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  • Report: #322929

Complaint Review: United Financial Systems-Boca Raton, FL

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  • Submitted: Tue, April 01, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, January 25, 2011

  • Reported By:Peyton Colorado
United Financial Systems-Boca Raton, FL
23123 State Rd. 7 Suite 340 Boca Raton, Florida U.S.A.

United Financial Systems- Boca Raton, FL Dishonest debt management company ruined my credit. Boca Raton Florida

*Consumer Comment: Seems Disgruntled has it right

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Resolved

*Consumer Comment: I have been wronged by this Company

*UPDATE Employee: Response to #6, My Exact Experience!!

*Consumer Comment: Jamie Lyons/UFS excellent customer service

*Consumer Comment: MY EXACT EXPERIENCE!!

*Consumer Suggestion: Chilling speech

*UPDATE Employee: Disgruntled Ex-employee

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Anyone thinking about joining or working for United Financial Systems should read.

*UPDATE Employee: Complaint Resolved

*Author of original report: United Finacial Services

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I was struggling with my credit card debt and just paying the minimums, but paying them on time. I heard this companies add on the radio and gave them call. The rep, Al, that I spoke to said that he lower all my interest rates by negotiaing with my credit card companies and have me debt free within 48 months. United financial systems would debit my bank acount for a "proposed" amount of $490 each month and pay all my credit cards. They tell you that the first payment is for their fee but will be refunded at the end of the program, if you complete it. Al also told me that my creditors may take a while to set up so dont be alarmed if I should get some calls from my creditors about late payments while the proposals are being processed. What they dont tell you, is that the program does not pay over ther limit or late fees and that you are expected to keep paying your credit card payments for the 30-60 days while the proposals are being negotiated! So United Finacial Sytems debits my bank account on the 20th of March for $490 a week after I fax their application to the company. They call me on the 29th to verify an account number and I find out that they didn't even send the proposals out until the 28th of March. At this point, I tell the rep from UFS that my credit card payments are due and ask weather or not I should let them know that I am in a debt consolidation program. She tells me that I need to continue making payments for up to 2 months while the propsals are being negatiated with credit card companies! So, now that they have taken the $490 from my account I dont have the money to make my credit card payments. Tell me, how many people applying for debt consolidation can afford to make double monthly payments on there cards for 2 months?!! So now my credit cards will soon be 30 days late and reporting to the credit agencies, with late fees and over the limit fees piling up. I had never missed a payment until I signed up with this program. Also dont be fooled into thinking that the smooth talking sales rep that tells you that "he will be handling your account" and gives you his phone extension will do anything other than talk you into signing up for this scam. After you sign the application and fax it off, he hands your account off to "client services". which means that whoever answers the phone after holding for 10-30 minutes is in charge of your account. Before I signed up with UFS I was in debt but making payments on time and maintaining my credit. Thanks to UFS my credit will soon be ruined. I am disgusted with this company.

Steve
Peyton, Colorado
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/01/2008 04:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/United-Financial-Systems-Boca-Raton-FL/Boca-Raton-Florida-33428/United-Financial-Systems-Boca-Raton-FL-Dishonest-debt-management-company-ruined-my-credi-322929. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 10Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Seems Disgruntled has it right

AUTHOR: Disgruntled Customer - (United States of America)

Seeing that I have lived through the horror that is UFS customer service, I find that the comments by the ex-employee mirror my experience with trying to get issues resolved. Everything this person said with regards to trying to get payments posted to my creditors is what I experienced on more than one occasion.

UFS finally stopped even trying to be responsive. They would not respond to voicemails, emails, or letters. Finally, after a month of no communication they dangle this settlement in front of you. Once you sign, and they make their "promise" to get you the funds "in 48-72 hours", you fall back into the non-responsive limbo.

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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Resolved

AUTHOR: Maury - (United States of America)

United Financial System is, or has resolved all issue to my commitments.

Thank You

Maury

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#3 Consumer Comment

I have been wronged by this Company

AUTHOR: Maury - (United States of America)

I can't speak for the other comments... However I can comment on my wife & Is experience.

As of Ocotber 1st this company as $2755.00 of our money. We have been with this program since May 1 2009. We have had nothing but problems with them ever sense. We have cancelled this program with them as of now. They have not paid any of our creditors as of October 1st 2010.  They religiously, drafted our account on the 1st of every month and were told when to make out dues dates, and they still continued to pay our account late. There were a couple months they would pay on time, but then go back to being late. There is so much more, I could tell about this company.

 This is just sad any more you cant trust companies and/or get help when having problems with companies.

Maury

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#4 UPDATE Employee

Response to #6, My Exact Experience!!

AUTHOR: Erica - (U.S.A.)

Since we no way of ascertaining who this client is, we cannot address with any specificity, any of the claims asserted. However, this Company provides a valuable service and has thousands of satisfied clients. Regarding the increase in monthly payments, we cannot guarantee any monthly payment amounts to creditors, only an estimation, when we are setting someone up on a debt management plan. We send proposals to each enrolled creditor, and the creditors alone dictate what payment amount will be acceptable; it is 100% out of our control.

We welcome the opportunity to address this client's concerns, they need only call in and speak with Jaime Lyons.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Jamie Lyons/UFS excellent customer service

AUTHOR: ejn65 - (United States of America)

I am absolutely disgusted with these horror stories about united financial systems and Jamie Lyons.  I was enrolled with this program with a pile of debt after a divorce and could not pay my debt on time.  I was experiencing like most people excessive late payments and over the limit fees.  when i was first introduced to UFS Jaime Lyons was my first experience.  Let me tell you all something, she was a very competent and reliable resource of this company.  My experience and what I have read over the years as to other customer bad experiences is relative to your participation and ability and willingness to follow directions as well as your personal responsibilities.  We all have reasons and excuses for the debt that we accumulate.  When it comes down to the truth the individual is responsible for the debt to your name.  Its very easy and convenient to blame others when things don't go your way.

Jamie and UFS was a positive experience for me. She and her staff handled my debt reduction with professionalism and expertise.  There were many occasions when I was in jeopardy of falling behind and out of the program.  If it was not for Jaime's personal attention and relationship with my creditors I would have been in a lot of trouble.  About six months ago after 52 months in the program my debt is completely gone.  I couldn't have done it without Jamie and UFS.  I forever grateful for her personal involvement.  Anytime I had a problem I would call and leave her a voice mail.  Like any other business professional she couldn't always get back to me right away.  After all, I'm not her only client!!!!  However, she always, always handles my request and followed up.

In the future before you are so quick to blame someone for your personal failures you might want to look in the mirror first.  I know what my payments were and I watched my statements. These people didn't get rich off of my debt consolidation, and they are constantly challenged everyday dealing with individuals that have proven they can be unreliable.  Thus they are here asking for their help.

I made some huge financial mistakes in my past and I have wasted a lot of time and money.  You may not have perfect credit after using any debt consolidation firm, but it was better than bankruptcy.  Everyday I work hard to make decisions that I know can affect my credit in the future.  Its a future I have a chance at because of Jamie and UFS. 

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#6 Consumer Comment

MY EXACT EXPERIENCE!!

AUTHOR: kimber919 - (United States of America)

I feel compelled to reply as my experience with UFS has been nearly exactly as the original poster has stated.  I began the program Dec 2007, and my credit report shows late payments on all of my cards through April 2008.  Also...the ex-employee was exactly right as my experience has followed this description almost to a "T"!!   They quoted me initially and kept calling me back needing just a little more, a little more, a little more.  Soon my payment amount was substantially higher than origianlly stated.   They already had my initial "early/pre-payment" by this time, so I felt stuck as my monthly payment kept rising.  My credit scores plummeted during the initial 3-4 months that the program was being initiated.  And, to top it off, I've recently checked my scores and for some reason payments are again being shown as 30 days late on many of the accounts, and this is after 2 years on the program.  I have also found that one particular card has been reported as consistently 30-120 days late the ENTIRE time!!!!!  I thought this entire time, I was rebuilding my credit with timely payments, only to find out my scores will not recover for a long time! 

BEWARE!!  This company is running a complete scam.  I'm planning on sucking it up & asking my parents for a loan to pay off my remaining balance.  I don't want this company to get another penny of my money, or ruin my credit any further.  I'm not going to 'threaten' the BBB, I WILL report them.  Their practices are unethical & deplorable.  I'm sickened that I fell for their slick sales act.

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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Chilling speech

AUTHOR: Stile - (U.S.A.)

I'm disturbed by the UFS representative attempting to chill the speech of a former employee by suggesting that they're in violation of a non-disclosure agreement. If the employee has criticisms of their former employer then they should be aired and if necessary rebutted. The solution to speech you dislike is more speech.

One generally has to be very careful with debt consolidation or credit counseling services. UFS is a non-profit, which means they are legitimate, and the fact that they've resolved this with the consumer is certainly another positive indicator, but there are many shady debt consolidation companies out there most of which are for-profit companies.

The for-profits work by setting up a payment program whereby they take a fixed amount every month but rather than paying your creditors they allow your accounts to go into default. Once the accounts are more than 90 days overdrawn they make settlement offers on the accounts. So you might have had $10K in debt originally which they set up on a payment plan for $8K, but for which the creditors ultimately take $5K (figuring that half is better than nothing) and the company pockets the other $3K in profit. In the meantime, however, the debtor's credit is irreparably damaged.

Again, this doesn't appear to be the way that UFS is operating, just an admonition to really research the companies you're dealing with particularly with the economy in its current state.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Disgruntled Ex-employee

AUTHOR: Erica - (U.S.A.)

The foregoing was authored by a disgruntled ex-employee who is upset over his or her termination. United Financial Systems has thousands of clients nationwide who are extremely satisfied with our services. We have thousands more who have completed the program and are not only debt free, but educated on how to avoid the pitfalls that caused their financial problems in the first place.

Moreover, the statements made regarding the individuals named in his/her complaint were personal attacks, again made by a disgruntled ex-employee. United Financial Systems appreciates the opportunity and the forum to rebut these statements, and advises the author that any further commentary may be deemed a violation of the Non-Disclosure Agreement signed at the inception of their employment at United Financial Systems.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Anyone thinking about joining or working for United Financial Systems should read.

AUTHOR: Bbb - (U.S.A.)

I am an ex-employee of United Financial Systems. The reason I am posting on this website is to make the general public aware of how this company works. I've worked for United Financial Systems for about a year and I have left there disgusted by how they treat their customers and employees. There are two sides to the company; sales (enrollment) and customer service. I worked in the customer service area, so I am really familiar with both the customer satisfaction, or lack thereof, and the company's policies.

First off, before a customer would even be allowed to talk to a customer service rep, they would have to be connected to enrollment. The reason being is because the customer service reps are the ones who "clean up" the mess of customer disgust and frustration after the enrollment agents get done selling the program to them, which is basically the agent lying about every detail of the program. The reason they are allowed to do this is for many, but the main 3 being: 1. Once they debit a customers account, by contract, the first payment is often times held until "successful completion", meaning cancellation forfeits the first debit, which is usually on average between $500-$1000. So after 2 weeks to a month, when the customer is being bombarded by collection calls, when they see no payments posting with the creditors, when they are being taken to court because one of the agents didn't clearly explain that once a card is charged off, there are no benefits of having it on the program, they call customer service to cancel, but then there's that little part in their contract (that usually is not gone over while being enrolled) that states if they cancel they loose their first payment). That's where customer service cleans up enrollments mess. At that point either 2 things happen: 1. the customer is forced to stay in the program and swallow down their pride and frustration or 2. they say "BBB". Those my friends, are the magic words at United Financial Systems, "BBB". If you say those words and mean them it cripples United Financial into submission. Usually they end up giving only part of the first payment back, but it works. If someone really tried hard enough with a possible BBB complaint there is no doubt in my mind that they could surely get their whole first payment back.

Now in regards to what I mentioned above, there are some clients who are not set up on a "cash back award". Those clients DO NOT forfeit payment if they cancel, but they loose the bank fee that comes with the debit. Also if they money has already gone out to the creditor, it is too late to refund the check. If we they can refund the payment, it will be returned to the client via snail mail. Now, you think we'll that might take at most 3 business days to arrive? I would think so! but that's not the case. Often times when there is a refund going out or a cash back award check, it doesn't go out at all! What ends up happening is the client calls in after about 2 weeks of waiting and calling cust service, and then FINALLY gets to talk to Jaime Lyons (office manager) or a rep that has spoken to Jaime, The client is then informed the check will go out right away. After about 3 days of waiting the client will call back with no check in hand, they will often times speak with Jaime directly ( and for the clients out there who request a manager and don't get one, or get voicemail, it is because Jaime YELLS at her own reps for simply informing her there is a client on the phone concerned about their refund, so the cust service reps have some sort of sick fear instilled by Jaime, so clients, don't take things out on reps all the time! it is not their fault sometimes!) Jaime then says "oh, I don't know what happened, but I will fed-ex it overnight right away, like she is doing them some kind of favor, it is sick to me. And then the clients usually get their refund, but the process is frustrating to say the least.

Now, if a customer files a BBB complaint, Jaime(office manager) has to tell Christopher Boulahanis (owner), he usually throws stuff against the way and yells curse words and nasty language that can be heard throughout the office. Jaime pretends to cry and usually fires an innocent customer service rep; blaming the BBB complaint on them, when it is usually caused by managers not wanting to take Supervisor calls, or by cash back award checks not being received when promised by Jaime Lyons. again, I have never experienced such behavior while working for a company.

Lets move on. Now, once a person is in the program, if they can get past the first month without problems(which is rare) then it should be smooth sailing, right? HA! Not even close. Now all debt management programs work the same exact way. The debt management company has to send out a "proposal" (which is basically a sheet saying "we are a debt management company, we will offer X amount of dollars a month") to the creditors. The enrollment agents often times neglect to explain that part of the program to the clients, and never explain that it TAKES 30-60 days for a response to the proposal! and get this, THEY CAN DECLINE IT! If a creditor declines the proposal (which happens ALL the time because the enrollment agents UNDER QUOTE the clients monthly payment, so it seems smaller to the client!) , so if a creditor declines a proposal it takes ANOTHER 30-60 days to hear back from them, but get this; If UFS receives a declined proposal from the creditor, they usually DO NOT inform the client of it, so it sits there and sits there and sits there until one of two things happen: 1. The client calls in (which is usually the case) upset because the creditors are calling them and are advising they haven't received a new proposal or 2. The creditor sends the client a letter in the mail, causing them to call in and say "whats going on".

There's even more! I know it is a lot!

OK. SO, after the proposal process, which takes a bit of a long time if you have been reading, the customer should be set up, ready to go, no problems, smooth sailing, right again? WRONG! United Financial has to make their money, keep the lights on too, right? But how do they do that if they are non-profit? Well, there is "fair-share", which is something that NO ONE is allowed to talk about to the clients. Fair-share is "kick back" UFS gets from the creidtors, lets say a monthly payment to a creditor is $30, well, we tell clients all $30 goes to the creditor, it even posts as $30, but what you dont know is that $5 of that is going into UFS's pocket. Imagine that small amount happening on thousdands of accounts a month! we'll you get the picture. Anyway, Once United Financial Systems debits a customers account, they say the funds take 3 business days to clear. After the 3 business days they tell ALL clients the payments go out RIGHT AWAY and takes 7-10 business days to post, which comes out to about 15 normal days. For the last 5 months of working at United Financial Systems the payments were taking OVER 30 DAYS TO POST! There is many many many things wrong with this. 1. Once a payment goes out electronically ( thats how most payments to creditors are set up) it only takes 3 business days to post (note: I am stating this based on knowledge given to me by creditors directly stating to me that elec debt management payments should not take 3 business days to post, and if there is a problem with elec payment they say they need to be informed of it). But where does the money sit for the 7-10 business days it normally takes?, or the 30 days it has been taking? I don't feel I need to elaborate, I think by now you get the idea. How does UFS get away with this you ask? They train customer service reps to lie. I know, its a shock, and its wrong, but hey, we need to keep our own lights on too. Even though it is blatantly obvious that there is something wrong, we are told to say "there was an issue with the electronic payments" or " I don't know why the creditors haven't posted the payments yet", yet we use to be allowed to call UFS's accounting department to ask days after we tell the client the payment went out, if the payment actually went out , because when it does go out it takes 2-3 days to post. So while United Financial Systems is lying about their clients money, the customer receives a nice letter in the mail "We are sorry to inform you that you have been removed from the Debt program due to missed payments. Your interest rate will go back to the default..ect"... dropped from the program, for what? really, for what? You made your payments on time, you cared about your credit, now its ruined, for what? It makes me sick.

People have the right to know who they are dealing with!

Thank you for reading.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

Complaint Resolved

AUTHOR: Erica - (U.S.A.)

The above complaint was resolved and the Client remains on our Program.
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#11 Author of original report

United Finacial Services

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

After learning of my displeasure with their program, UFS has agreed to refund my initial payment. The gerneral council at UFS was very courteous and offered to refund my payment to help me stay current on my credit card bills. Upon reciept of the payment my experience with UFS will be generally favorable.
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