Timothy V Johnson

Life settlements present a murky alternative to stocks, bonds

PITTSBURGH _ Shortly after Earl and Dora Zissner decided to invest in an obscure corner of the insurance industry in which people who need to raise money sell their life insurance policies at a discount to investors who will reap a profit when they die, the suburban Pittsburgh couple received confirmation that their purchase was complete.tmpplchld "I am pleased to inform you that we have concluded the purchase of the (insured's name) policy on your behalf ...," said the letter dated June 16, 2000, from Life Partners Inc. "As soon as we are notified of the demise of (insured's name), the escrow agent, Sterling Trust Co., will make application for the payment of the death...