13 thoughts on “United First Financial: Sell Them With Deceit

  1. The agent asked a couple of questions, and I told him that my required monthly payment on the mortgage is $1,300, but that I usually pay extra.

    Extra? Extra? Did he factor that into my analysis? NO!!!!

    So the analysis was done, and what do you know… The Money Merge Account will help me pay off my mortgage in just over half the time of my current schedule. Except the agent completely ignored my additional payment each month, and that wasn’t made clear in the report.

    So … the agent basically confirmed what you were already doing for free. Nice.

    The thing that makes me mad about this is that a lot of the agents have been suckered into the plan themselves with no prior financial experience so they don’t really know what they’re selling either. They put forth a convincing (scripted) pitch and are sincere in their belief in the program (because they bought it in the first place), and even if they do figure it out there’s a desire to not feel like a sucker and maintain that facade of “no it works, it really works – trust me.”

  2. Keith

    For all the skeptics and critics of the MMA software I will not dazzle you with numbers and figures you question. UFirst has never taught or encouraged me or any of my agents to be deceptive or fraudelant in there representations of the MMA software.

    I can offer that I do have several clients that use the software and that does include myself. As a financial professional we all charge money for our services and some charge more then others. For example I can use software to Prospect,Market, Follow UP,Trend,track, forecast,crosssell,etc… If i dont take action and call or follow up the software is useless. I dont know how they programmed it or the code behind it or the MMA. I simply use tools and software that allow me to maximize my money and maximize my time. Ask yourself what is the time value of a minute. If I have cancer I would guess it may be of more value than someone else.

    I personally represent both sides of the coin. I represent Banks and borrowers. My position is that if I can provide the average consumer that needs a tool or software to lead them and help make them make better decisions in their daily spending and buying we have done our part to help our country get out of debt.

    If the average american handled there money so well we would have no need to offer Cash Refinance programs. But, Lets look at from the banking perspective. If the MMA software keeps more people from missing payments, allows the money shuffel as you call it to eliminate interest and increases peoples FICO scores, lowers Debt to Income Ratios, Decreases Loan To Values and allows more people t keep their homes and purchase new homes because they carry forward a larger Down Payment into the new property isnt that a good thing. Guess what then we can sell more homes, people can buy more goods and services, and create moe jobs etc….

    Consumers can then save more for retirement and afford college tuition for their kids. Last Time I checked the banks only gave out toasters and tool sets for new customers. Banks are a way of life and they will always be in the business of lending money. I dont think they will ever be in the practice of subsidizing retirement accounts or education.

    I personally endorse the MMA and have watched my clients who use this tool take very positive steps towards eliminating debt and create wealth for their families.

    I am the first to agree that the software is no substitute for financial stupidity and will not get you out of debt if you dont change your behavior. One with a couple of debts and ample discretionary income could get close with limited variables and maybe the percieved value isnt for them.

    I researched the software for 8 months before I would offer it to my clients and made numerous call to other financial professionals regarding UFIRST and the MMA. After all these interviews I decided to not only put my reputation of a 15 year book of business at stake. We have made it a mission to help take back america and show the software to everyone that may benefit from the software and each client gets Live test drive of the software before I Let them purchase it.

    I feel debate is healthy and everyone has the abiltiy to voice their opinion and these are nothing more then opinions. I would like to see more factually based foresic accounting of were all these banks are spending the $125 Billion in bailout money they were given. That info would be more relevant to everyone on both side because we all are going to be paying for this mess.

    The people that use any available financial tool or software at any cost to put them in a better financial position should be appauded for not contributing to the mess further.


  3. Tracy Coenen

    Keith – The sad truth is that you cannot “dazzle us with numbers” because as we’ve proven over and over that MMA loses every single time to a do-it-yourself method.

  4. Keith

    I find it interesting as an author of this blog that you erased the link for people to get a no obligation opportunity for your readership to get a no obligation live test drive of the software with there actual numbers and to let them to formulate there own opinion if the software is worth the investment.

    I would have been much more impressed if you supplied me with a list of other do it yourself strategies or calulators to support your opinion.

    I do see that you have stopped short of saying that the software doesnt work.

    Can you tell me how your refrigerator works or am I better off using a cooler and leaving it in the snow to stay cold?

  5. Tracy Coenen

    Keith – You must have missed the verbiage above the “leave a reply” that prohibits linking to MLM sites. Certainly, you don’t expect me to allow you to advertise your predatory product here? If you’re looking for other ideas, please read the articles here about UFF. They and the many comments discuss alternatives to UFF. And your comparison of MMA to a refrigerator is not valid. UFF/MMA is like the cooler. The do-it-yourself method is the refrigerator. I choose the refrigerator.

  6. Keith –
    You hit upon quite a number of topics, I’m not going to touch every last one.
    The time value – MMA saves no time at all. None. The “watch every penny, every minute of the day” is nonsense. The fact that agents are talking about standing in a grocery store and texting the software to see if it’s a good time to buy the steak on sale is laughable.
    Tool to make better decisions? How’s that exactly? This software simply directs all money to one’s HELOC, so the emotional impact of spending anything is magnified. Want to buy a latte? Well, that $4 is ‘really’ $20. That dozen roses, the $20 is ‘really’ $100, etc. So what?
    Why don’t you share with us what exactly you did for 8 months ‘researching” MMA? Because it took me less than 8 hours to realize this product had no value, and that the marketing of it was fraudulent. http://tinyurl.com/moneymergeau is a link to the Australian SEC which is going after a similar mortgage prepayment scheme which makes the same claims, “no increase in their monthly payments or changes in their lifestyle.”
    I believe that in fact, the software IS a substitute for financial stupidity, if only because it takes one who is so ignorant of finance to find any value in it.
    You, as many agents tend, come up with the most remarkable analogies. A refrigerator? Yes, in fact, when I was 12 I read an encyclopedia entry how refrigeration and for that matter, air conditioning, work. What that has to do with mortgages, I don’t know, but I do know that MMA tries to make a simple concept, that one should pay their highest interest debt down first, and then decide if they wish to accelerate their mortgage into something more complex then it needs to be. And yes, the spreadsheet I give away for free beats the examples every time. I’ve posted examples of this on my own blog. Every agent’s site which offers numbers makes it clear that innumeracy is rampant in this country.
    Do you realize that if every last person in this country used MMA we would quickly go into a depression? MMA encourages no discretionary spending, instead suggesting that anything you buy has a real cost 5X as great. When all spending stops, the economy collapses. Now, on the other hand, if people would go spend that $3500 on something instead of throwing it away, and simply add prepayments to their mortgages, they’d be far better off as would America.

  7. Jim Vincent

    Wow Joe, what kind of circular reasoning is this? “Do you realize that if every last person in this country used MMA we would quickly go into a depression?” So debt is the answer to all our economic woes? No wait…I believe everyone is saying is a huge REASON for the economic woes. Purchasing less, but with out debt, is that such a terrible concept?

    “MMA encourages no discretionary spending, instead suggesting that anything you buy has a real cost 5X as great.” Ridiculously untrue, not if you pay cash. It encourages you not to purchase with CREDIT, and shows you what you’re actually paying if you do pay them out over time…which is exactly what many, many people try to do. People and families need to understand how credit cards work…you think that’s a bad thing?

    How much does your home actually cost you? The same critical info came when those evil things called ‘mortgages’ were rolled out? Imagine, someone charging you 2 or 3 times the value of your purchased product? Despicable scoundrels! And how about all those Mortgage companies offering to refinance you at new INCREDIBLE Rates. It will save you several hundred dollars each month…and reset your amortization schedule to 30 in most cases. What a deal, eh? Yet we’ve all lined up to save our half a point to a point.

    And that stuff called ‘Whole or Universal Life Insurance’? Appallingly dreadful. And that vile and crooked Stock Market!!!!! Do you know that when Wall Street first rolled out, no ‘respectable’ person would ‘play the stocks’? It was deemed irresponsible, and only for reckless risk takers. Today, it’s ‘tell me about your portfolio’.

    No one bashes those products because they’ve been around and are now accepted. When they were new, the skeptics were howling at the moon then too. Bark away, and time will tell – just like with many other financial inventions.

  8. Tracy Coenen

    I’d hardly call UFF’s product an “invention.” Although it is an ingenious way to swindle people out of $3500.

    “Pay us $3500 for a clunky, time-consuming, inefficient piece of software that you don’t even own. We’ll show you how to spend more money to save less.”

    And what they don’t tell people is that the alternative to the hours per month people have to devote to UFF is one simple subtraction problem that takes 10 seconds or less.

    Oh, that’s right… UFF claims people can’t possibly do that because it’s too difficult and they’re unmotivated. And wasting hours each month with UFF magically makes them motivated?

    Interesting concept, but no.

  9. Jim – My reply may have been a bit sarcastic, but certainly not circular reasoning. Do you even know what that is?
    The MMA dashboard’s only alleged value appears to be that it will take a proposed expenditure and show for example, that a $200 pair of shoes, has a “true cost” (MMA words, not mine) of as much as $1000. I didn’t suggest people load up on debt and I don’t appreciate people who put words in my mouth. MMA strategy is to put every last cent of ‘discretionary’ income toward the mortgage, funneling it through one’s HELOC in a move which transmogrifies one’s own money into money that MMA claim to have saved you.
    Have you used the product, seen the dashboard? My 10 year old recently asked me, “If everyone just went out and started spending, wouldn’t the economy get better”? The opposite is true as well, and is happening now. Lack of spending creating a slowdown. The MMA agents keep talking about how people need MMA more now due to the economy. Hardly. Throwing $3500 at a scam doesn’t change the fact they were sucked into option ARM mortgages some years ago.
    How much does my home cost me? Well, my 5.25% mortgage costs me 3.4% after tax, and I expect inflation to run close to 3% over time, so, as long as it averages 1/2%/yr rising in value, it’s damn near free. My state income tax is enough to put us over the standard deduction, so every cent in interest I pay is deductible. By the way, I did refinance, each time with no points or costs. Each time cutting the term as well. 30, 20, 15. Time will tell, this product will be exposed by the good people, Tracy among them, as the fraud it is.

  10. Gail Van Court

    Do all the agents/representatives of U1st have a NMLS id? Have they a mortgage originator license for the state where they’re doing business? I’ve seeen that the corporation has a 2010 NMLS# but do their agents?

  11. Craig Hansen

    Gail, most of the agents are clueless about so much as amortization tables. I can point you to online conversations with agents who actually thank us for pointing out how mortgages work, and how the regular payments are divided between interest and principal.

    No, the agents are not required to be licensed in any way. They only take an online multiple choice test, and they retake those questions they got wrong until they pass. My 3-year-old could qualify to sell the Money Merge Account.

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