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

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

99 Responses to “Money Merge Account Links”

  1. 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.

  2. JOE Says:

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

  3. 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!

  4. Tim Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Please send me a copy of the MMA spreadsheet.

    Thanks,

    Tim

  5. 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

  6. JOE Says:

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

  7. JOE Says:

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

  8. Debbie Says:

    I received the download and it works.
    Thank you

  9. 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.

  10. JOE Says:

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. Christine Says:

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

  19. 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.

  20. JOE Says:

    Excellent decision! Enjoy the spreadsheet.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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!!

  25. 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.

  26. Diane W. Says:

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

  27. JOE Says:

    Up top, first link!

  28. 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?

  29. JOE Says:

    Done

  30. 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).

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. 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/

  39. 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!

  40. 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”?

  41. 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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  46. Laurie Says:

    Hiya Joe, I love the conversation here and am interested in how you can help me. Will you please send me the spreadsheet(s) everyone is talking about? And tell me more about what you have to offer?
    Thanks in advance! 🙂

  47. Laurie Says:

    I just found the link to your spreadsheet and think you did a nice job. The thing I have learned about the Money Merge Account program is that it looks at every debt a household has and lets you know what amount to put where, when, to save the most amount of interest. I am afraid this one spreadsheet cannot do that. Do you have any other tools that can look at the whole picture?
    Thanks again in advance.

  48. Joe Says:

    Hi Laurie – I strongly suggest you go to the next link on this page and pull down a copy of the 65 page PDF with all the writing I did on this topic in 2008. I can tell you what to put where, in a couple simple sentences. Take every extra cent you have, and send it to the debt with the highest interest. Of course, make minimum payments due on all other debt along the way. Fortunately, it’s as simple as this. Unfortunately, there are thousands of people who don’t believe this, but would pay $3500 to people who can’t describe the function of the very software they are selling.

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