Money Merge Account Links

It’s official This scam has been reincarnated into a new program called “Worth Unlimited.”

My MMA spreadsheet. (<<<Click here) is now available for download, no special request required. As always, please feel free to post a comment or ask a question.

I am pleased to make available a Money Merge Analysis Compilation, a PDF containing all of my MMA posts, so you can view them easily. Please advise if you find any typos or errors. The current revision shows R33 indicating it includes up to my Part 33 posting, which should be my last in this series.

A link to an announcement on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission regarding proceeding against the mortgage broker peddling the EquityExcel plan, which makes claims very similar to those made by UFirst Financial. (But wait – UFirst brags that such plans originated in Australia, so I guess it’s UFirst who is the copycat. Either way, the momentum is building to eliminate this scam.) This was send to me by a kind reader who works for the Consumer Action Law Centre in Australia, my thanks!!

(NEW!) The Australian SEC is continuing to prosecute these UFF-like scams. “AD Federal court declares Sydney mortgage broker engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct” is a June 24th ’09 article that concludes “For consumers the key message is that the only way to pay off your loan sooner is by moving to a loan with a cheaper interest rate or by making extra repayments.” Sounds a lot like what I (and my peers) have been saying. This action is against Whyte Corp, seller of EquityExcel Plan mentioned above. Let’s hope the US SEC gets the message.

The Simple Dollar‘s blog post on MMA, which generated more comments than I’ve ever seen on one posting. (Careful, this can take some time to load)

Get Rich Slowly also had a discussion that generated much interest.

WiseBread also gave a review of MMA with a similar conclusion to the one I reached.

United First Financial, who created the MMA concept, offers 3 videos to explain the approach.

For some interesting hyperbole Vision Force 21 is an agent selling MMA.

Mortgage Acceleration LLC also an agent for MMA.

Integra Mortgage and Investment has another series of links with MMA comments and observations.

BankRate.com’s article on MMA

MSNBC’s “What’s a ‘mortgage accelerator’?

CNBC’s interview with author Rick Edelman

Clark Howard fields a question on MMA

Dave Ramsey‘s reaction to MMA

Another Dave Ramsey conversation (transcript)

An article by ActiveRain

Travis Mitchell kindly offered a years’ example of MMA in action, and in response I offer my own money merge account spreadsheet. I would be happy to entertain any intelligent dialog on the numbers presented by the two of us. (note – the link I had here broke, I’ll try to find a current copy of his example)

A page containing a summary MMA example which many agents link to. (note, the example here has been updated recently. It now assumes you have $1300/mo to send as an extra principal payment. Fortunately I have a copy of The Classic Example for you to view as well.)

The web site Money Merge Advantage (this blog has been suspended due to TOS violations, the agent starts and cancels sites frequently, Money Merge Rescue among them.) Jennifer Hartman who inspired my post Money Merge Innumeracy, is back with The Interest Saver.

The Age (an Australian site) has a great article, “Smoke and Mirrors“.

Kiplinger’s “Don’t Fall for This Mortgage Pitch

A kind agent sent me a link to a video, Money Merge Account Version 4. I find little there of value, judge for yourself.

The Fraud Files Blog by Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant and fraud examiner who investigates white collar crimes, including cases of financial statement fraud, embezzlement, tax fraud, and insurance fraud. She is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud and more than 100 articles on fraud featured in industry publications. She also kindly summarizes and links to my ongoing series Money Merge Analysis.

A great general summary from Searchlight Crusade.

A series of posts on Scam.com‘s website.

Bargaineering.com has a brief article and series of post comments on MMA. The comments have taken an odd turn, a poster claims that MMA was divinely inspired. A faith based mortgage accelerator, I suppose.

A post on Fatwallet debunking the agent’s claims of magazine articles regarding MMA somehow adding legitimacy.

Patrick at Cash Money Life asked Are Money Merge Accounts a Great Way to Pay Your Mortgage Quickly, or Are they a Scam? I answered him pretty quickly as I think I’ve made my decision. No doubt for me!

The Get Out Of Debt Guy posted Worth Unlimited Scam Comment Leads to Missing Complaints and this Review. (This is the first new link I’ve added since Worth Unlimited started to come to my attention in the media.)

(Please send a comment if you have more links to suggest or if you’d like to discuss my MMA spreadsheet. The sheet will let you see your own numbers, and will help you decide for yourself.)

JOE

95 Responses to “Money Merge Account Links”

  1. Alan Says:

    Please send me the spreadsheet you displayed amortizing the mortgage on MMA discussion. Very interesting, thank you!
    Alan

  2. Vicki Says:

    Please send me a copy of the spreadsheet you mentioned on Simple Dollar blog (comment 1217).Thanks.

  3. Dan Says:

    Please send me the MMA spreadsheet, I’d like to see the numbers.
    Thanks

  4. John Says:

    Please send me the MMA spreadsheet, I am thinking of buying the UFIRST product so please let me compare! Thanks for all your time.

  5. Wayne Says:

    Please send me the MMA spreadsheet. I just received a UFirst MMA presentation at Panera. I read some of the comments at http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/10/01/is-a-money-merge-account-a-good-way-to-pay-off-your-mortgage.

    I was suppose to meet the person trying to get me to buy the $3,500 software this Thursday. But, I thought I would do some research and also contact my financial adviser before meeting with him again. Any insight would be helpful.

    I am pretty frugal and very financially disciplined. However, my expertise is not in finance, but in Network Engineering. As such, I must lean on other who are more educated in this area than I am, as others depend on me when they want large international networks. We all possess our own talents and this area is not one I possess, which is why I depend on a financial advisor, whom I havent talked to yet about this topic. I dont want to be ignorant either, which is why I am researching now.

    Thanks in advance.

    (Sent. As an engineer, spreadsheets shouldn’t scare you, see the sheet, write if you have questions. -JOE)

  6. Dave Shafer Says:

    Joe, I see your posting on this subject at several places. As you know we are in perfect agreement with your analysis. Thanks for the good work letting people know the truth about these mortgage products. As I predicted, because prime rate has gone down, making HELOC’s more attractive, the intensity of the folks selling these products has ratcheted up. When prime rate goes up with HELOC’s along for the ride people will start losing even more money from this product.
    Would you mind sending me the spreadsheet?

  7. Ty Says:

    Great comments. Please send me the MMA spreadsheet as well.

  8. Jon Says:

    I’ve been looking into this whole MMA thing for a couple months now. I believe I can do it myself with a proper spreadsheet. I’d like to see if that’s true.

    Please send me the MMA spreadsheet you developed. I MAY have to show it to a friend who recently bought into the MMA software a couple months ago…

  9. Emma Says:

    Joe,

    Can you please send me the MMA spreadsheet. My husband and I teach a financial class and this would be a very helpful resource.

    Thanks!

  10. Karen Says:

    Have spent a lot of time researching MMAs and have played with the numbers on my own enough to appreciate the advantages of having the proper software with all of the variables built into it. You can make it work on your own, but just getting close isn’t good enough when you’re talking about time and interest. It’s those subtlties that will make thousands of dollars of difference for some people.

    Please send me the MMA spreadsheet. Thanks!

  11. JOE Says:

    Karen, I’ve sent the sheet so you can enter your own numbers. Variables? I have them covered, as the MMA agents own examples show that just paying principal at month end beats what the MMA software suggests. You want a HELOC? Get one. If the rate is near or lower than the rate on your mortgage, the HELOC shuffle as I call it, can provide some savings. But see the sheet as I left $3500 as the first prepayment. That would save you 16 months on the mortgage and $16,657 in interest.
    Once you understand that the savings comes from your own money, from paying down principal, you’ll save yourself the extra expense, and do it yourself.
    Joe

  12. Karen Says:

    Joe:

    Thanks for the spreadsheet!

    Unless I’m missing something, here’s what I think the MMA software might do that the layman cannot do as effectively. Let me try to explain what I think the variables are that could possibly make a difference.

    I haven’t purchased the MMA software and the only exposure I have to it is the tons of information and videos I’ve seen online. But, if I’m understanding it correctly, the MMA software analyzes your spending habits (since all your income and expenses go through the HELOC or ALOC) and takes everything into consideration. Such as interest rates, how the interest is calculated on your mortgage and your ALOC (closed end vs open end) and based on everything it determines the optimum time AND amount (to the penny) you should make another payment to your mortgage to do yourelf the most good. I just don’t see how the average person can duplicate that much analysis. I don’t know the formulas for comparing these two types of interest calculations and make sure I have enough left over to pay the upcoming bills based on when they’re due,etc. For those with lots of money and years at stake it could make a big difference. A payment made for the wrong amount or the wrong time could make a big difference over a 30 year note. I personally don’t have that much at stake. I only have 3 years left on a 15 yr mortgage with only about $24,000 to go.

    No matter how you look at it, I don’t think $3500 is a fair price in spite of sophisticated it seems to be. I think they assume that people will jump at the chance of spending $3500 to save $100,000 and knock 10 years off their mortgage. And, by the sound of things, people are. They make it doubly attractive by showing you that their $3500 comes straight out as the first expense of the ALOC so that you don’t have to have the cash money on your own up front.

    Surely, there is someone out there with the intelligence to duplicate what they’ve done and market it at a much cheaper price to the public.

    Until then……I’ll continue to use my own intelligence to the extent I can and do the best I can my own way.

    Thanks!

  13. JOE Says:

    Well, this is what I just posted as a comment elsewhere;
    “Tony – prepayment does account for 98-100% of the savings, but there are circumstances where the HELOC does add a bit to that. In the classic example, $5000 of monthly flow with mortgage due at month’s end. If you look at this person’s checking statement, their average balance may be $3000, and earning 1%, if that much. The flip side is that if he used a HELOC, he’d have an average HELOC balance of $2000 to make a full $5000 available to pay toward the mortgage with the prior month’s payment. The mortgage rate may be 6%, so he saves $300/yr by making that prepayment. The HELOC ave balance is $2000, maybe 8%, costing $160/yr. And he only would earn $30 on the average $3000. So, in this example, he gets ahead by $110/yr. A HELOC typically has a $50/yr fee. So in the end, the savings is tiny.
    When MMA agents present this, they somehow attribute the magic to the HELOC process, but as you can see, the savings while greater than zero, are not significant by any means.”
    If you look at the agents links of examples, and then go to my sheet, entering $1000 as a monthly extra payment, you’ll find the HELOC benefit to be close to zero. Not even enough to pay off the cost of the software. The fuss about timing and calculations are much ado about nothing. Capturing $60 per year is meaningless compared to the effort of juggling a HELOC and needing to sign into the software for every transaction.
    Most people who are interested in this approach should simply do two thing, first open a HELOC for a small amount (10-20K). Then at the end of each month, put all extra money into their mortgage as a prepayment. The classic example shows a $5000 cash flow, $1200 mortgage payment, and $1000 extra money each month. The smoke and mirrors comes from their insistence that you are not really increasing your payments, your cash flow does change. Huh? They tell you to write a check from the HELOC, but then put all your money back into it as a payment. So that extra $1000 is exactly where all the savings comes from. That is indisputable.
    Unfortunately, few agents have any clue how the math works, but once you understand it, the fog lifts and you save $3500.
    Thank you again for visiting my blog and joining the conversation.
    Joe

  14. Dave Says:

    Joe,

    Great website. I’m interested in a lot things you have posted and I admire you for the time you have spent providing meaningful information on everything from investing to retirement planning.

    As to the money merge system, I’m willing to cut and paste every application from my MMA account tracking tool since I started with UFF on April 10, 2008. I would prefer to just give you my password and login information so you could just monitor the activity, but my personal account numbers are listed so I can’t do that. You can perform any kind of comparisons you want and I’ll keep you updated every time I make a new entry into the software if you like. Obviously I’d prefer not doing this by making posts on this blog, but I guess that’s ok if it’s the only means available. Let me know. Though there are a number of variables that go into to defining value, I’m open to being seriously challenged on the math variable.

  15. wurdy Says:

    I have included a loan scenario for you to pick apart using a few different strategies. I was approached by a ufirst representative. Snake-oil or reality?

    Loan Scenario:

    Loan Amount $285,000
    Rate: 5.625
    Term: 5/1 ARM 10yr. IO 5/2/5

    Xtra $300 payment towards principal each month
    24.5 years to pay off
    Paid $727,834.73

    Bi-Weekly
    27.8 years to pay off
    Paid $815,962.05

    Bi-Weekly w/$300 added towards principal each month
    17.6 years to pay off
    Paid $556,709.23

    MMA software says
    19.0 years to pay off other debts included + $3500 software fee
    Paid $483374.76

    Where am I wrong?

  16. JOE Says:

    You don’t offer all the numbers needed for analysis. What MMA excels at is treating your extra funds each month and the interest savings from sending that money to your mortgage as savings from their software. This is nonsense, of course.
    Do you already have a HELOC set up? How much other debt and at what interest rate? In your monthly budget, how much is extra at the end of each month? That extra money is where all the saved interest will come from.
    Joe

  17. wurdy Says:

    extra $300 per month discretionary. no other debt. HELOC is no charge to set up. Rate is 4.99% variable.

  18. JOE Says:

    wurdy – I am looking at this and trying to understand your question and situation. You say it’s a 5/1 ARM but for the first 10 years it’s interest only? This implies a payment of $1335.94? A fully amortizing loan would be a payment of $1640.62, more than $300 higher. That implies to me that you don’t really have ‘extra’ money. That $300 would be needed for a 30 yr payoff.
    The rest of your math I don’t follow. A bi-weekly should turn a 30yr mortgage into something closer to 24.8 months, depending on the rate. 27.8 doesn’t make sense to me.
    Last, your Bi-weekly +300 vs MMA. ‘Paid’ = the whole mortgage principal+interest, correct? How can you pay the mortgage off in 17.6 years, yet pay more interest than if you pay it off in 19?
    Since rates have little room to go down from here and a long way up, I do suggest you continue to pay it down. The impact of rising rates will be less if you hack away at the principal.
    Joe

  19. JOE Says:

    Dave – it need not be so complicated. All I’d wish to know is the starting numbers, i.e. mortgage principal, interest rate, remaining term, and total amount of cash you then sent to the HELOC (minus the amount you drew back out to spend). Then at the one year mark, what were the two balances on the mortgage and HELOC?

    Even the agent’s own numbers show little to no gain by using HELOC, and even a $200 annual gain is hardly enough to pay back the $3500. You see, if MMA is having you pay off your mortgage in 10.4 years, the HELOC shuffle better save you close to $453/yr just to pay for that software.

    Now think about that. The HELOC use claims to turn idle cash (from checking) into a higher return, same as your mortgage, right? At 6%, that would be $7833 in average daily balance in your account.

    If the above sentence made no sense, consider this: If you had a checking account that yielded the exact same rate of interest as your mortgage, there would be no need to even think about the HELOC shuffle, right? So let’s see how much you’d need in your checking to get you $470/yr in interest. $7833. But even the MMA agent examples only show a maximum $5000 coming into the account each month, there’s an average balance closer to $3000 or so. Which can only gain you $180 or so each year. Even if the average balance were higher ($5000 is the limit) that only gets you $300/yr. But we already agreed that the program cost is $453/yr!
    Joe

  20. Toby Weston Says:

    You have gathered more information on one page than anywhere else on the web I have found so far. Thank you for commenting on my blog and bringing your blog to my attention. Much appreciated.

    I would like a copy of your Excel spreadsheet. It appears to me that your spreadsheet example is simply a extra payment method. Am I correct? Please clarify if otherwise. None of the comments and replies appear to take into account the fact that you are depositing your income into your HELOC. This technique cancels out a portion of the interest being charged on the HELOC due to the lump sum transfers to the mortgage. Also the use of a secondary credit is not mention, thus prolonging the time that your income is canceling out the interest in the HELOC.

    Also I counted the number “$3500″ seven times in the entire comment section thus far of this topic. Their are plenty of companies out there that are selling their own version of the MMA software ranging in price from of $297 to $3500. I have listed at least 10. I definitely would not be willing to pay $3500, but I would entertain a price under $500. Especially if they were willing to refund me my money if I am not satisfied with their product.

    Guaranteed, capitalistic America will bring the price down very quickly if the MA programs are deemed viable. If you don’t want to pay $3500 for the Rolls Royce of MA programs, shop around. If the program doesn’t work after a few months to your favor stop using it. The worst you would be out is $300, the fees for a HELOC, and the time using the product. The best that could happen is a earlier payoff on your home and a lot of savings in interest.

  21. Kyle Smith Says:

    Please send me your spread sheet. But, I would like for you to entertain the option I am using. Every year, I transfer $25,000 from my mortgage to a low (0 to 3%) or no cost credit card and then pay it off over the coarse of the credit card terms. Isn’t that better than getting a heloc or paying extra payments?

  22. Karen Says:

    Please send me a copy of your spread sheet. I have looked into this and could not spend 3500. I guess it makes me happy I didn’t. I need to get committed to paying the extra on the Mortgage. I think that is why the MMA works for some. It gets them to do it because they just spent $3500.

  23. Ron Says:

    Joe,
    Thank you for creating this blog. I was approached by an agent and almost signed up to become an agent until he told me that he has sold only seven MMAs since March of this year, which is only one a month! Not something that I could live on…Could you please send me a copy of your worksheet?
    Thanks again…

  24. Adam Says:

    I have enjoyed this blog and also have been approached by an agent. I am very interested in doing something, however; I am not a fan of everything being online. If UFF shuts the site down, for any reason, I’m stuck. If possible, please send your spreadsheet so I can compare to other options I have been looking at.
    Thank you

  25. JOE Says:

    I sent you the sheet. In the interest of complete honesty, my understanding is that the latest version of the MMA software resides on the client’s computer not a UFF server. Still, useless software on your own computer is still useless.

    Joe

  26. Mike Says:

    Thanks for the website, Joe, I’ve been contacted by a UFF agent and am entertaining other scenarios. Would you please send me your spreadsheet so I can see what you’ve set up? Thanks.

  27. AnaO Says:

    Very interesting comments. Please send me the MMA spreadsheet.
    Thanks + Happy Holidays

  28. Carolyn Says:

    You may wish to add this link – as you see the Australian regulator continues to take action against claims that you can pay off your mortgage sooner with no increase in monthly payments or changes in their lifestyle.

    http://www.fido.gov.au/asic/asic.nsf/byheadline/AD08-79+ASIC+commences+action+against+Sydney+mortgage+broker?

    Thankfully such claims are now rare in Australia.

    Carolyn Bond
    Consumer Action Law Centre
    Melbourne, Australia

  29. JOE Says:

    I added it, thank you very much for sending this to me!
    Sounds like our MMA folk here are making exactly the same claims, maybe our SEC can spare an agent and shut these guys down, too.

  30. JOE Says:

    I sent the sheet.

    There’s no magic surrounding the credit cards. Line them up from highest rate to lowest. Make minimum payments on all cards, and send any extra cash toward the highest rate card. This is the fastest way to get rid of the credit card debt. Also – it can’t hurt to call the banks with card rates above 10 or so percent and just ask for a lower rate. They may say ‘no’, but likely half will give you a better rate.

    Any question regarding the sheet, please ask. Thanks for visiting.
    Joe

  31. Peggy Says:

    Please send me your spreadsheet. I have enjoyed reading everything about MMA. I almost bought into the software, but after much reaseach realize that it is just another multi-level marketing scam. Thanks for all your input. I have several credit cards as well. Will your program work with those as well.

  32. Michael Walker Says:

    Joe,
    Thanks for the spreadsheet. Can you send me the password so I can unlock or send me an unlocked copy? I want to re-format all the dollar amounts with commas – easier for me to read.

    Thanks much.

  33. JOE Says:

    I’ve updated the sheet to better format the values with the commas as well as adding a 15 yr mortgage version.
    Thanks for visiting!

  34. Ken Says:

    Thank you Joe.

  35. Royal Says:

    Joe,

    Added your blog to my favorites. Haven’t looked around that much yet. Looks interesting. Of course I have been visiting back and forth with you for almost a year on that MMA post at simple dollar. Just had no idea you had quite this breadth of knowledge.

    One thing though about your MMA spreadsheet. In old versions of Excel and Lotus(12yrs or more), both have Mortgage/Loan and Budgeting spreadsheets where you can simulate making prepayments, changing interest rates, Loan Length, Income, Expenditures and so forth. I had never seen a LOC linked to all these items until Sydney Financial was presented to me and then UFF and all the others I found on my own about a year ago.

    Based on having a 2 year subscription to Harj Gill’s Speed Equity,which I got on the cheap, and seeing about 10 others, I STILL think Greg’s Mydebteliminationcalculator.com version at $30 is by far the best value for someone employing a LOC shuffle to a mortgage or other debt. I still haven’t bought the code, because I bought the $80 two year subscript with book.

    I know you mention Greg’s calculator, but don’t you think it is pretty decent software to play with budgets/loans and a LOC all together??

    Thanks for bringing me your direction!

  36. JOE Says:

    Thank you for visiting, Royal.
    With most of the savings being in the prepayments, that was as far as I got with the spreadsheet. You can see, Greg is listed above, and recommended for those who want the extra function.

    I realized a few months back that sifting through a blog for posts was a little crazy and started my MMA Compilation, second link up top. I try to keep it pretty current, it will always state its last revision.

    If you find a site on this topic that you think is interesting, feel free to drop me a note. Take care.

  37. zero36T Says:

    Joe, I downloaded your spreadsheet, cool stuff… trying to figure out how to adapt to an interest only loan, can you help?

    Many thanks in advance!

  38. JOE Says:

    Note – it’s the first link up top the Money Merge Account Links page you visited. Let me know if you need help with the sheet.

  39. mike Says:

    Could I please have a copy or the spread sheet? Id like to get out of debt faster, and I am glad that i found a good source to ask…

    I also was approached by an agent… i thought i could do better things with my 3500 dollars

    If U 1st was smart, they could sell alot more if they charged less….too bad they are so greedy, im sure over half of that is for commission…

    Thanks Joe

  40. Kate Wideman Says:

    Hi Joe,
    You recently visited my blog here on wordpress. I must say, I’m very impressed with yours. I am an agent for the MMA, but I’m also a client. I agree that I wish it was more affordable, and find the cost a barrier for most. Perhaps they’ll wise up and eventually decrease the cost of the MMA so that more “regular Joes” can afford to take advantage of it. When you are as financially astute as you are, I don’t see why you would bother with it, but some of us aren’t, and so we find it a useful tool. Nonetheless, it sounds like we agree that the quicker you pay off your mortgage the better! I just wanted to compliment you again, this is a great blog, I’m just now starting & hope to learn much from your content here!

  41. Anthony Says:

    Joe, thanks for posting the spreadsheet.

    One question, in the 200K example where are the extra $4500 and $1000 payments coming from?

  42. JOE Says:

    Since the MMA program cost is $3500, and they assume you have another $1000/mo available, that’s what I entered to start. It’s your money, $3500 from savings, $1000 from income. Put a zero in the top cell, and fill down, now you can add your own prepayments.

  43. Carolyn Bond Says:

    Recent action by the regulator in Australia

    http://www.asic.gov.au/ASIC/asic.nsf/byHeadline/09-113%20AD%20Federal%20court%20declares%20Sydney%20mortgage%20broker%20engaged%20in%20misleading%20and%20deceptive%20conduct?opendocument

  44. JOE Says:

    Thanks for writing in again! This is great news, Carolyn.

    Joe

  45. JimmyDaGeek Says:

    Here is a UFF agent with a ‘Christian’ approach, http://www.thesolomonprinciple.org. He claims he will not sell MMA if it’s not warranted. But, after reading his letter, http://www.thesolomonprinciple.org/docs/pdf/A_Letter_From_The_Heart_site.pdf, I don’t know if he’s lying, ignorant, or just another UFF fool.

  46. JOE Says:

    Jimmy, thanks for the links. Curious what our new friend NJBlue would say. The letter is absolute BS. I’ll add it to my MMA BS files.

  47. jennifer Says:

    Genius has always had violent opposition from mediocre minds.

  48. JOE Says:

    And it appears that ignorance has an endless supply of quotes and analogies to avoid any real dialog regarding numbers. Is there any other field where one would fall for this? If you asked your doctor to show you his credentials and he gave you nothing but quotes, would that instill confidence? Thanks for visiting, Jennifer.

  49. JOE Says:

    Derik, I’ve addressed this many times;
    The MMA video doesn’t show 10 credit cards, the sample scenario didn’t have one. It’s not tough to pay debt off highest to lowest rate. Kinda of like how a kid remembers the order of 26 letters and doesn’t need to guess at 26 factorial (26!) ways of organizing them. The issue of HELOC charging interest daily vs the Mortgage which accrues monthly is one of the ways MMA obfuscates the bad math behind it.

  50. Derik Tutt Says:

    So you did this scenario where you sent in an extra $1,000 on income each month. That is not what MMA is about. Do you have any other debt in this scenario? Car Loans, Credit Card debt? You didn’t take any of that into consideration at all. MMA takes care of all debt. If you had 5 or 6 credit cards with balances, how would you incorporate those into the equation? What if you had 10 cards. We’re talking about the average Joe here, right? The average Joe doesn’t have $1,000 per month to send in to their mortgage. Why would you take your own money ($1,000) and send it to the bank when you could float $1,000 from a line of credit for about a $20 simple interest payment. You could be gaining interest on your money.

  51. Kate J. Says:

    This spreadsheet is fantastic! I can’t stress that enough. You saved me some $$ Joe and I have had the best time working in numbers on the spreadsheet which make sense for me and my situation and finally arrived at a scenario that meets “my approval”. It was fun, enlightening, and easy. Now my 360 month mortgage (which I am 12 months into) will be paid off in 187 months total, saving me $86,062.30 in interest payments. ‘Nuff said.

  52. JOE Says:

    For all the discussion on the UFF scam, it’s emails like yours that make my efforts worthwhile. I really appreciate it.

  53. Nathan Says:

    Thanks for all your hardwork, Joe. Would you please send me your spread sheet? It’s easy to get swindled by all the misinformation and fast talk if you don’t take the time to do the research yourself. Thanks again!

  54. Tim Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Please send me a copy of the MMA spreadsheet.

    Thanks,

    Tim

  55. Debbie Says:

    Hi Joe,

    I really like your web site. Especially about the MMA. I have tried to download your MMA spreadsheet, from your web site. It is not downloading correctly. I cannot change the years of the loans which is 15years. Would you please send me your MMA spreadsheet.

    Thank you
    Debbie

  56. JOE Says:

    Note: It’s available by clicking the top link on the page here.

  57. JOE Says:

    Thank you. I emailed you a sheet I created to handle a 15 yr original mortgage.

  58. Debbie Says:

    I received the download and it works.
    Thank you

  59. Debbie Says:

    I did have someone tell me about the MMA. This person was an agent for UFF.
    He also took the “Christian” approach. He told me he would never sell the MMA program if it would not work for the person.
    I did my own research and found your Web site. I am very glad I found it.

    Thanks Joe you’re the best.

  60. JOE Says:

    Debbie – your comment made my day. Thanks for stopping by.
    Joe

  61. Tom Says:

    I am confused. I believe that the trick is, mortgage bank calculates the interest monthly; and HELOC calculates interest daily, so therefore you borrow from HELOC to pay in Advance ($5000) and then refill the HELOC with your pay check deposits (twice a month). The difference is your HELOC is refilled more often, so its interest is lower (smaller). So you have to have two spreadsheets. One for regular mortgage and one for HELOC with refill. I may be totally off base here.
    Please correct my thinking. I really want to understand the trick. Otherwise, there is really no benefit to shuffle money around.

  62. JOE Says:

    Tom I wrote a full article addressing this very issue, titled The UFF Money Merge Account money shuffle explained. Please read that article carefully. In it, I explain that the HELOC Shuffle as I call it, can save you some money, but not even enough to pay for the program.

  63. Tom Says:

    I thought that UFF MMA said the payment is the same, before and after. Do they say you add an extra $1000 a month? shuffling not adding.

    Everybody knows that by adding $1000 you will pay it faster. People have an extra $1000 a month, absolutely don’t need UFF MMA.
    The extra $1000 a month throws me off, because it is not the same payment before and after spending $3500 software.

  64. JOE Says:

    You are absolutely right, Tom. The sales pitch assumes that your budget has $1000/mo extra money out of $5000 net income. Their claims are very misleading. Your mortgage payment does stay the same, but you draw $5000 from your HELOC, and are assumed to pay it back over 5 months. Before MMA you had $1000/mo extra money, after MMA, that extra is gone, right to the mortgage. You want it back? You borrow it. See the link here to the PDF summarizing all my posts. There’s a lot of information trying to save you from wasting your money. The system is a scam, and the people selling it have no finance background at all. My spreadsheet beats their system, and is free. I have nothing to sell, and those who offer me a gift for saving them $3500 are told to choose a charity, from my list to the right, if they wish.

  65. Tom Says:

    Thank Joe,
    I understand now, $1000 /month get explained now.
    Joe,
    so the difference between daily interest rate calculation and monthly interest rate calculation, this difference does not provide a significant saving, is it correct?
    is it true that HELOC has a daily interest rate calculation and normally mortgage interest rate is calculated monthly?

    Two assumptions to make the MMA sytems work
    Assumption 1: you have a HELOC with low rate (teasing rate 1-2%)
    and you want to pay a second mortgage which due to the 2nd position, it has a high rate (9%).
    So you borrow from the low teasing rate (first 1-2 yr) and pay back the high rate.
    second mortgage.
    Assumption 2: HELOC interest rate is calculated daily, and mortgage rate is calculated monthly.

    If you don’t meet these two assumptions then MMA will not work. no benefit

  66. JOE Says:

    In UFirst’s example, the mortgage rate is 6%, HELOC about 8%, depending on the date they produced it. In my analysis, I assume the HELOC at 0% to get to the most one could possibly save is $25/mo. The daily balance HELOC vs monthly calculated mortgage is small in comparison to that $1000/mo. Which is why UFirst shies away from examples where the user only has $50-$100 extra at the end of each month. In your example, by all means, borrow at 2% whatever you think you can pay down before the rate rises higher than the second loan is now. In normal times the HELOC will be higher than the mortgage, and the shuffle can’t save more than a few dollars each month.

  67. Christine Masterson Says:

    Hi Joe.

    Would you please send me the spreadsheet. I am one of those people who have the opportunity to sell this product. It always seemed ridiculous because I thought people need to budget their money and wondered how people with ZERO financial knowledge could push something they DO NOT UNDERSTAND (like me). It is like trusting a car salesman. The one person I met swearing it works, has three properties and a lot of extra money a month, so I think he needed something to do and a way to organize himself. I feel GREAT finding this site. Have a great day!

  68. Christine Says:

    Needless to say, I am steering clear of this product.

  69. JOE Says:

    See the first link on this page. It will download the sheet for you. No tricks, no sign up.
    I am selling nothing, but for those who are feeling generous, see the charities I list.

  70. JOE Says:

    Excellent decision! Enjoy the spreadsheet.

  71. darrell Says:

    Interesting stuff – I suppose. You guys should read “Crisis Economics” by Roubini and Mihm. Makes this whole discussion- pro and con – seem like an argument over whether to use a straw or drink from the cup.

  72. Michael Says:

    Hello Joe, I have your MMA spreadsheet, which shows the 30 year plan, do you have one that will work for 15 years?
    Also, I was wondering about the “months left” in the 5th (?) column, where does that fit in? thanks
    thanks

  73. JOE Says:

    The bottom of the sheet has a 15yr tab, if the mortgage started at 15.
    “Months remaining” will start at 360 for the 30 yr, and will update to show how much remains as you add prepayments. It’s a running record of your progress.

    Thanks for visiting.
    Joe

  74. Michael Says:

    Duh….moron me, saw that once and with old age promptly forgot about it. Thanks for your wit and wisdom on this issue. As you and Dave seem to advocate, there is no magic pill to the mortgage early pay-off, just good common sense tempered with a dedication to stay the course. Again thanks!!

  75. JOE Says:

    Wow, never saw so many complements packed into a single sentence. Much appreciated. And this is certainly one issue where I agree with Dave, no magic pill, just send that extra to the mortgage each month, and don’t let the sellers of this scam convince you otherwise. Send the agent trying to scam you my way, I’ll set him straight.

  76. Diane W. Says:

    HI! Please can you send me the spreadsheet you displayed about amortizing the mortgage on the MMA discussion? Thanks a lot!

  77. JOE Says:

    Up top, first link!

  78. Long Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Great website. I downloaded your spreadsheet. A couple of things that I can’t fix bc it’s protected.

    1. In the 30 and 15 yr examples, column H called “Months Remaining” is in a dollar amount. Is this supposed to be regular number with decimals?

    2. For the 15 yr example column D is not wide enough to show a 6 figure loan amount. you can enter it but it shows up as #######.

    Anyway you can fix these?

  79. JOE Says:

    Done

  80. James Says:

    How can I use the MMA spreadsheet if I make bi-monthly (or bi-weekly) payments (or payments every 2 weeks, not sure if bi-monthly or bi-weekly is the correct term. I have researched both terms and both could be right or wrong, according to wordweb).

  81. JOE Says:

    Every 2 weeks is a bi-weekly mortgage. Bi-monthly is every two months, like a 6 issue per year magazine.
    If the mortgage is a regular 15 or 30 year mortgage, you can still use the sheet, just enter the amount paid at the end of each month. Two months a year you will have that 3rd payment which goes in as extra principal.

  82. James Says:

    Hi Again Joe,
    You should feel happy about this. Using your MMA spreadsheet, I was able to recreate the payments being made to my mortgage. I make extra payments on top of the benefit of the bi-weekly, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t see where the mortgage company made the 2 extra payments. I only saw 1!!! I called them and asked them to show me and after an hour, they agreed that a terrible mistake had been made. They have since agreed to rectify this and I anxiously await the posting of it on their website.

    Thanks a lot bro!

  83. JOE Says:

    This is fantastic, James, thanks for the note. I know the sheet had value to help someone track their prepayments, but it didn’t occur to me a reader would use it to show his bank they made a mistake. You are most welcome, you note was a true gift tonight. Be well.

  84. vincent Says:

    hello,

    ufirst has shut down their operation in regards to new clients. when you go to their website there is a statement to the effect of: “now that you have other options for offering the program, we (ufirst) have stopped enrolling new clients.”

    who is the new provider of the software? any direction would be appreciated.

  85. JOE Says:

    Hi Vincent, this is good to hear. I don’t know who picked up the software. I’ll update the site if I get more details.

  86. starbucksgirl Says:

    Just found your blog tonight and I’m so very thankful for the MMA spreadsheet. Thank you for making this available! I was searching for information on google about making an extra principle payment and ended up on another blog that you had left a comment on. I followed your link and then tried to find the MMA spreadsheet. Took me awhile but finally located it. BTW, do you have a link to this spreadsheet easily accessible on your blog. I looked and looked but had to keep searching different combinations in your search box until I found the document that you had referenced on the other blog. It was well worth the search though as I was rewarded with an awesome spreadsheet.

    I plugged in my additional payment scenario and found out that my house is going to be paid off in 14 years instead of 30 by making an additional $700 payment a month along with an additional house payment a year. Thanks a bunch. You rock.

    PS – Looked around a bit. Your post on Dave Ramsey made me laugh. I lived in TN for several years and was always perplexed by his philosophies. Several folks from my church swore by his “philosophies” but I never saw the logic in them. All that to say, I appreciated your post. I’ve never really cared for him but I’m sure that he is helpful to the folks that have a hard time keeping to a budget. I have friends that got out of $60,000 in debt in 12 months by disciplining themselves.

    Anyway, looking forward to hanging out with you on your blog to learn a thing or two. I am a self-taught lover of all things financial so I hope to glean some things from you.

    Regards,
    Kelly

  87. JOE Says:

    Kelly – It’s an honor to have someone visit and write such kind words. The link on this article is the only way to download the sheet aside from Googling and getting the direct link to the file. For a time I was writing about MMA weekly, trying to look at it from every angle, to refute every claim the agents made. After a time, I feel I got my point across and it was time to move on. I think people will easily fall for any scam, and hope I saved people from throwing money away.

    Again, thanks for you comment, and kind words.

  88. Late2G Says:

    Looks like UFirst did a reboot as Worth Unlimited. I haven’t had time to look into all the aspects of it, but it looks like many of the same claims are there from the Money Merge Account days.

    http://behindmlm.com/companies/worth-unlimited-review-ufirst-financial-rebooted/

  89. JOE Says:

    Hey, long time no talk! Good to hear from you, but sorry to read this news. It may be time to gather up the old gang and swat this fly as well!

  90. Late2G Says:

    Haha! How long until agents claim by following the program’s prompts to send ALL discretionary income to various outstanding debts is “not changing your budget or lifestyle”?

  91. JOE Says:

    I just tried to leave a comment on the site you linked to, we’ll see if it gets approved. My favorite claim was by a agent who proved that $1000 toward your 6% mortgage is better than toward a matched 401(k) deposit, because the 401(k) match is only 100%, but the mortgage over 30 years is over 500%. Time value of money anyone? I can’t believe we are still discussing this over 4 years later. Put these guys in jail, and call it a day.

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