?
A. In certain instances, the face amount of the policy may actually decrease or the policy value could be lost completely so that you may lose all or part of your investment.
Q. Why doesn’t the Receiver continue to pay premiums until maturity for all policies kept by the investors?
A. The Court has ordered that the investors are responsible for paying the premiums on the policies to maintain their interests.
Q. According to my documents my premium is due but I have not received a bill. What should I do?
A. Please also note that the “Policies with Outstanding Billing Notices” link of the Policy Billing Page on the Receiver’s website hosts a listing of MBC policies, categorized by AP/CF policy number, date of mailing, and payment due dates for which invoices have been mailed to Investors. This listing is updated on a weekly basis. If an Investor does not receive their invoice within a reasonable period of time from the date of mailing, they should immediately contact the VSI Customer Service Department prior to the payment due date. You may reach this department by telephone (954) 582-0220 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM EST) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How long will I be obligated to pay the premiums on a kept policy?
A. Your obligation to pay the premiums and cost of administering the policy will continue until the policy matures, and the policy may not mature for many years.
Q. Could my premium increase?
A. Unless your policy is a whole-life policy, the annual premium costs could increase each year significantly until the policy matures, and there is no way to calculate how much those premiums could increase until the policy matures. For universal life policies, VSI, through the various insurance companies, has projected 5 years of level premiums (beginning 2007). After the 5 years have ended, a new projection will be illustrated.
Q. What happens if an investor on my policy fails to pay timely any premium due?
A. If at any time until the policy matures, you or any other investor retaining her interest in the policy fails to pay any premiums due, and the other investors don’t assume the premium payments, the policy may be sold, and if can’t be sold, it could be surrendered, and you could lose your entire investment. The non-paying investors would have forfeited their interest in the policy. The Receiver may offer the sale of fractional interests in Undersubscribed Keep Policies, or groups of such interest, for which the premium obligation has not been funded, to third parties, through an abbreviated auction process.
Q. How long will a delayed premium obligation be in effect?
A. There is no guarantee how long a delayed premium obligation will pay, or reduce the cost of, premium payments. It is estimated that the delayed premium obligation will end on either the later of MBC’s life expectancy date for the insured or the date any cash value in the policy is used up. That estimated premium start date was provided on your Policy Detail Sheet. If your policy is on premium waiver, you should refer to the footnote on your Policy Details Sheet.
Q. What can I expect to receive if my policy is sold?
A. The Sell Investors will recover from the $18,000,000 received for the sale of their policies, and so can expect to receive roughly 9% of their original investment amount.
Q. Is the status of the insureds being followed?
A. VSI continues to monitor the status of all insureds. Investors will be notified upon the submission of claims for death benefits.
Q. Why can’t I get current medical records for the insured? Will there be medical updates in the future?
A. The Receiver does not have current medical records and has no plans to obtain updated medical records. Based on past history, the cost of obtaining medical records is approximately $300 per insured each time records are requested, not including the cost of labor spent on this effort. With over 7,000 insureds, the costs of obtaining such medical records would be in excess of $2,000,000. This is an amount that the Receivership cannot afford. In addition, the medical records are confidential health information for the insureds that is protected by federal privacy statutes and regulations. Moreover, most of the insureds are not required to provide medical records and, based on past experience, are generally reluctant to do so. Based on past experience, despite whatever effort and monies are expended, Mutual Benefits Corporation is unlikely to receive updated medicals for 60% or more of the insureds.
Q. Is it possible that the policy could mature and we wouldn’t know?
A. In certain instances a viator cannot be located and the policy could mature without anyone’s knowledge. VSI puts forth its best effort to track all insureds. However, it is possible that an insured cannot be located or VSI not promptly be made aware of an insured’s death.
Q. Does VSI have to charge an administration fee?
A. It is very labor and time intensive to service policies and provide appropriate customer service. These services merit the fees charged. The fees charged by VSI are comparable to other companies in the industry. Please see Court Document dated June 18, 2008 to view the Receiver's Report to Investors About the Administrative Fees They Are Being Charged.
Q. What happens if the insurance company refuses to pay death benefits?
A. If the insurance company refuses to pay death benefits upon maturity, you may lose all or part of your investment.
Q. Is my investment lost? How much will I get back?
A. It is too early in the process to know what losses investors will face. Many of the policies may be worth far less than what you thought when you made an investment in them.
Q. My investment is stuck in the Receivership. May I take a tax write-off for the investment as a loss?
A. The Receiver is not able to provide investors tax advice.
Q. If an investor moves or changes his contact information, to whom and how should that be communicated?
A. Please provide any such changes to Viatical Services, Inc., 43 South Pompano Parkway, PMB#112, Pompano Beach, FL 33069, using the Change of Address Form accessible on the home page of this website. Investors may also contact VSI/Customer Service at (954) 582-0220 for assistance.
Q. I am an insured and my premium reimbursement is due. When will my check arrive?
A. The Receiver is making reimbursements to all insureds that are currently expecting checks. Please continue calling your case manager at VSI to ensure VSI is in receipt of all necessary paperwork (i.e., pay check stub, annuity statement).
Q. Should I get a lawyer?
A. Certainly you can always consult with your own counsel. As authorized by the Court, the Receiver will be investigating any potential claims or methods of recovery available to investors.
Q. My policy has matured. How long will it take to receive my death benefit check?
A. The process can take several months. However, you will receive interest on your share of the death benefit for the time between the death of the insured and the time that you receive your payment.
Q. I am a U.S. Investor. Will there be any tax withholding on my death benefit distribution?
A. No. After you furnish us with a U.S. Tax Identification number on your W-9, we are not required to withhold any funds from your death benefit distribution. You will, however, receive 1099s depicting your death benefit proceeds and interest income.
Q. I am a Foreign Investor. Will there be any tax withholding on my death benefit distribution?
A. Please be advised that, under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 1441 and 1442, death benefits and interest (paid by the insurance companies) to foreign persons will be subject to a 30% tax withholding. This tax will be deducted, and withheld from the gross distributions to investors and deposited with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). If you have claimed a tax treaty benefit on your W-8BEN and/or submitted a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number, you were still subject to the applicable 30% withholding rate. The amount of the withholding will be indicated on your check stub. Following the end of each calendar year, each foreign investor will be issued tax-reporting forms (IRS Form 1042-S).
Q. Can I find out if a specific policy has been sold?
A. Each investor with an interest in a policy that is going to be sold will be notified by the receiver when this process is to begin. Investors may also go to the website and view the August 9, 2007 link titled “Receiver’s Motion to Approve Sales of Policies & Incorporated Memorandum of Law with Exhibits” or the September 26, 2007 link entitled "Order Granting Receiver’s Motion to Approve Sales of Policies (“Bid 2,” Portfolios #1, 2 and 4)". The individual policies in each portfolio are listed toward the end of each document.
Q. What do I do if I am at the age that I need to take a mandatory distribution on my IRA, want to close my IRA account, or want to pay my invoices through my IRA account?
A. For any of these situations, you must contact the account custodian who manages your IRA.
Q. Why is the Receiver charging me for Premiums from 2006 and as far into the future as 2009?
A. The Receiver began paying premiums on the policies on June 30, 2006. In some cases the investors must reimburse the Receiver for premiums advanced to keep the policies from lapsing. Future premiums billed are based on the policy anniversary date which could require payments into 2009.
Q. I was not supposed to have to pay premiums on the policy until the life expectancy date was met. Why am I receiving an invoice for this policy before the life expectancy date has arrived?
A. The Receivership must invoice the investors for the premiums on the policy in advance so that we are able to pay the insurance company the premium due in a timely fashion. Keeping in mind that the Receiver is paying the premium on the policy for the period of time before the life expectancy date is met, the invoice may show a period of time before the life expectancy date but the invoice is pro-rated so that investors are only paying the premium for the period of time after the life expectancy date has passed.
Q. What can I expect from the Claims process?
A. The Judge ruled on October 21, 2008 that all investor claimants recover pro rata from the general "asset recoveries" funds. Assuming total claims of about $774,000,000 and assets distributed to all claimants of, at present, about $74,000,000, the amount received on the claims should be roughly 10% of the original invested amount. The precise amounts, of course, are entirely dependent on the final plan of distribution and the final amounts available for distribution.
Q. When can I expect to receive these funds?
A. The Receiver's goal, subject to any unexpected difficulties is certainly to have the distribution completed in 2009, and ideally in early 2009.
Q. What were the results of the Court hearing held on October 21, 2008?
A. You can view the results of this Court hearing under the Court Documents section of the website. The date of this entry is October 23, 2008.
We recommend that you periodically check the website: www.mbcreceiver.com or the Frequently Asked Questions page as both will be frequently updated as new information becomes available.