How can a business that seems to be legit use such deceptive practices to land a leasing client and nothing gets done to stop it? I'm referring to the $1 payoff promise that LFCI and 5 Point Capital account executives verbally make to their clients. They later sell these leases to places like Pentech who ruthlessly and intentionally rape clients for everything they can get with inflated charges and court judgements.
Do not ever sign anything with any of these companies!
That "you own this at the end" promise is the hook to get the trusting customer to sign the paperwork. I just discovered a dozen or so postings from irate former clients of Five Point and LFCI which all state the same thing. The scam appears to go back to 2007 so the 5 year leases they scammed on hard working people are coming due now. They promise you a $1 buyout and/or ownership of the equipment after five years.
What actually happens is you either discover through billings that don't stop that it's actually a perpetually renewing lease and you do not own the equipment as they promised verbally OR they give you a payoff quote, assure you verbally the lease is over, then about 6 months later. during which time you think it's over and that you're paid in full, you receive a lease bill of accumulated interest and payments of about $4,000. You think it's a mistake but it's not. Fail to pay it and they sue you from California for the equipment, lease payments etc. and adding in lawyer's fees totaling $150,000 or so and, in every case court order I saw, the judge appears to gives them a win every time, no doubt bankrupting and financially crippling the client.
The trusting customers of five points and LFCI were all promised to be able to purchase the equipment they leased for $1 per unit at the end of the long and costly lease period only to find out the lease period was going to continue for another year, then another and there was no $1 payoff written into the agreement anywhere.
I fell for this scam as well and am trying to fight bankruptcy and losing many years of everything I worked for. Glad to see you all posted/e-mailed your account of this fraud. It will help to prove in court their deceptive business practice. Hopefully there will be a nice refund sent out to all the former clients and the owners will be held accountable.
There is a campaign on Facebook to unite people who were scammed to expose these con artists as well as others who want to join. I've been told one person who joined the fight is a lawyer working out of Washingtom who's boyfriend works for the Dept. of Justice and is preparing an indictment against LFCI, Five Points, Pentech Leasing and other affiliates that participated in this.
From what I gather, we're talking federal marshals raiding their offices, seizing computers and documents and taking the owners out in handcuffs followed by the long prison times they so richly deserve. I anticipate that there will be a class action lawsuit as well.
If yor lease with one of these fraudsters is coming to what you thought was the end and you were promised you'd own the equipment, keep all records you can and when these crooks attempt to repo the equipment, continue billing, give false payoffs then continue billing, file court cases, etc. it's all evidence. Make copies of everything, record phone calls if legal in your state, and start a claim with the attorney general's offices in all states they have offices, send evidence to the D.O.J. BBB, post the truth about them online, send press releases to media, etc. Even though the deception was verbal once the attorney general's office of consumer affairs sees a clear pattern of deceptive sales practices from enough complaintants, they'll act. And these owners, officers and employees can do some prison time and see what it feels like to lose everything they scammed so long and hard for!