11 thoughts on “The UFF Money Merge Account Fraud

  1. What a joke. The same agent engaged me elsewhere, and where I said $200/mo extra will drop the mortgage to about 21 years, he insisted 13.2.
    I challenged him to send the sheet, which I guess is on the way. Said I’d catch the error in seconds. But I don’t have a monopoly on 4th grade math. You caught the error as quickly as I’d have. You know, swapping bi-weekly for semi-monthly is the easiest error to make, and creates an extra 8% or so of gross income, which of course doesn’t exist. Yet agents are too …. to notice that large an error. How far from NY to LA? 3000 miles? Close enough, Tracy. A million miles? Close enough for agents of MMA.
    (I appreciate the link here, as always)
    Joe

  2. TJ

    OK, so if there is $200 monthly in stated discretionary income plus $417 monthly in the bi-weekly/semi-monthly error, that amounts to $617 per month that can be applied to the mortgage. $617 x 12 = $7,404 in the first year. They show an additional $16,400 paid. Where are they getting the other $8,996? Is there a balance on the HELOC at the end of year one? Otherwise, where are they getting the extra money?

    It’s interesting that in every year after the first year, the amount paid that year toward the mortgage is exactly $7,400 (the consumer’s REAL discretionary income). So if this is the case, the consumer borrows $8,996 against his HELOC which he cannot ever pay off during the course of his mortgage. Thus, he should have a HELOC balance after 13 years of around $19,000. Given his mortgage payment of $1,074 and his use of discretionary funds ($617) he could then apply that $1,691 to the HELOC and have it paid off in a year or so, being completely out of debt in 14 years.

    Which is LONGER than if the consumer had just applied his REAL discretionary income of $617 to his mortgage in the first place.

    Hooray for 4th grade math! Boo for UFF/MMA.

  3. Tracy Coenen

    Darnit TJ! Silly consumers aren’t supposed to be able to add and subtract. MMA is a VERRRRRRY COMPLICATED math problem and no one knows the true secret that lets it create money out of thin air!!!

    Seriously… thank you for proving that consumers have common sense.

  4. Well, last night I was sent the same analysis, and pointed out the semi-monthly vs bi-weekly error. He wrote back that his number was now a 20.8 year payoff. But, I’ll add – the PDF had shown that he assumed a combined checking and saving total of $6500, which of course accounts for that first year higher payment. On my simple spreadsheet, when I include that $6500, and adjust the interest rate to 5% as that’s what he used (my challenge said stick to the regular example, 6%, whatever), the payoff drops to 20yrs, 1 month vs MMA 20yrs 10 months. The difference of 9 months matches pretty well to the fact that $3500 would grow to $9287 at 5% over the 20yrs. (9287/1074 pmt = 8.65 months worth of payments difference)

    Whenever an agent is honest about their results, and we don’t let then assume outrageously high extra money to throw at the program, it’s easy to sift out that the program itself is a cost, not an investment. As you and I have been saying, Tracy, the numbers don’t lie.

  5. Tracy Coenen

    Nice work Joe! The analysis done by UFF is still deceitful – It doesn’t make it clear to the consumer that:

    1. They have more than $200 “extra” each month.
    2. They’re going to have to drain their checking and savings to do the program. (Duh, if you throw a bunch of cash at your mortgage it saves you money. But you can do that for free, without MMA.)
    3. The $3500 cost of MMA doesn’t get the consumer ahead at all. In fact, the cost puts them behind because of the interest accumulating on it.

    This “pay down your mortgage with no change in lifestyle” sounds wonderful… But if consumers realized how this really worked and didn’t believe the lies of people like this agent, there’s no way they’d spend the money.

  6. Craig Hansen

    It should be noted that the UFirst agent in this case has actually come forward on another blog, and now admits defeat of the MMA against a simpler DIY approach, and claims he will not offer the MMA in the future:

    http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/united-first-financial-money-merge-accounts-scam-or-legit.html/comment-page-7#comment-317257

    We really need a directory of all these agents, both the reasonable ones who admit the MMA is a bad product, and the the con artists who simply walk away from challenges once their MMA is proven to be inefficient, or they are proven to be liars.

  7. Craig – the honest agent list is small. The innumerate list is nearly all of them. They believe the mistakes they see because that want to believe in the holy grail.
    Funny, the poster NJBlue went to Tracy, while it was my challenge to him regarding the $200. I chose that number to make the error more obvious, and not argue about a much lower number.

    I’ll ask Tracy to view and let this You Tube link through http://tinyurl.com/l36q5o
    It’s a well scripted cute video which explains how for the early part of your mortgage say the first 15 years, the effective rate is 24%. Now, I’ll admit, I still need to figure out how in the world he calculates this. You realize, I can easily calculate the truth, but figuring out others’ errors is a bit tougher. The video got 252 views but only my comment trying to explain the error, as in 6% is 6% regardless of timing.

  8. stacy

    How much do you owe on the HELOC after you finish paying your mortgage? Other than the obviously fuzzy math, is this what they are not telling consumers? That they have merely moved their mortgage into a HELOC that then needs to be paid off?

  9. Marty Laws

    I must admit that I too was one of those brainwashed U1st agents to even bought the plan over 2 years ago. My analysis showed that I would pay off my mortgage in 8.7 years instead of 26. Well, two years later, I still owe $222,000 down from $226,000. Somehow it’s hard to believe that I’m going to pay off $222,000 in another 6 years! ha.

    I feel like I should go back and apologize to everyone that I sold a money merge account to. Take the advice from someone who sold their plan for 2.5 years. DON’T waste your money!

  10. Late2Game

    Marty,

    Wow, that is a big difference. What was the reason for such a large discrepancy? Did the agent who sold it to you include future hypothetical MMA sales or something?

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