• Report: #976408
Complaint Review:

Investors United School of Real Estate

  • Submitted: Fri, November 30, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, November 30, 2012

  • Reported By: Tony — Washington Washington DC United States of America
Investors United School of Real Estate
6721 Harford Road Baltimore, Maryland United States of America

Investors United School of Real Estate Investors United is United ONLY to Con You and Take Your Money Baltimore, Maryland

*UPDATE Employee: To the Reader of This Complaint et.al.

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If you don't want to read all of this, just go to Maryland Case Search, and look up the HUNDREDS of former Students that Plaintiffs Charles and Ian Parrish - and Investors United - have sued and collected on after they stopped payments! DO NOT BELIEVE THEIR HOMESPUN HUMOR AND HYPE! PLEASE RUN!

I came to an Open House 2 years ago. I was told, over and over agsin, that I could 'EARN WHILE YOU LEARN' at this school. I had been laid off from my Computer Center job, and was tired of submitting resumes and waiting for new opportunities. Charles and Ian Parrish convinced me - and about 10 others who signed up that night -

That if we just listened to him, followed the curriculum, made the calls, mailed the  letters/postcards, followed the classifieds, went to the courthouse for records, talked to landlords, let friends and family know what we were doing, and walked the streets of certain (bad) neighborhoods, we would find:

Deals on foreclosed homes, people looking to sell older or run-down homes, or estate properties, or fixer-uppers, or investment commercial properties, or apartment buildings or short sales, or probate homes, etc.

I had about $25,000 in the bank (life savings!) took my savings, made a $3000 down payment, and began the classes. I went at this full-time, deciding to take 12 months off from working (no biggie - Between jobs anyway!) and dived into everything available at the school. Suffice to say, after folllowing all of the steps above, and walking neighborhoods that I may not return from, and Begging for help from the Parrishes, (whose promised coaching and counseling turned into, 'You're just not doing enough!'), I did not get anymore than a couple of 'encouraging nibbles' that never panned out! And of the nine others who joined with me that night, only ONE ever closed a deal on a decrepit house in North Baltimore that he WAS UNABLE TO SELL! (He eventually let it be foreclosed on!)

All the other 'nibbles' that we had were FOLLOWED UP BY THE MASTERMIND GROUP. It turns out that we 'Students' were used to FEED into the Parrishes, School 'Instructors', and 'Mentors', who skimmed anything off the deals, secretly closed other deals with prospects, or insisted on 'sharing'  (up to 75%!)of any commission of the few deals that the other 40 students in my class came across in the year that I gave them. I attended almost every class, I went to their auctions, I met and paid 'instructors' for side sessions, I went broke mailing postcards, placing ads, running down landlords, digging thru court records, calling people, meeting people, making repeated offers that went nowhere. Allthe while, Charles and Ian Parrish and their 'cronies' skimmed the 'cream' off of any viable deals we presented and closed them for themselves. (Don't believe me? look it up - they own 'Hundreds' of homes between them.

Oh, and look up the name Parrish, because tyhey like to put them in their wives, kids and family names!). They GUARANTEED you would succeed, or they would give you your money back! Turns out, if you miss ONE CLASS in a year, or fail to turn in a 2-page, typed, double-spaced report on my opinions of EACH CLASS, your guarantee is VOID. They created 'skinny contracts' to get sellers to sign quick (two-page sale contracts that turned out to be void in Maryland without the necessary disclosures, lead-paint forms and regulations that the state requires!), they taught us to lie through our teeth and misrepresent our intent, our roles and our agreements with potential sellers. They had us con potential buyers, but luckily, (!?!), we never got any homes close enough to actually dump on prospective buyers or contractors!

Earn while you learn? After 15 months of late bills, broken promises, and chasing pipe dreams, I went back to my 'day job', and was lucky to find a job back in my field of computer operations - at less pay than before, of course! I informed the Parrishes that I could no longer make the $385 monthly payments, and would not work with them anymore, as I almost lost MY OWN HOUSE to foreclosure! I tried to move on and forget this horrible nightmare, but it came back again to haunt me:

To add Insult to Injury, Charles and Ian Parrish took me to court and sued me for $13,000 still owed to them for their 'Valuable Classes'. They won the judgment and raided my bank account for the $4,000 that I had left, and put a negative balance of $9,000 on my account. Now I cannot keep a bank account, because they will track it down and put a lien on it - happened twice! - and took everything in my accounts. All the while, they were assuring me thst I could come back to the school and take more classes - for free! (Whoopee!) My credit is ruined, I cannot have a bank account, my own home is pending a loan modification, but I cannot pursue, because I do not have a bank account in my name.

Moral of the story: Don't BUY THEIR BULL. I had 'classmates' who lost homes, and lost hope - all the time listening to Charles and Ian Parrish tell you that they don't have time for you, but you have got to do more! I tried every method they taught - diligently and for 10 to 12 hours a day, even on weekends,  andnever got a serious offer, while the Parrishes and their 'Instructor" cronies closed our deals left and right - FOR THEMSELVES! Don't get involved with these Shysters, they will feed you BULL and TAKE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!! Please, don't continue to let these CON ARTISTS take you for a ONE-YEAR RIDE!!!!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/30/2012 09:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/investors-united-school-of-real-estate/baltimore-maryland-21234/investors-united-school-of-real-estate-investors-united-is-united-only-to-con-you-and-tak-976408. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

To the Reader of This Complaint et.al.

AUTHOR: Christopher - ()

First, thank you for reading this response.  The directors of our school are, frankly, tired of having our reputations attacked in this forum using baseless accusations and half-truths.

We wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment (if not the facts) expressed in this complaint; more knowledge is always better than less knowledge.  For example, we strongly urge the readers of Rip-Off Report to visit the Wikipedia entry on this site, which accurately states that Rip-Off Reports overseers classify it as a forum, and are therefore not subject to the fact-checking requirements that more legitimate organizations use. 

Readers may also note the quasi-extortionate nature of the sites policy to charge fees for the arbitration of supposed complaints, many of which would never be published anywhere but on Rip-Off Report.  If, for instance Tony had a complaint with any merit whatsoever, why didnt he pursue it through the Better Business Bureau?  Perhaps our A+ rating with that organization, and the fact that he might have to verify his claims, made him pause and seek redress using an outlet where no one bothers to let reality intrude on a good tantrum.

Still, Id like to address a few of the half-truths contained in this complaint.  First, in the over 30-year history of our school, the Maryland Judiciary records 161 case filings involving us.  Few educational institutions of our age have that small a number, especially when you take into consideration that many of those filings are repetitious (re-filings and case modifications).  During that time, our school has been a defendant in exactly 3 cases.  None resulted in judgments against us.

Tony was at least right on one count; were the plaintiff in all the rest of those cases, which stretch over the course of at least the last decade.  70 or so of those filings involving about 30 defendants (including, apparently Tony) are still active.  Most of those cases have arisen sadly - not from the desire to pursue the schools tuition at all cost, but from the desire to give students the longest possible time to pay it back.  A few years ago, the directors of the school started a four-year repayment structure to allow people of limited means to benefit from our full program.  So, having received our one year education, some of the people making four-year payments simply decided to stop paying for it.

By the way, because we were being taken advantage of, we had to end the longer payment structure; everyone can thank Tony and the other defendants for that one, because Tony is just one of the half a million people who default on financial aid repayments every year.  Since schools like ours dont have government-protected loan systems, we are forced to rely on the slow grind of the courts.

Further on in his complaint, Tony attacks our guarantee, and the fact that we offer our classes and our mentorship to everyone who enrolls in our program until they earn back at least their tuition.  Im not sure how that even resembles bad thing, but Ill address it anyway.  Do we have minimum educational standards, like any valid institution?  Yes.  Are they anything like what Tony describes?  Not even close.  But, like I said before, more knowledge is better than less.  Read our guarantee yourself; its published in its entirety on our web site, along with our full list of prices.

Tony goes on to talk about how our schools founder and its president use the students to steal property leads, and he accuses us of a bunch of things that sound pretty bad.  Im pretty sure he thinks we sacrifice kittens under the full moon and we beat up homeless people.  But heres the verifiable truth: we dont enroll new students just to get fees; we look for people who are interested in applying the training we give them for the rest of their lives. 

During the year-long period Tony described, our school enrolled fewer than 150 new students, and our directors helped dozens of them increase their wealth using real estate as a medium.   To say anything otherwise is not only untrue; its an insult to all those who (unlike Tony) chose to diligently apply what they learned.  But dont believe me; visit the school.  Youll meet them yourself many are members of our alumni association. 

Still, Tonys accusations are pretty serious.  Maybe he should talk to a chairman at the state chapter of the American Bar Association, or the Director of the BBBs Education Office, or any one of the attorneys (including a former state prosecutor), government employees, and policemen who are all members or alumni of our school.  Im sure theyll be shocked to hear about his experience.

Tony points out that our program is a year long.  But he fails to state that you can take our classes one at a time, sign up for just the basics, or commit to the full 11-course membership.  If you know of any school in our industry that offers our guarantee, and delivers our level of training at our cost, go there.  Because thats the unspoken argument in Tonys diatribe our school isnt worth what we charge to come here.  Well, it isnt.  Its worth more, much more, and heres the basic math of why:

Nine out of ten Americans will buy, sell, or improve real estate in their lifetimes (says the Wall Street Journal); two out of three Americans currently live in homes they own or mortgage (according to HUD); 88% of Americans consider their property to be their most important investment (says Pew Research and just about every other social dynamics institute); but wait for it fewer than two percent of us ever bother to take even a single class in how to buy or sell property. 

Still, people buy property every day, so it cant be that hard to learn how to do it right, right?  It was just that kind of thinking that allowed agents, mortgage lenders, and banks to engage in a conspiracy that dictated the terms of real estate transactions and caused the near collapse of the American economy.   Because no one with any sense who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into anything that wasnt a house would ever consider doing so without being educated in how to maximize that investment.

Whether youre investing in a high-rise office building or fixing up the house youre going to raise your kids in, you need to know how to buy, sell, and improve real estate so that you can receive the highest return on your money.  Now, you can discover how to do that from some guy on late-night cable, or study it in a book you bought online, but those might not be the best places to learn how to secure your financial future using real estate.   Im going out on a limb here, but at our school we think youll benefit the most from an interactive education taught by real-world investors supplemented with individual counseling.  Call us crazy.

Finally, I address my closing comment directly to Tony.  If your predicament is legitimate, then all of us here at our school genuinely sympathize, and I have no doubt that we would have worked with you had you chosen to send us even token payments.  But our three hundred and eighty-five dollar a month payment didnt destroy your life.  Three hundred and eighty-five dollars just doesnt have that kind of power.  We understand your anger, your sense of helplessness, and the feeling that your destiny has gotten out of your control; but those are reasons for people to come to our school, not reasons for leaving it. 
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