Apr 03

In 1971, The Who first sang, “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss,” which came to mind as I started to read about Worth Unlimited, a mortgage acceleration program. Only it’s not a new program, it’s the Money Merge Account program only with a new name.

WorthBloggerHeader

When MMA first came to my attention, I wrote numerous articles looking at it from every angle and debunked this as a fraud. A compilation of all the posts including guest posts and supporting data is available as a PDF. It offers an unreeditted overview of my analysis of the software and the claims of the agents who sell it. I didn’t edit out where I state early on that I didn’t think it a scam just a system that didn’t work, but later on, my opinion changes as I saw more agents making outrageous claim that were fraudulent. The song I quoted from? “We won’t get fooled again.” And that should be your response if anyone tries to introduce you to this product.

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Aug 12

Some interesting news  on the mortgage acceleration scam by UFirst Financial.

Tracy Coenen, author on fraud investigation and blogger at Fraud Files, broke the news that UFirst may be looking to cash out and are seeking a buyer.

Tracy published a note that recently went to upper management at U1st Financial:

I know you’ve already met with Sorensen Group, but we still need them to sign the attached NDA. In fact each private equity / venture capital buyer that you talk to needs to sign this NDA.
Any leak to the field that the company is going to be sold will be devastating. We do not want anyone, including potential buyers discussing this.
Thanks.

Rex H. Huang
General Counsel
United First Financial, LLC

Note: NDA means non-disclosure agreement. And I believe this means the beginning of the end. Of course, as Craig Hansen asks, “Where’s the value in UFirst? What would a buyer want? It’s not the technology they’ve developed – that’s crap. I supposed all they have going for them is some ongoing MMA payments, but whoever buys them out would presumably have to keep the MMA servers up and running in order to demand the payments keep coming in. And, they would be associating themselves with UFirst, whose name is now toxic. Who would touch that deal with a 10 foot pole?” Good questions my friend. I’ve been asking this myself.

Joe

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Jul 22

A small bit of news to share today for those who have been visiting here to get more information on the Money Merge Account, a so-called mortgage accelerator which does little but line the pockets of those at the top of the pyramid MLM (multilevel marketing) company that sells it.

From a fellow nay-sayer (read that – someone else who is able to see the obvious, that one can pay their mortgage off on their own) comes these details. From a total 30,500 systems sold, these are the data regarding customers who have logged in each month:

v3:
Jan 953
Feb 896
Mar 891
Apr 787

v4:
Jan 7534
Feb 7328
Mar 7401
Apr 6968

What is the point? Very simple. Fewer than 25% of those who bought into this program are actually using it. This is the system that requires a log in to their system for any income or expense, at a minimum, once per pay period to properly use its features. For all of the claims of satisfaction by the agents, it appears that most customers are abandoning the system soon after purchasing it. If this system were any good, would you expect 95%+ usage rate? This company is dying a slow death, and there’s no evidence to suggest otherwise. Good riddance.

Joe

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Jul 15

The Pyramid is Collapsing. And I’m happy to show you what a collapsing pyramid looks like courtesy of my Fellow Nay-sayer, Tracy Coenan. At her Fraud Files Blog, she recently posted;

Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 10:59 PM
Subject: Proposal for a New Company!
From: Richard Schaffer
Everyone,

In lieu of all the challenges and difficulties that we have all been struggling with over the last 12-18/m,  I genuinely believe that it is time that we all accept a few very harsh realities. But before I get into that, the primary reason for this e-mail is that I have an idea, a proposal really, that I truly believe with everything in my soul can absolutely change the direction of our Company moving forward!

What I am about to say is not intended for anyone (nor has it been shared with anyone) not included in this e-mail. But I think it’s time that someone said what everyone is already thinking – but everyone is apparently afraid to actually say out loud. Let me begin by trying to set the stage with 10 main points regarding what is really happening, how everyone (actually) feels, and what is going to inevitably occur if we don’t take some very drastic measures fast!

The ‘Network’ is dead, and it’s not coming back. This is not intended to be negative, it is simple being honest and realistic. I don’t think it even matters if we launch V5, complete ‘Step’ 3, change the Company/Product name or change our comp plan or the MLM commission platform. There has simply been too much damage done for too long. Read the rest here if you wish at Tracy’s Ufirst Financial: This is what a collapsing pyramid looks like.

Amazing that this program is still being sold. It’s nearly two years that I’ve been writing about this scam, and despite my inclination to just call it quits, it’s tough to ignore a scam like this as it offends my senses. The sellers of this scam are taking advantage of people’s ignorance. The letter excepted above is at least an indication the end is near. Let’s hope so.

Joe

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Aug 06

I’ve used the term Innumeracy here to describe the equivalent to numbers what illiteracy is to reading. However, I now seek a stronger word or phrase to describe the egregious claims I’ve run across. I’m leaning toward “numerical blasphemy,” but am open to suggestions.

A Money Merge Account agent sent me a link to a You Tube video titled Truth in Lending. The author wanted to illustrate the concept of “front-loaded” interest on a 30 year mortgage. I’ve never seen a post that started with that idea end in anything that made sense, this video was no different. The video itself was well done, nice animation and voice over, but the numbers soon fall apart. I’ll offer two screen shots that show this.

truth1

As this slide came up, it seemed innocent enough,unfortunately it ends incorrectly. When working with a financial calculator you need to be very specific. N is not the number of years but number of payments, in the video’s example, 360. PMT, the payment, can be positive or negative depending on the calculator. Excel looks for it to be negative, a classic TI BA-35 calculator, positive. PV is not the equity built, but the present value of the mortgage, starting at the borrowed amount, and of course, ending with a FV (future value) of zero. He then says Compute, but there are two variable missing, %i (the interest rate) as well as FV. So, while I have no idea what his intention was, he now suggest taking I (the interest rate, I suppose) and dividing by Y (years, but why?) to produce a number which is admittedly large but meaningless.

truth2

Here, you can see that he author suggests that somehow the interest rate over 15 years is over 24%. But, back to a calculator or spreadsheet, we can see that PV = $200K (original loan) i = .5% (monthly rate or 6%/12) N=360 months (30 years) FV = 0 (after 30 years it’s paid to zero. If we enter these numbers we can comput the missing variable, the payment, which is $1199.10. Then it’s simple to set N to 180 (year 15) and compute the new future value, $142,097.69, as he shows above. On the other hand, we can enter PV =$200K, i = .5%, PMT = $1199.10, N=180 and FV = $142,097.69, and ask to calculate the rate, which of course comes back as .005 or 6% per year. By the way, it’s easy to look at the interest column above and divide say, the 2021 interest into the prior year ending balance and see you get under 6%. A couple hundred video views and no one saw how silly this all was?

As far as front loading is concerned, there’s nothing diabolical in how mortgages are calculated, you owe interest on the principal outstanding at any given time. Since you owe far more in the early years, more of your payment is interest. On this example $200K mortgage, in the first month the interest is $1000, but the principal paid is only $199.10. Pay more if you wish, that’s your decision. But don’t fall for an abomination of bad math. What does this have to do with the Money Merge Account? Only that every time I see numbers abused this badly I’m reminded of my friends at UFirst and the MMA.

Joe

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