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Non-Profit Debt Settlement – Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

Last night I saw an ad for a non-profit group promoting debt settlement. It was a company I had not heard of before called Financial Hope for America. It piqued my interest to see a non-profit group wandering so boldly into the debt settlement arena, especially when the domain name I saw advertised was non-profitdebtsettlement.net.

Rather than just give you one of my typical reviews on this company I thought I take you on the journey I took to learn more about this company and let you see the path my examination took.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?
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Hum, a non-profit company running an ad specifically for debt settlement. That’s odd. I wonder who is behind non-profitdebtsettlement.net?

Let’s see who owns the domain name.

Mike Wayman
3M Marketing
30141 Antelope Rd
Menifee, California 92584

And the domain was just registered a couple of months ago on March 10, 2010. Interesting.

The domain took me to a company called Financial Hope for America.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

A web search for Financial Hope for America turned up their primary domain name, FinancialHopeofAmerica.org but the domain name ownership was hidden. I did noticed the domain used the nameservers of company, CFPGLLC.COM. A lookinto this domain found that it is owned by:

Mike Wayman
3M Marketing
30141 Antelope Rd
Menifee, CA 92584

Now that is very interesting. A nonprofit group that advertises debt relief services that has a persistent connection with a marketing company. Let’s see how 3M Marketing describes themselves.

First I want to make sure I have the full name of the company so since the company says it is located in California I went to the state records to search for 3M Marketing. In California there is no registered corporation or LLC with the name 3M Marketing. I went back to the domain records for the original domain names I searched but the email address listed was a Yahoo free email address so that doesn’t help figure out who these people are. Let’s search by address and see what we come up with.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

It turns out that 30141 Antelope Road, Menifee, CA is a shopping center and I could find no business listed there named 3M Marketing. But I did find a mail drop store called Postal Annex that might be where the company is located. Here is a listing of the companies located at the address given for 3M Marketing. Payless Shoe Source, GNC, Postal Annex, Ross Dress For Less, Mirage Pool Plastering, Luv 2 Camp, PPCRep.com, Menifee Beauty Supply & Salon, Gotta Love’Em! Pet Care, Erickson Orthodontics‎, Clifton Photography, Mobile Baby Store, LUV2CAMP‎, Amy Dawnelle Portrait Photography‎, Jim Appliance Repair, Menifee Cleaners, JW Doors & Window Replacement, Flowers Bouquet Corral Menifee, Christian Mentors Murrieta, Homes for Sale – Menifee Ca‎, D J’s Fabrications, Saunder and Turner, Healthy Smile Dentistry, All Season Air Conditioning & Heating‎, Eagle Golf, Eyre Fire Co, Short Sale Menifee, , Pueblo Viejo Mexican Food‎, Cathay Chinese Food‎, Simply Panache Hair Design, Menifee Donut Depot, Pool Service Pros, Appearance Technicians, HPBA II Menifee, Arroyo Paula, Cristina For Hair, Into Construction Inc‎, Western Pacific Home Improvments, Children’s Dental Practice Of Menifee, Harris Michele, In House Lender ( Real Estate Loans ), AE & E Inc‎, A-HG Company‎.

Based on what I know so far I’ll have to stick with the Postal Annex as being the most logical candidate for 3M Marketing.

Financial Hope for America describes themselves as a “non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Americans overcome hardships associated with the unemployment, foreclosure, housing and credit crises in America.” – Source

They list their address as 40810 County Center Drive, Suite 160, Temecula, CA 92591. A search for that address lists Bonterra Consulting, Certified Financial Protection Group, Nationwide Solar Power, Pac Ten Partners, and ‎RBF Consulting‎ located at that address.

In my search for businesses located at this address I discovered a domain name MikeWayman.info that actually resolved to the Financial Hope for America website. When I say “resolved to” I mean if you type in MikeWayman.info it takes you to the corporate site for the non-profit company. Now that’s very odd. Why would an individual site go to a registered 501(c)3 site for Financial Hope for America. – Source

To make this even stranger this new site for Financial Hope for America lists a whole bunch of new information i had not seen before. It has a different telephone number for Financial Hope for America. This one is 888-343-3442. It lists a wide variety of services including asset protection, credit repair, and a business opportunity.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

The PowerPoint presentation they have lists the contact email address as [email protected] and it you go to fha365.com you wind up on the Certified Financial Protection Group, LLC web site. Ah, now we know who Financial Hope for America really is. – Source

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

In the PowerPoint presentation, which you can download here, it says that Financial Hope for America is NOT a credit counseling group.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

So as it stands right now it appears that Financial Hope for America is a front for Certified Financial Protection Group, a for-profit company, and the web site for Financial Hope for America is under the control of 3M Marketing and Mike Wayman.

Let’s go check the status of a registered company called Financial Hope of America. California lists that a company called Financial Hope for America, Inc was registered on December 18, 2008. Interesting. Certified Financial Protection Group, LLC was registered on November 19, 2008 and guess who the agent listed for the company is, Mike Wayman.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

I went to the IRS site to search if Financial Hope for America was a listed non-profit organization. You can search charities here.

A search for Financial Hope for America found no IRS recognized exempt organization listed under that name. A search on GuideStar.org, the non-profit information clearinghouse could locate no non-profit by that name either. There is no information I can find that confirms Financial Hope for America is a non-profit organization.

A further search for the Financial Hope for America address of FHA365.com led me to the following comment:

We were assigned to this company by Mike Gibson with Leaders in Financial Education in Santa Rosa, CA while trying to find help with our adjustable, pick-a-payment loan when our mortgage payment nearly doubled. In requesting docs from the bank we discovered fraud. We were told we needed CFPG to do an extensive Forensic Loan Audit in order to address the fraud and obtain a loan modification.

We provided all required documents; including our entire financial history, tax returns, bills, loan docs, etc. They charged $3,200 before giving us our forensic loan audit that was incomplete and inaccurate. They didn’t use the documents provided to complete the loan audit correctly.

Don Brokaw, Mike Waymond, Yasmeen Frierson, and these “Loan Modification Specialists” didn’t do ANYTHING they said they would do.. Didn’t provide our documents to lender, didn’t follow up with lender or communicate with us, and verbally insulted my husband and I.

We terminated our relationship in writing with CFPG due to their non-performance and breach of contract. We demanded a refund, and they have ignored our demands. We are now consulting an attorney and are seeking a remedy through litigation.

We informed our lender and CFPG, they no longer represented us, yet they continue to contact our lender regarding our loan as if they were our advocates. They won’t return our documents, money, or phone calls.

Business had changed names several times, and owner currently is listed on the California Department of Real Estate website Desist and Refrain Orders for Unlicensed Activities. We’ve kept detailed records and documents of all communications between ourselves, L.I.F.E and CFPG/Safehouse. – Source

What is interesting about this is I did see a search result previously listing Certified Financial Protection Group on a list of companies not authorized to deliver loan modification services.

I jumped over to the BBB site to check the ratings for Certified Financial Protection Group and Financial Hope for America.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

As of the date I originally wrote this review, May 28, 2010, the company has 38 BBB complaints, of which 28 were never answered by the company. – Source

The BBB report also stated:

On March 13, 2009 the California Department of Real Estate filed an Order to desist and Refrain against this company’s principal, Michael Wayman for operating without a DRE license.

The Order was filed in the public’s interest when the DRE investigated and discovered that companies operated by Mr. Wayman had engaged in the business of charging, receiving, collecting or contracting for the collection of a fee for the performance of loan modification services with respect to a loan which was secured by a lien on real property. According to the Real Estate Commissioner, these acts or practices would require the company to obtain a Real Estate license.

The companies, and Mr. Wayman were ordered to desist and refrain from performing any and all acts requiring a Real Estate license in the State of California, unless or until licensing requirements have been met. Upon entry the Order was finalized.

Of particular interest in the review was the statement by the BBB about the alleged non-profit status of this company and I imagine they made the connection to the non-profit claims of Financial Hope for America as I did. In fact a search for Financial Hope for America BBB report takes you to the report for Certified Financial Protection Group.

On 8/27/2009 we wrote to this company asking them to provide their IRS letter of Determination authorizing them to advertise as a 501c3 non profit organization, and expressed our concerns with their referrals to unlicensed. foreclosure consultants. The company failed to provide adequate substanciation of their non-profit status with the IRS, and failed to comment on the unlicensed referrals.

The BBB Offers this additional history as well.

“This company’s principal, Mike Wayman, previously owned and operated other loan modification companies in the Southland called New World Financial Services, and Money Management Services, dba Safe House 911 and Loan Modifications 360. These companies generated a number of customer complaints, in which most cases the company failed to address resulting in F ratings for the businesses. Money Management Services, Safehouse 911, and Loan Modification 360 were also the subject of an Order to Desist and Refrain filed by the California Department of Real Estate on March 13, 2009. Separate reports are available upon request.

As of July 1, 2009, the California Foreclosure Consultant Act was enacted to safeguard the public against deceit and financial hardship, and to encourage fair dealing in the rendition of foreclosure consulting services. With certain limited exceptions, it is now illegal to operate as a foreclosure consultant in California without completing registration and bonding requirements. Foreclosure consulting companies must register with the Justice Department, and post a $100,000 bond with the secretary of state for a period of two years. If the company violates the law, a court may order restitution to victims out of proceeds from the $100,000 bond. Companies who fail to comply will be subject to criminal penalties of up to a year in jail and fines ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 per violation.

The Act also affords consumers a 5 day rescission period to cancel contracts without penalty or obligation, and requires the companies to have a pre-printed cancellation notice, along with instructions for cancellation included with the contract. Contracts must also be in writing, and provided in the language requested by the homeowner. If your written contract does not inform you of your right to a refund or to cancel, you may demand your refund or cancel your contract at any time, without regard to these time limits. Despite the law’s protections, if you are not dealing with a reputable company, you may find it difficult to enforce your rights.

We advise you not to rely solely on registration or licensing to determine the reliability of a loan modification company, though. Despite the law’s protections, if you are not dealing with a reputable company, you will find it difficult to enforce your rights. You should investigate the background and worthiness of any company offering to provide you with these services.”

Certified Protection Group also appears on an official publication of companies that have not properly registered with the Attorney General Office in California. – Source

Back to Financial Hope for America

I finally found a definitive statement to tell us who is behind Financial Hope for America.

MICHAEL B. WAYMAN

Mike has over twenty-five years of experience in the financial services industry covering the full spectrum of financial services and products. His business skills are demonstrated by his ability to take a company from an idea to a reality as a successful entity.

In addition to being a successful business entrepreneur, Mike has distinguished himself for over fifteen years as a police officer and deputy sheriff. Along with many notable achievements, he has been awarded the Courage Under Fire Commendation Medal.

Mike is a dedicated family man and has been married for twenty-six years, is the father of two grown children and is an active member of the business community. Over the years, Mike has generously donated his personal time and effort to help his friends and neighbors find financial solutions to their problems. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Hope for America, Mike hopes to provide a host of financial services that meets the growing needs of everyone across America that is struggling with the mortgage epidemic and the financial crisis.

DON BROKAW

With over 17 years of military service, and a career in law enforcement, combined with the experience of owning a successful business, Don brings exceptional leadership skills to Financial Hope for America. He has significant experience and expertise in problem solving situations, and utilizes these skills to the benefit of our Members and Client’s.

During his career as a law enforcement professional, he was responsible for the implementation of technical and operational systems and procedures for several law enforcement agencies in many locations that resulted in more efficient and operationally sound stations. Don has completed numerous extensive, specialized training courses in leadership with a special interest in personnel issues in the workplace.

Don’s compassionate yet straight-forward way of working towards the betterment of a Client’s situation is the driving force behind the results driven staff at FH4A. He maintains a “No is Not an Option” mentality when fighting for the cause of a Client. It is Don’s heartfelt belief that that there is no problem that cannot be solved with “outside the box” thinking, and he strives to share and instill this philosophy throughout FH4A and its’ staff. – Source

I found the following promotional video for Financial Hope for America that represents they are a non-profit organization.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/FinancialHopeforAmerica.flv /]

And here is a video that identifies who the guy is in the Financial Hope for America videos, Don Brokaw, the Director of Operations for the Certified Financial Protection Group.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/DonBrokaw.flv /]

So far I’ve spent two hours on this quest for information on Financial Hope for America. Let’s turn to their claims of offering debt settlement services.

The video on the home page of their debt settlement site makes it sounds like their service is free and painless. They say the also offer a free debt settlement ebook.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/FinancialHopeDS.flv /]

Here is what their debt settlement service page looks like.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

This debt settlement page is the worst I think I’ve ever see on the web. It lists none of the consequences of debt settlement, does not mention the risk of being sued, damage to credit, tax consequences, continued collections, etc.

A consumer landing on this site and reading this page would believe this is a legitimate nonprofit organization, although I can find no evidence it is, they would think the service is free, which I seriously doubt it is, and the consumer would not be aware of any of the risks associated with debt settlement.

In fact at least one consumer said they paid $3,000 for service from Financial Hope for America that they never received. – Source

On their testimonial page it says “You can Immediately Download some of our most recent client Testimonials. These show our success in reducing our client’s principle balances down to as little as 10% of their original balance!” – Source

Here is the really strange part, the link for THEIR testimonials is http://usa-debtsettlement.com/Forms/debtsettlementtestimonials.pdf. Who the hell is usa-debtsettlement.com? Is that Financial Hope for America? And I thought I was just about done here.

USA Debt Settlement

So take a wild guess who owns usa-debtsettlement.com.

Mike Wayman
3M Marketing
30141 Antelope Rd
Menifee, California 92584

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

And the USA Debt Settlement site even uses the exact same wording to describe their services. Compare the page below to the debt settlement page from the Financial Hope for America page I showed you above.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

A search for the USA Debt Settlement telephone number (888) 495-2054 takes you to Financial Hope for America. It’s all one big circle. I’m so confused now I think I’ll check what other domain names on on this same server.

1. Affiliatesfh4a.org
2. Americanfinancialhope.org
3. Area51leads.com
4. Area51technologies.com
5. Areversemortgage.net
6. Areversemortgage.org
7. Avoidingdebt.net
8. Avoidingdebt.org
9. Bankruptcyhelpfree.net
10. Bankruptcyhelpfree.org
11. Bestcreditrestoration.org
12. Billcollector.org
13. Buildhomeequity.org
14. Buildinghomeequity.org
15. Businessconsultingservices.org
16. Businessmanagementconsulting.org
17. Certifiedcreditdeletion.com
18. Certifiedcreditdeletion.net
19. Certifiedcreditdeletion.org
20. Certifiedfinancialprotection.net
21. Certifiedfinancialprotection.org
22. Certifiedfinancialprotectiongroup.info
23. Certifiedfinancialprotectiongroup.net
24. Certifiedfinancialprotectiongroup.org
25. Cfpgblog.com
26. Commercialloanmods.net
27. Creditbible.org
28. Creditcardsbalance.net
29. Creditcardsbalance.org
30. Creditcardsrepair.org
31. Creditcompensationpro.com
32. Creditcounselingnow.org
33. Creditdelete.net
34. Creditdelete.org
35. Creditdeletion.net
36. Creditdeletion.org
37. Creditdeletionguaranteed.com
38. Creditdeletionpro.com
39. Creditdeletionpro.net
40. Creditdeletionscams.com
41. Credithowto.net
42. Creditmender.org
43. Creditoverhaul.org
44. Creditrehab.org
45. Creditrepairbrokers.org
46. Creditrepaircfpg.com
47. Creditrepairconsulting.org
48. Creditrepaircreditcard.org
49. Creditrepairfast.net
50. Creditrepairgenius.net
51. Creditrepairgenius.org
52. Creditrepairguild.com
53. Creditrepairguild.net
54. Creditrepairhow.org
55. Creditrepairmasters.org
56. Creditrepairnow.org
57. Creditrepairpro.org
58. Creditrepairpros.org
59. Creditrepairscam.org
60. Creditrepairsuccess.net
61. Creditreportsavers.org
62. Creditscoregood.org
63. Debt-settlementcompanies.com
64. Debt-settlementcompanies.org
65. Debtcreditrepair.org
66. Debteliminationfree.org
67. Debtinterest.org
68. Debtnegotiating.org
69. Debtpaying.org
70. Defaultcounseling.com
71. Deletecredit.org
72. Deletecredithistory.com
73. Deletecreditreport.org
74. Educatedhomebuyer.net
75. Educatedhomeowner.org
76. Equityacceleratorplan.com
77. Equityacceleratorplan.net
78. Equityacceleratorprogram.net
79. Equityacceleratorprogram.org
80. Estateplanningfree.com
81. Estateplanningfree.net
82. Estateplanningfree.org
83. Evicting.org
84. Evictionlaws.net
85. Evictionprocess.org
86. F-h-4-a.org
87. Fairhousingassistance.net
88. Fairhousingassistance.org
89. Fairhousinghelp.net
90. Fairhousinghelp.org
91. Fh4achapter.org
92. Fh4aliveevents.info
93. Fh4america.org
94. Fha365.org
95. Financial-hope-4-america.org
96. Financial-hope.org
97. Financialhope-4-america.com
98. Financialhope4u.org
99. Financialhopeforamerica.org
100. Financialhopeforamericastore.com
101. Financialhopeforamericastore.net
102. Financialhopeforamericastore.org
103. Financialplanfree.com
104. Financialplanfree.net
105. Financialplanfree.org
106. Financialplanningfree.net
107. Financialservicesforamerica.com
108. Firsttimebuying.org
109. Foreclosure44.com
110. Foreclosureillinois.org
111. Freeestateplanning.net
112. Freefinancialplan.net
113. Freeloanmods.net
114. Freemoneymanagement.net
115. Guaranteedprincipalreduction.com
116. Guaranteedprincipalreduction.info
117. Guaranteedprincipalreduction.net
118. Guaranteedprincipalreduction.org
119. Homebuyer-education.org
120. Homebuyingadvice.org
121. Homebuyingprocess.org
122. Homeequityconversion.org
123. Homelessaid.net
124. Homelessamerica.net
125. Homeownerbudget.com
126. Homeownersequity.org
127. Homesbuying.net
128. Hopetool.com
129. Hopetool.mobi
130. Housesforeclosure.net
131. Howcreditscore.org
132. Howtobuyhome.org
133. Howtoshortsale.net
134. Ilforecclosures.org
135. Legalassetprotection.net
136. Loanmodificationadvocates.org
137. Lowercreditcardinterestrate.com
138. Medicaltourismtoday.org
139. Membersfh4a.org
140. Mikewayman.com
141. Mikewayman.info
142. Mikewayman.net
143. Newcreditfile.org
144. Newcreditprofile.org
145. Non-profitdebtconsolidation.info
146. Non-profitdebtconsolidation.net
147. Non-profitdebtconsolidation.org
148. Non-profitdebtmanagement.com
149. Non-profitdebtmanagement.info
150. Non-profitdebtmanagement.net
151. Non-profitdebtmanagement.org
152. Non-profitdebtrelief.info
153. Non-profitdebtrelief.net
154. Non-profitdebtrelief.org
155. Non-profitdebtsettlement.info
156. Non-profitdebtsettlement.net
157. Non-profitdebtsettlement.org
158. Nonprofitdebtelimination.info
159. Nonprofitdebtelimination.net
160. Nonprofitdebtelimination.org
161. Nonprofitdebtnegotiation.com
162. Nonprofitdebtnegotiation.info
163. Nonprofitdebtnegotiation.net
164. Nonprofitdebtnegotiation.org
165. Nonprofitdebtsolutions.org
166. Nonprofitloanmodifications.org
167. Nonprofittaxsettlement.com
168. Nonprofittaxsettlement.info
169. Nonprofittaxsettlement.net
170. Nonprofittaxsettlement.org
171. Personalfinancearticles.net
172. Professionalcreditrepair.org
173. Rapidcreditrepair.org
174. Repairmybadcredit.net
175. Sandiegocreditrepair.org
176. Secretcreditrepair.org
177. Stopforeclosureforfreenow.com
178. Stopyoursale.org
179. Taxauditdefense.us
180. Taxsettlement.mobi
181. Temeculalawyer.net
182. Temeculalawyer.org
183. Thecreditrepairsecret.org
184. Threemmarketing.com
185. Usa-debtsettlement.com
186. Usaloanmodifications.net
187. Usaloanmods.info
188. Uscreditrepair.org

And instead of a clarifying note to end on, here is a last tidbit to consider. I found yet another web site for Financial Hope for America, finacnialhopeforamerica.org, that lists their address as 27890 Clinton Keith Road, Ste. D415, Murrieta, CA 92562.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

A web search for that address does not list an office for Financial Hope for America but a UPS Store mailbox drop. This street address took me to a web site (taxsettlement.me) for Financial Hope for America where they sell tax settlement services.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

The Final Kicker

On my way out of the Financial Hope for America site I passed through the credit score restoration service page where they make the following statement:

“Members of Financial Hope for America can take advantage of our credit score restoration service that guarantees a minimum 90 point credit score improvement on all three bureaus in 90 days. This score improvement and timeline is backed by a 100% money back guarantee. There are thousands of credit restoration companies throughout the nation and few provide a 100% guarantee of their services. – Source

It appears the company is guaranteeing to improve credit scores for an advance fee and that clearly violates the Credit Repair Organizations Act.

My Prediction

After spending now four hours looking at Financial Hope for America and the accompanying maze I am left with the conclusion that I have no idea what they say that is factual or believable in my opinion. I also will not be surprised if the charge into this site and post some nasty comments because they will not like what I have said. My bet is that in order to try to silence these findings they will come out swinging.

While Financial Hope for America may be pissed off at me for looking at them they can improve their standing tremendously.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. They can produce their official IRS determination letter showing they are a non-profit organization.
  2. They can produce their 990 returns showing their non-profit business activity.
  3. They can transfer ownership of their primary domain to the non-profit organization.
  4. They need to distance themselves from Mike Wayman since a non-profit organization can not have a financial relationship with direct officers of the non-profit that is neither at arms length or self-serviing.
  5. It appears that since the services of Financial Hope of America are delivered by companies owned or controlled by Mike Wayman that Financial Hope for America is funneling consumers through an alleged charity to an affiliated for-profit company of the non-profit CEO. This is a clear violation of the IRS regulations regarding 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.
  6. The underlying service providers for Financial Hope for America need to get in compliance. It does not appear that Certified Financial Protection Group is registered with the State of California to do loan modifications and I could not find any registered company under the name USA Debt Settlement in California. A search of the California registration page for approved loan modification companies said “NO, “Financial Hope for America” is NOT a registered Foreclosure Consultant” and “NO, “Certified Financial Protection Group” is NOT a registered Foreclosure Consultant.”
  7. If this company is a non-profit organization they operate as a charity to protect the public it appears in my opinion they way they operate violates the public trust. It appears they have relationships with unlicensed companies and share personal information about people that apply for information through their site with affiliated for-profit companies.

If you are a consumer and thinking of using the services of Financial Hope for America, in my opinion, you need to be warned and beware. I don’t like what I’ve seen so far.

Update: July 17, 2010

I was very critical of Financial Hope for America in my story “Non-Profit Debt Settlement – Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?” and even more so when Don Brokaw from Financial Hope for America started making statements in the comments to that story. Especially disturbing to me was the fact that while they portrayed themselves to be a non-profit agency they were not an IRS approved charity and as Don says “FH4A did apply with the IRS for the non profit status. We were unable to qualify for the status so we are a CA Not for Profit company.” Like that makes the misrepresentation better.

Another tipster (send in your tips here) has told me that since the story Financial Hope for America is moving in a new direction.

FH4A is trying to stay afloat by moving in a different direction from loan modification…it is getting into a MLM organization known as 5Linx. COO Don Brokaw has been recruiting the 30 or so employees left at the offices in Temecula to pay approximately $600 (plus $80/mo) to join this “incredible opportunity”. Basically the vast majority of income is a result of recruiting others to join. See below how it’s being represented…click here

For those unfamiliar with 5Linx like I was, here is a screen shot from their site.

Non Profit Debt Settlement   Financial Hope for America. Who Are They Really?

Financial Hope For America Financial Hope for America Archive

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Bselden64

    I too got ripped off by this company.

  • Bselden64

    I too got ripped off by this company.

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  • Anonymous

    They have other companies that are operating, why cant you get the judgement from that? Im so sorry to hear your story. My heart goes out to you! Make sure you file complaints with the FTC, Ca AG and any other entity you can file a complaint with.

  • sarah yiga

    I was scammed by Certified Financial Group. Took them to court won, they appealed and just got a judgement from the appeals also won. I cannot collect from the company because they closed down all their wells fargo bank account. I am so upset becaused they scammed me during the time when I lost my father to cancer and going through chemo therapy with my mother! They paid a lawyer to represent them, but could not pay me $1,500. I won the case and still have not seen a dime from them. I will join any class law suite out there, talk to T.V, radio etc just to let Wyaman know that I could attend my fathers’ funeral because I gave him the money to be able to save my home and he did nothing but took my money and run!!!!!!!!!

  • sarah yiga

    I was scammed by Certified Financial Group. Took them to court won, they appealed and just got a judgement from the appeals also won. I cannot collect from the company because they closed down all their wells fargo bank account. I am so upset becaused they scammed me during the time when I lost my father to cancer and going through chemo therapy with my mother! They paid a lawyer to represent them, but could not pay me $1,500. I won the case and still have not seen a dime from them. I will join any class law suite out there, talk to T.V, radio etc just to let Wyaman know that I could attend my fathers’ funeral because I gave him the money to be able to save my home and he did nothing but took my money and run!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      They have other companies that are operating, why cant you get the judgement from that? Im so sorry to hear your story. My heart goes out to you! Make sure you file complaints with the FTC, Ca AG and any other entity you can file a complaint with.

  • Anonymous

    Ive been doing as much research as I could about Mike Wayman and Certified Financial Protection group. I had a horrible expirence with my modification starting with CFPG and then being moved to Financial Hope for America. I was solicited for tax settlement, credit repair, health insurance, a multi level marketing scam called 5 links, a short sale lease back program and their newest scam of a mass joinder. I still have not seen my modification after 2 years. The only thing that ever came close to being helpful was the referral to a debt settlement program. I know everyone’s expirience is different, but I had the same rep that Harshman spoke of and was very pleased with my expirience. I am still in the program and am not drowning with my monthly payments (for once in my life). My understanding is that the program and the reps that offer it are a seperate company and was not apart of Certified Financial. Who knows anymore with these two men…..but for my personal story, the debt program was the only good thing that has ever come from my “membership”. Probably because it was an attorney that I was referred to. Im surprised that the owners would even do business with a company that truly helps people.

  • Dave

    They relocated to Ontario after being kicked out of the building on County Centre Drive for not paying rent. They are going under a different name doing exactly the same thing.

  • Steve

    Here it is Friday the 14th of January 2011 and it seems FH4A has dropped off the face of the earth. Does anybody know if this is true?

  • Steve

    Here it is Friday the 14th of January 2011 and it seems FH4A has dropped off the face of the earth. Does anybody know if this is true?

    • Dave

      They relocated to Ontario after being kicked out of the building on County Centre Drive for not paying rent. They are going under a different name doing exactly the same thing.

  • Investments Mn

    I also live in Minnesota and have fallen victim to the CFPG scam to the tune of $2,495. They should all be thrown in jail.

  • william

    i would really like to get in contact with you about this matter my name is william i left a message before about me being a victim is true we need to get after this mike wayman and don brokaw it is important to stop them before they keep herting financialy other families .

  • william

    Type your comment here.hellow my name is william i can feel your anger i am a victim to they took $2995.00 andthen told me the company shut down CFPG NOT ONLY THAT BUT GOT WIERD CALL FROM FH4A OFFERING A MEMBERSHIP WITH THEM THEY HAD ALL MY FILE IMFORMATION FROM CFPG

  • Harshman

    When I did my due diligence on the internet I found a name and telephone number to speak with a representative of Certified Financial Group. His name was Aaron Hartfield and he claimed he was with Certified Financial Group and a debt settlement agency. His telephone numbert is 1-888-822-7477 and cell phone number 1-951-537-6939
    and he claimed that he would be assigned my case. I declined his invitation for debt settlement which would have been another $4500.00 and when I called him back I told him I wanted my loan modification money returned to me. He was very nasty and said I had declined his help and he had passed on the refund information but refused to give ma name of telephone number of someone I could contact. When I told him the conversation was being recorded he immediately
    hung up on me and to think that this company knowingly has a lawsuit filed against them by the State of California. I received this information after I filed a claim against them in August of 2010.
    Sandra

  • Harshman

    When I did my due diligence on the internet I found a name and telephone number to speak with a representative of Certified Financial Group. His name was Aaron Hartfield and he claimed he was with Certified Financial Group and a debt settlement agency. His telephone numbert is 1-888-822-7477 and cell phone number 1-951-537-6939
    and he claimed that he would be assigned my case. I declined his invitation for debt settlement which would have been another $4500.00 and when I called him back I told him I wanted my loan modification money returned to me. He was very nasty and said I had declined his help and he had passed on the refund information but refused to give ma name of telephone number of someone I could contact. When I told him the conversation was being recorded he immediately
    hung up on me and to think that this company knowingly has a lawsuit filed against them by the State of California. I received this information after I filed a claim against them in August of 2010.
    Sandra

    • Anonymous

      Ive been doing as much research as I could about Mike Wayman and Certified Financial Protection group. I had a horrible expirence with my modification starting with CFPG and then being moved to Financial Hope for America. I was solicited for tax settlement, credit repair, health insurance, a multi level marketing scam called 5 links, a short sale lease back program and their newest scam of a mass joinder. I still have not seen my modification after 2 years. The only thing that ever came close to being helpful was the referral to a debt settlement program. I know everyone’s expirience is different, but I had the same rep that Harshman spoke of and was very pleased with my expirience. I am still in the program and am not drowning with my monthly payments (for once in my life). My understanding is that the program and the reps that offer it are a seperate company and was not apart of Certified Financial. Who knows anymore with these two men…..but for my personal story, the debt program was the only good thing that has ever come from my “membership”. Probably because it was an attorney that I was referred to. Im surprised that the owners would even do business with a company that truly helps people.

  • Sandra Harshman

    I was scammed by Certified Financial Services Group and sent them $2000.00 in May of 2010 to perform a loan modification on my home. They took the money and never delivered anything. When I did a lot of research on the internet I found a debt settlement agency that I called and they tried to talk me into debts ettlement for paying another fee to them. I siad you have done nothing on the loan modification. “Are you crazy” that you think I would igve you more money. They supposedly are connected to a law office in performing their debt settlement and I gave the law officean ear full. I also wrote the attorney general in California and learned that they had a state law suit filed against them in 2009 but you can bet that they took my money in May of 2010. I will join a class action law suit.
    Sandra Harshman

  • Sandra Harshman

    I was scammed by Certified Financial Services Group and sent them $2000.00 in May of 2010 to perform a loan modification on my home. They took the money and never delivered anything. When I did a lot of research on the internet I found a debt settlement agency that I called and they tried to talk me into debts ettlement for paying another fee to them. I siad you have done nothing on the loan modification. “Are you crazy” that you think I would igve you more money. They supposedly are connected to a law office in performing their debt settlement and I gave the law officean ear full. I also wrote the attorney general in California and learned that they had a state law suit filed against them in 2009 but you can bet that they took my money in May of 2010. I will join a class action law suit.
    Sandra Harshman

  • Barbara

    Hi, I read your article about FHA and wanted to let you know my husband was taken by this company just recently. The thing I find interesting is he was highly pressured..boot on throat.. (I sat and watched ) by a woman named Anne Unmacht. You think she couldn’t possibly be profiting by any of this because she handed us a card that states she is president of Project T.O.U.C.H. a non-profit organization to help the homeless. projecttouch7[@]aol.com ..30141 Antelope Road, Ste. D-103, Menifee,CA92584… Phone: 951-677-9661.

    When I told her during the meeting (in Temecula, CA ) that I thought something didn’t feel right about this and wanted nothing to do with it..she focused on my Tom, my husband. What confused me even more was how she spoke of being a religious woman and yet continued to put a big wedge between Tom and myself knowing clearly my concerns and objections. I googled Anne Unmacht temecula ca and project touch came up and all her work with the homeless and was surprized to find she was endorsing Financial Hope of America for a place to turn for loan mods/credit repair in times of need. I ask myself the question..If you were endorsing a company/firm/nonprofit whatever.. wouldn’t you check it out and make sure you were endorsing a reliable outstanding company? Do you think there might be a connection/link between projecttouch and financial hope.. ? Mike Wayman? Could funds be funneled thru projecttouch? I’m not computer savy enough to do research on it all, but if there is fraud involved I would like Anne and her projecttouch to be exposed.. I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback on this. Just to let you know. Tom signed up with them $600.00 up front, and $200.00 a month until things are settled. It’s been about 5-6 weeks since and it wasn’t long before Tom also became convinced fha might not be all it was cracked up to be.. however we still disagree about Anne knowing and profiting while selling Tom on the SCAM .. Thanks for your imput, Barbara

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      It sounds like she might be or have been an affiliate of Financial Hope for America.

      • http://twitter.com/MzGruesome1 Mz. Gruesome

        Hi Steve, I wrote to you about this on your Facebook page. I am currently working on my own investigation of Anne, as many people (including myself in the past) are being hurt financially, mentally and emotionally by her scheming. Our area NEEDS a homeless outreach program and housing, but not from the people (person?) who runs Project TOUCH. Anne claims non profit status as well for PT and her pet project “God’s Fan Club” but I can’t seem to find any credibility to any of it. Worse than that, good people (many off the streets) are being taken for all they have – social security, cash aid, alimony, child support, etc. all the while enduring persistent harassment from Anne and her staff. I was sent in this direction by another former “client” of Anne’s – mentioning Mike Wayman by name, incidentally – that there is indeed a scam, as Anne used to be in the real estate business before her God “epiphany.” If anyone can help expose this, suggest ways to improve the situation, know how to remove/replace President Anne, please contact me. Project TOUCH needs reform now! ~Good Without God

  • Vince and Esther Martinez

    Read your article when searching for more info on ‘fh4a’ and after our googling and came acros fh4aalert.com. Financial hope for america came to us thru a group known as Leaders in Financial Education “LIFE” ran by Steve Cabezud and Barbara Nagel. These two individuals as we have searched have had securities charges filed against them by the State of Idaho Department of Finance. We have paid FH4A their initial $599 fee plus several monthly payments of $199 only to have a loan mod trial payment reducing monthly payment by only $120. They do not respond to our emails or phone calls up until today that we questioned the fh4aalert article, which they plan to respond by telephone tomorrow. We have great concerns about the security of our home ownership, the connection of their “non-profit to for-profit’.

  • Brad DeHaven

    These people at FH4A are nothing but incompetent SCAMERS! They not only dropped the ball on communication with my lender but me also, causing my home to be foreclosed upon without my knowledge. They just never responded to me or my lender when they were told of the foreclosure date unless they forwarded more documentation (which they didn’t!). But the good news is that FH4A offered to “reverse my foreclosure” and still modify my loan for an additional $2900, when I said “no f***ing way”! They went to management who agreed to give me a discount to $1900. When I said “you people caused the foreclosure through your incompetence”, they made a final, final offer of $1200. The audacity of these scammers is more than I can describe. All they want is your money and now my family and I have lost our home to foreclosure! I hope they all wake up with a horse head in their bed!

  • Janice J.Smith

    I have another HORROR story about Certified Financial Protection Group that started in February of 2009 ! I was just informed by Don Brokaw 15 mins. ago that they no longer exist because they ran out of “FUNDS”. I would really like to speak with you concerning the matter. It may fill in some more “BLANKS” to everyone’s puzzle having dealt with the “WAYMAN” scam ! We are out $2850.00 & still fighting ourselves to save our home !

  • Don Brokaw

    As I am sure you probably will not post my reply, but maybe you will reach out and contact me. I read your blog and the information you posted. I’m not sure where to begin, but lets start with the fact that FH4A did apply with the IRS for the non profit status. We were unable to qualify for the status so we are a CA Not for Profit company. I have have been in the industry for 3 years and I have personally spoke to the CA DOJ attorney about the new CA laws and how we can operate legally and continue to help clients. The modification work is completed by a company that is bonded in the state of CA and registered through DOJ CA. FH4A sends all work out to other companies to complete at a substantial saving to the client. We offer software for the client to see what is happening 24/7 with their file. As far as the BBB I’m sure you are aware that the local franchise here is just that a franchise owed by a national financial company, a direct competitor of you and us. A quick Google search on the BBB owner will back up my statement. And as far as I can tell you to are a direct competitor stating to operate in the non-profit arena as I read on the internet also.

    http://www.scamchecker.com/content/steve-rhode-getoutofdebtorg-myvestaorg-beware-steve-rhode-and-getoutofdebtorgthis-company-fr

    I’m sure I could find a lot more if I spend four hours trying to make you look bad. I wish you well and no ill will because if your helping as many people as we have then your doing the right thing. The internet can be used for good and bad and making false statements or half truths. I have spent 17 years in law enforcement and I can defend all the work I am involved in and welcome a call from you and we can discuss your blog so you have facts. You have my email and I hope you send me a response.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Don,

      I surprised in your research you could not find http://getoutofdebt.org/19733/steve-rhode-getoutofdebt-org-myvesta-org-beware-steve-rhode-and-getoutofdebt-org-this-company-is-a-fraud-internet where I talk about how the complaint is total B.S. and answer the allegations.

      Thanks for posting here though. I do have some questions.

      1. How would the public know that when you say non-profit organization that you are not in fact an IRS approved charitable organization?
      2. Since you are not an IRS federally approved charitable nonprofit organization and don’t have 990 returns to file can you please post a link to your state RRF-1 nonprofit return.
      3. Can you please explain why according to the State of California you are NOT a registered nonprofit registration? They report that as of 4/22/2009 the status for Financial Hope for America, Inc is ‘Not Registered.’ Here is the search link.
      4. Can you confirm there is no fee asked from the consumer in advance of any permanent loan modification?
      5. What is the name of the company providing modification work so I can check the AG database to make sure they are registered.
      6. What do you claim your nonprofit purpose to be?
      7. Are you saying that Financial Hope for America is a franchise of a larger company? Where are they located?
      8. What is the URL of the BBB report that shows you are a franchise as you mention? The BBB for Financial Hope for America does not show what you claim. Click here.
      9. Why were you unable to qualify with the IRS? They must have determined that your operation did not meet the standards of a federal charitable nonprofit program, but why?

      You position that you are only a CA nonprofit, which is doubtful based on the current state reporting, seems totally disingenuous. How in the world is it not deceptive for you to say in your video above, “As a nonprofit organization serving the needs of American’s nationwide” with a waving American flag in the background. At best the most you could say is “As a California only nonprofit organization.”

      Any impression to the public that you are a national nonprofit organization serving the needs of all consumers in a nonprofit capacity is not true. A consumer in Iowa would not be able to take any charitable contribution they may give you off their federal income taxes since you are not an IRS approved nonprofit organization.

      Steve

    • http://getoutofdebt.org/19332/non-profit-debt-settlement-financial-hope-for-america-who-are-they-really celia

      Law enforcement or not..It doesn’t mean a thing. I’ve heard of people taking advantage of those less knowledgable and in dire need of help, using thier own knowledge and background to do so. Look at the state for example: foster care…adult home care…they say they protect..but instead their in it for the money and have no heart in the “best intrest” but of their own.

    • ner\al vanderpoel

      Don,
      Law Enforcement? do you have lawyers on your payroll to keep you from steppng over the line to being a criminal? You would be happy to call Steve but cutoff your affiliates and do not speak to them or pay them? Now your changing your company name again? I know my clients will not be sending one more dime since they know you are not paying me and something is very wrong there. By the way Don how come you stopped sending me the 10 emails a day advertising all your WEBINARS? Now I know you have decided not to pay me the Thousands of dollars you owe me!! the only option I have is to come see you in person (How about with a local TV crew)

    • http://www.independentclosingexecs.com Ms. Hjelle-Ranta

      Dear Mr. Brokaw:

      I am a small business owner in Minnesota, and also a respected business woman in my community. I have worked in the real estate industry my entire life. Where I come from, honesty and integrity are second nature. Conducting business WITHOUT moral integrity and a strong work ethic is unheard of…which brings me to you Mr. Brokaw and Certified Financial Protection Group.

      In November of 2009, I paid CFPG, $6000 to handle two loan modifications for me; on my primary residence and a second home for which I have large sums of money tied up in rennovation costs.

      I like many in the RE industry, have suffered financially, due to a slow down in the economy and was exposed to a business partner whom was forced to walk away from her financial obligations and left me with her debt, thus causing a huge financial strain for me personally and professionally.

      Long story short, I placed my trust in your company to modify my mortgages in an effort to save my “properties / retirement”. I wonder if your curious at all…about what your company did to help me??? Are You???

      Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!!!!

      My primary residence you so call, “attempted to modify”, left me with a $700 INCREASE in my monthly payment. I believe the modification objective is to eliminate or reduce financial stress, NOT CREATE MORE!

      Secondly, in regards to my second home, CFPG DID NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact your company, due to your lack of participation, direction and follow through, created a situation where the second lien holder filed a judgment against me, and CFPG told me the judgment would be lifted as we were concluding the modification. Then, just days later, CFPG sent me a very tacky & unprofessional “EMAIL”, much like the one posted above, stating you would no longer be working on my modification ect…yet did not mention anything about a refund coming back to me.

      Mr. Brokaw, I have called and called, left numerous messages, via email, business & cell phone, one after another, demanding a refund of my $6000…yet no reply from you or anyone from your company!

      I will give you one last opportunity to make this deceiptful WRONG, RIGHT! It may not be too late for you to regain some dignity and self respect. I can’t imagine how dissappointed your children must be by your lack of empathy for hard working people, like myself and what appears to be very dishonest business practices by you and your various companies.

      I will generously provide you 7 business days, from the date of this post to rectify this situation. If not, as mentioned in a previous email sent to you…I WILL CONTACT EVERY TELEVISION STATION IN THE USA, THE POLICE, FBI, SIGTAR, ECT…

      Preying on innocent people suffering from financial hardships, does not look to attractive, under “experience” on your resume’ and stripes, for most people are very unflattering as well.

      Sincerely,
      Ms. Hjelle-Ranta

      NOTE: PLEASE!!!! ANY OF YOU WHOM HAVE FALLEN VICTIM TO CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PROTECTION GROUP, FINANCIAL HOPE FOR AMERICA, OR ANY OTHER OF THEIR SO CALLED ALIASES, PLEASE REPLY TO THIS POST. I AM FORMING A GROUP BY THE NAME OF “INTEGRITY POSSE”, AND TOGETHER, WE WILL PUT A STOP TO THIS OUTRAGEOUS DISPLAY OF DISRESPECT FOR MANKIND AND ABUSE OF THE FREEDOMS AMERICA OFFERS.

      • william

        Type your comment here.hellow my name is william i can feel your anger i am a victim to they took $2995.00 andthen told me the company shut down CFPG NOT ONLY THAT BUT GOT WIERD CALL FROM FH4A OFFERING A MEMBERSHIP WITH THEM THEY HAD ALL MY FILE IMFORMATION FROM CFPG

      • william

        i would really like to get in contact with you about this matter my name is william i left a message before about me being a victim is true we need to get after this mike wayman and don brokaw it is important to stop them before they keep herting financialy other families .

      • Investments Mn

        I also live in Minnesota and have fallen victim to the CFPG scam to the tune of $2,495. They should all be thrown in jail.

      • Paulvallas

        I was scammed by a company called U.S Financial Advantage.They took my money and did nothing for me and ignored my request for a refund.Their website looks the same as the other companies that I have seen while reading these articles.The girl who I spoke with before they screwed me was Lisa Wayman;Any relation to Mike?

    • FACT

      You got kicked off the Hemet Police Force! I did my research too!

  • http://www.assistafinancial.com Ryan From Assista

    Great info….I really enjoy reading up on these types of companies..

    I learned a lot from this article and how to check out different companies and see if they are the good guys or not.

    thanks

  • Rita Ryan

    Steve-

    Excellent detective work. I wish I had found this before investing time, money, and risking my home in the process. I am now in foreclosure after FHA took my money, and ignored all phone calls and emails from both me and the bank, and we will be homeless as a result.

    Thanks for your hard work-
    Rita

    These people should be tracked down and arrested. They are predators promising hope to vulnerable people. My 2 children and I are out of a home as a result of their scam. I hope they get what they deserve.

  • Shawn Lovering

    Steve,
    You are definitely on to something here…In 2005, I invested a very large sum of money into a limited partnership, with National Management Systems, Inc. Their purpose, according to the investment memorandum, was “to engage into financial alliances with financial institutions in establishing Mortgage Net Branches in order to provide profits.” Guess who was the president? That’s right, Mike Wayman. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I never saw a return and lost my principal investment – and Mr. Wayman, well, he was nowhere to be found.. Beware!

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