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Home > Debt Relief Industry > Non-Profit Credit Counseling Group Effectively Missing in Action. United Financial Systems Leaves People Stranded.

Non-Profit Credit Counseling Group Effectively Missing in Action. United Financial Systems Leaves People Stranded.

I’ve been writing about United Financial Systems for a while now and early on I predicted United Financial Systems look primed for an implosion. In fact my article on October 25, 2010 was “United Financial Systems Looks Set to Implode. Run For The Hills!

What really disappoints me about this situation is that, for whatever reason, a 501(c)3 charity has created a situation which financial harms the very people it is supposed to serve.

But on October 25, 2010 I was disappointed, now I’m just madder than hell about this. Just today I received an entry from the Debt Relief Scams Database, about United Financial Systems.

The filing said:

“I have been a customer of United Financial Systems for several years now. Things were going fine until starting in October of 2009. I watch all of my accounts like a hawk. UFS takes their money out of my account regularly and ON TIME. However, I had begun noticing that they take their money out of my account on the 5th of the month and the money isn’t applied to my credit cards until over 30 – THIRTY days later. If they are able to electronically remove the money from my account, there is no reason why they cannot apply the money to my accounts the same way within the SAME week. Their practices are unacceptable. I have called to complain, and WHEN I get a human, they have told me to change the due date on my accounts. I have done that three times. They remove the money on the 5th and isn’t applied to my account until the 11 of the FOLLOWING month.

When I spoke with one of the managers there, they said that there was a “glitch” with my account and that it is fixed. Still no resolution. I have put together a lengthy complaint FULL of documentation and am filing it with the BBB AND the Attorney General. You do NOT mess with people’s money….I see what they are doing and they are not playing this game with me.

Example of what they are doing….

On November 5th 2009 they removed money from my account….my creditors didn’t receive it until December 7th.

On December 5th 2009, they removed money from my account….it is now January 9th and my creditors STILL have YET to receive my payments.

On January 5th 2010 they removed money from my account and it hasn’t reached my creditors yet.

I was paying two months worth of late payments on my accounts and being threatened to be removed from the program by my creditors.

Please be very careful before choosing to work with UFS. Trying to get a hold of a human-being on the phone is a nightmare. I have called multiple times where someone answers the phone and then immediately hangs up. Or you get transferred to electronic message after electronic message….or to a voicemail box that is repeatedly full.

My November 2010 payment was withdrawn by UF on November 5, 2010 and it is now December 2nd 2010 and it still hasn’t reached my creditor. This company is horrendous and their client service manager, Jamie Lynons is unresponsive.

They have a rating of D- on this site — and it really should be an F.

Research this company BEFORE you use them. Please learn my from my mistakes.

What I want to know is how I go about getting my payment to my creditor as well as the hefty deposit UFS took from me – which I am supposed to received back once I complete their program.”

Until recently customers of UFS had said they had been able to get in touch with Jamie Lyons, the Client Service Manager of United Financial Systems at [email protected]

According to public documents about United FInancial Systems, as of May 31, 2009 they had lost $337.300 during the and its liabilities exceeded its assets leaving it effectively insolvent.

At the time Christopher Boulahanis was earning $220,000 a year as president and treasurer. His wife, Kathryn Zaleznak, the HR manager was earning $105,500. – Source

I have attempted to contact both Jamie Lyons and Christopher Boulahanis for this article but by the time of publication, neither had responded.

Non Profit Credit Counseling Group Effectively Missing in Action. United Financial Systems Leaves People Stranded.

In my research I came across a fact that concerns me in light of the unresponsiveness of the company, the many consumer complains, the 300+ BBB complaints, etc. Apparently the Florida license for the company expires in less than three weeks.

Non Profit Credit Counseling Group Effectively Missing in Action. United Financial Systems Leaves People Stranded.

Since I have not heard back from Boulahanis I spent a few minutes looking around for additional information. Apparently Boulahanis is involved in Jenson Group, Inc. (source), Global Credit Management, Inc. (source), Global Tax Relief, LLC (source), and it appears that prior to the forming of United Financial Systems he was involved as the sole incorporator of First Franklin Cash Center, Inc. (source).

Frequent readers of the site will be interested to note the lawyer completing the incorporation documents for Global Tax Relief is Robby Birnbaum of Greenspoon Marder.

At this point I’m standing by my previous advice given in this article.

I’ve been helping people and involved in the debt relief world since 1994 and I can tell you with a high degree of confidence, this situation with United Financial Systems is not going to end well. Get out now and if you are owed money, follow this guide for an attempted refund. Those that make claims first have the best chance of getting something back.

Non Profit Credit Counseling Group Effectively Missing in Action. United Financial Systems Leaves People Stranded.
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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.
  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    State of Florida announces United Financial Systems refund possibility. See this article.

  • KF

    Not a big surprise but here it is the 31st of August and still no refund….I knew it was too good to be true…ugh 

    • Joseph Stewart

      To all concern……… This is a copy of the e-mail I received from UFS. As you are aware, UFS has been working with the Florida Attorney General’s Office to provide refunds to its customers as quickly as possible.  When UFS agreed to provide all remaining refunds on or before August 31, 2011, a good faith projection indicated this was a realistic time frame.  However, unfortunately UFS cannot provide any further refunds at this time. The Florida Attorney General’s office maintains a record of the refund amount owed to you and you will be updated accordingly when more information is available.Sincerely,United Financial Systems, Inc

  • Brad

    Dm Phan, and others…

    I received the same email & posted it to this link just a few minutes ago.  BB, i hope this helps you!! (and others) Let me know if you have luck with talking to anyone at UFS.  Im still getting the runaround there.  DEMAND your refund AND demand answers as to what happened and thank them for never apologizing!!! :)

    Brad 

    http://getoutofdebt.org/25912/

  • BB

    Dm Phan RE; UNITED FINANCIAL It would be a great service to this site and to thier clients if you could please upload the Florida Attorney General’s Letter. Thanx

  • Dm Phan
  • SAMIAM

    If you or anyone else are interested in getting your money back, your credit back, and stopping UFS Inc on continuing to hurt peoples credit vs eliminate it email me @ [email protected]

    I hope to hear from you soon, I am also a victim of UFS we need to put a stop to this ASAP!

  • Msudak33

    United Financial Systems
    1117 Banks Rd. Margate, Florida 33063

    Enrollment and Client Services:
    (800) 510- 8765 or (561) 883-2398 | Fax: (561) 883-7302

    I have been a customer of their’s for over 2 years. They are a debt management firm, that makes a monthly ACH withdrawal from my checking account, and then disburses it amongst 3 credit card bills I have. They take the money out on the 15th of every month, and then are supposed to make the payment at the beginning of the next month (they take out 12/15, they pay my 1/7 bill with that money) so they are a month ahead.
    I had a problem with them not paying my credit cards back in the spring. I contacted them, spoke with Jamie Lyons (Customer Service) and she investigated it, told me it would never happen again. She explained it was a mistake, and that they had paid ahead of schedule.

    In October, I realized they were a few weeks late with my payment, so I contacted Jamie again. That same day, my bills were paid. However, there has not been a payment made since 10/22. They missed my November and December bills, and have yet to pay them off. However, they did take money out on 10/15 (which would have paid my Nov Bill), 11/15 for December bill, and 12/15 for January.

    When I called, I couldn’t get a hold of a person. I left 5 messages, on two different voicemails. When you dial a 0 to get an operator, the machine tells you to keep dialing 0. I kept leaving messages, hoping Jamie would respond. Finally a week later (12/27) a woman named Anissa called me and asked what my issue was. I told that UFS wasn’t paying my bills (exact words: “You haven’t paid my bills”), figuring she had heard at least one of my voice mails or emails. She immediately became defensive and started lecturing me on how it is not her job to pay my bills. I asked to speak with a manager, and “none are here.” She kept asking what the issue was. Finally I was frustrated, yelled, and she hung up. I called back, she hung up the moment I said her name. Finally after being hung up on again, I got through to her trying to explain how frustrated I was because I had been waiting over a week to get in touch with an actual person. I tried to inform her that their voicemail system didn’t allow me to get a human, and that it just kept sending me to the operator. She didn’t care. I asked what the next step was since she knew nothing of my issues, and she told me that if I would shut up, I would give her a chance to respond. She informed me she would investigate and get back to me in 48 hours. When I hadn’t heard 3 days later, I called a few more times, left some messages, very nicely, asking to please speak with Jamie Lyons.

    I figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt, since it was the holidays. However, I didn’t hear a thing, until I received an email a few moments ago from Anissa:

    Anissa Foster to MSUDAK33
    show details 4:47 PM (1 hour ago)
    Hello Megan, We have received your voice mail about your concerns. I have forward the concerns to accounting on the payment, which is still pending. Hopefully I will have the information on the payment before the Friday.
    Thank you

    Now, she didn’t call me, probably because she didn’t want to hear me get upset, but I am still waiting for an answer from a week ago. I have tried to get someone in “Accounting” and I am starting to think they don’t exist. Everything I read online, seems to point to the fact that they pull this a lot.

    I have registered a complaint with the BBB of Florida, for the second time, the Florida Attorney General, the FTC, and even the ISO they claim to be a part of. I also just contacted Erica Franqui their attorney as well.
    I just don’t understand how they can take my money out automatically but can’t pay my bills automatically. I am now losing points on my credit report, and I had to make an unexpected $500 payment to Discover, 3 days before Christmas, because UFS hadn’t. They have taken $511 out every month, and are not disbursing it. It has to be illegal.

    M. Sudak

  • Msudak33

    United Financial Systems
    1117 Banks Rd. Margate, Florida 33063

    Enrollment and Client Services:
    (800) 510- 8765 or (561) 883-2398 | Fax: (561) 883-7302

    I have been a customer of their’s for over 2 years. They are a debt management firm, that makes a monthly ACH withdrawal from my checking account, and then disburses it amongst 3 credit card bills I have. They take the money out on the 15th of every month, and then are supposed to make the payment at the beginning of the next month (they take out 12/15, they pay my 1/7 bill with that money) so they are a month ahead.
    I had a problem with them not paying my credit cards back in the spring. I contacted them, spoke with Jamie Lyons (Customer Service) and she investigated it, told me it would never happen again. She explained it was a mistake, and that they had paid ahead of schedule.

    In October, I realized they were a few weeks late with my payment, so I contacted Jamie again. That same day, my bills were paid. However, there has not been a payment made since 10/22. They missed my November and December bills, and have yet to pay them off. However, they did take money out on 10/15 (which would have paid my Nov Bill), 11/15 for December bill, and 12/15 for January.

    When I called, I couldn’t get a hold of a person. I left 5 messages, on two different voicemails. When you dial a 0 to get an operator, the machine tells you to keep dialing 0. I kept leaving messages, hoping Jamie would respond. Finally a week later (12/27) a woman named Anissa called me and asked what my issue was. I told that UFS wasn’t paying my bills (exact words: “You haven’t paid my bills”), figuring she had heard at least one of my voice mails or emails. She immediately became defensive and started lecturing me on how it is not her job to pay my bills. I asked to speak with a manager, and “none are here.” She kept asking what the issue was. Finally I was frustrated, yelled, and she hung up. I called back, she hung up the moment I said her name. Finally after being hung up on again, I got through to her trying to explain how frustrated I was because I had been waiting over a week to get in touch with an actual person. I tried to inform her that their voicemail system didn’t allow me to get a human, and that it just kept sending me to the operator. She didn’t care. I asked what the next step was since she knew nothing of my issues, and she told me that if I would shut up, I would give her a chance to respond. She informed me she would investigate and get back to me in 48 hours. When I hadn’t heard 3 days later, I called a few more times, left some messages, very nicely, asking to please speak with Jamie Lyons.

    I figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt, since it was the holidays. However, I didn’t hear a thing, until I received an email a few moments ago from Anissa:

    Anissa Foster to MSUDAK33
    show details 4:47 PM (1 hour ago)
    Hello Megan, We have received your voice mail about your concerns. I have forward the concerns to accounting on the payment, which is still pending. Hopefully I will have the information on the payment before the Friday.
    Thank you

    Now, she didn’t call me, probably because she didn’t want to hear me get upset, but I am still waiting for an answer from a week ago. I have tried to get someone in “Accounting” and I am starting to think they don’t exist. Everything I read online, seems to point to the fact that they pull this a lot.

    I have registered a complaint with the BBB of Florida, for the second time, the Florida Attorney General, the FTC, and even the ISO they claim to be a part of. I also just contacted Erica Franqui their attorney as well.
    I just don’t understand how they can take my money out automatically but can’t pay my bills automatically. I am now losing points on my credit report, and I had to make an unexpected $500 payment to Discover, 3 days before Christmas, because UFS hadn’t. They have taken $511 out every month, and are not disbursing it. It has to be illegal.

    M. Sudak

  • nml

    any benfit or grounds for filing a complaint with the FL bar against UFS’s law firm?

  • nml

    any benfit or grounds for filing a complaint with the FL bar against UFS’s law firm?

  • nml

    any benfit or grounds for filing a complaint with the FL bar against UFS’s law firm?

  • nml

    Any benefit or grounds for filing a complaint against UFS’s law firm?

  • nml

    Is there any benefit or grounds for a complaint to the FL Bar Association against the UFS lawyer?

  • Waltermomma

    United Financial Systems Update
    404 BBB Complaints
    16 Florida Attorney General Complaints

  • UNITED FINANCIAL THIEVES

    United Financial Update

    United Financial Update BBB Complaints
    404 complaints filed against business
    Failure to respond to 104 complaints filed against business.
    28 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.
    Florida Attorney General Complaints
    UNITED FINANCIAL SYSTEMS, INC.
    1117 BANKS RD, MARGATE, FL 33063-6702
    Phone 561-883-2398
    Complaints 16

    United Financial Systems Update
    404 Better Business Complaints
    16 Florida Attorney General Complaints

  • United Financial THIEVES

    United Financial Update
    404 BBB Complaints
    Florida Attorney General Complaints 16

  • United Financial THIEVES

    United Financial Update
    404 BBB Complaints
    Florida Attorney General Complaints 16

  • nml

    My Advise: Call your bank immediately and ask them to send you a written statement of unauthorized debit.

    I’m in the same boat as most everyone here. UFS failed to disburse payments to my creditors for two, three month periods in 2010. (After many threats of legal action and emails to Jamie Lyons they made a 3 month lump sum payment to my ceditor between non-dispersal periods). After getting nowhere with Jamie Lyons and after failing to get in touch via UFS’s nonfunctional phone service, I cut ties, called my bank, cancelled UFS’s authorization to debit my account, and filed unauthorized debits on my bank’s advice. As a result, I was able to reclaim two of the three months owed to me, but since the August debit was passed 60 days, it was denied by UFS’s bank. I am still due a total of $960 (August 2010 funds $480 + initial agreement payment of $480).

    The BBB closed my complaint and has listed it as unresolved. They referred me to the Division of Consumer Services (http://www.800helpfla.com) and the FL Attorney General (http://www.myfloridalegal.com). I have taken the next step and filed complaints with both the aforementioned agencies. I also have a complaint filed with the Palm Beach County Department of Public Safety Division of Consumer Affairs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHVJTRIB6AYIR5GFQ65UV6ZZNI nml

    My Advise: Call your bank immediately and ask them to send you a written statement of unauthorized debit.

    I’m in the same boat as most everyone here. UFS failed to disburse payments to my creditors for two, three month periods in 2010. (After many threats of legal action and emails to Jamie Lyons they made a 3 month lump sum payment to my ceditor between non-dispersal periods). After getting nowhere with Jamie Lyons and after failing to get in touch via UFS’s nonfunctional phone service, I cut ties, called my bank, cancelled UFS’s authorization to debit my account, and filed unauthorized debits on my bank’s advice. As a result, I was able to reclaim two of the three months owed to me, but since the August debit was passed 60 days, it was denied by UFS’s bank. I am still due a total of $960 (August 2010 funds $480 + initial agreement payment of $480).

    The BBB closed my complaint and has listed it as unresolved. They referred me to the Division of Consumer Services (www.800helpfla.com) and the FL Attorney General (www.myfloridalegal.com). I have taken the next step and filed complaints with both the aforementioned agencies. I also have a complaint filed with the Palm Beach County Department of Public Safety Division of Consumer Affairs.

    • UNITED FINANCIAL THIEVES

      United Financial Update

      United Financial Update BBB Complaints
      404 complaints filed against business
      Failure to respond to 104 complaints filed against business.
      28 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.
      Florida Attorney General Complaints
      UNITED FINANCIAL SYSTEMS, INC.
      1117 BANKS RD, MARGATE, FL 33063-6702
      Phone 561-883-2398
      Complaints 16

      United Financial Systems Update
      404 Better Business Complaints
      16 Florida Attorney General Complaints

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHVJTRIB6AYIR5GFQ65UV6ZZNI nml

        Is there any benefit or grounds for a complaint to the FL Bar Association against the UFS lawyer?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHVJTRIB6AYIR5GFQ65UV6ZZNI nml

        Any benefit or grounds for filing a complaint against UFS’s law firm?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHVJTRIB6AYIR5GFQ65UV6ZZNI nml

        any benfit or grounds for filing a complaint with the FL bar against UFS’s law firm?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHVJTRIB6AYIR5GFQ65UV6ZZNI nml

        any benfit or grounds for filing a complaint with the FL bar against UFS’s law firm?

    • Waltermomma

      United Financial Systems Update
      404 BBB Complaints
      16 Florida Attorney General Complaints

  • client 477724

    Just in case an employee reads, my client # is 477724

    I am on here looking to see if anyone has taken legal action against UFS as of yet, and if not seeing if there is anyone interested or knows or a lawyer interested in representing UFS clients who have been under the situation of non payment to creditors.

    I have created an email, [email protected] to address people that are interested in pursuing action against them.

    It has been since July that my creditors have not gotten payment. Jaime Lyons has not contacted me although I have emailed, faxed, mailed and called. Their phone system takes you around in circles and unless you are not devoted to pressing “0″ every 2 seconds, then your call will be dropped.

    My first email to Jaime Lyons was deleted by her. After I sent a “do not delete again” in the subject heading, i have gotten read reciepts, but no one has worked on my account. I did get one call from a Carol Lee, Ext 342 who said my creditors would be paid by November 26. Still nothing.

    This has me mentally exhausted. I get calls non stop from 8am to 9pm every single day from my creditors. I have run out of things to tell them because no one not JAIME or CAROL LEE have upheld UFS’s contract. I want my money back, immediately, since they cannot make payments, I need to. I am not a criminial but UFS has made me out to be one.

    Again for those that want to pursue legal action contact me at [email protected]. I have kept all read reciepts, emails, faxes and fax confitmations relating to UFS. Do not hesitate to email me if you have a stradegy that has worked for you as well or if you just want to vent.

  • client 477724

    Just in case an employee reads, my client # is 477724

    I am on here looking to see if anyone has taken legal action against UFS as of yet, and if not seeing if there is anyone interested or knows or a lawyer interested in representing UFS clients who have been under the situation of non payment to creditors.

    I have created an email, [email protected] to address people that are interested in pursuing action against them.

    It has been since July that my creditors have not gotten payment. Jaime Lyons has not contacted me although I have emailed, faxed, mailed and called. Their phone system takes you around in circles and unless you are not devoted to pressing “0″ every 2 seconds, then your call will be dropped.

    My first email to Jaime Lyons was deleted by her. After I sent a “do not delete again” in the subject heading, i have gotten read reciepts, but no one has worked on my account. I did get one call from a Carol Lee, Ext 342 who said my creditors would be paid by November 26. Still nothing.

    This has me mentally exhausted. I get calls non stop from 8am to 9pm every single day from my creditors. I have run out of things to tell them because no one not JAIME or CAROL LEE have upheld UFS’s contract. I want my money back, immediately, since they cannot make payments, I need to. I am not a criminial but UFS has made me out to be one.

    Again for those that want to pursue legal action contact me at [email protected]. I have kept all read reciepts, emails, faxes and fax confitmations relating to UFS. Do not hesitate to email me if you have a stradegy that has worked for you as well or if you just want to vent.

  • Accelan01

    The last time any payments were made to my account was August 8th, 2010 with funds withdrawn from my checking account in July 2010. In August, September and October, $649 was withdrawn from my account (totalling $1947) but none of that money was dispersed to my creditors. I could not get in touch with anyone at UFS by phone, email or regular mail. I followed your advice to the T. I put an ACH block on my checking account, filed a complaint with the BBB, FTC, my bank and the FL State Attorney office. I sent a certified letter requesting my $1947 be returned with 14 days. I also sent an email with that information. Within 20 minutes of sending the email, I received a call from Carol at UFS. She told me they had an issue with their payment systems and that they corrected it and sent the past due payments to all of my creditors immediately and that it would take 15 business days to post. It has since been 23 business days. No payments have been received. Yesterday I received an email from Nikki at another company, American Debt Counseling. She said my information was on file at United Financial Systems….I have a call into her but I don’t know what is going on at this point. What I do know is that my credit has taken a very negative hit (accounts 60 and 90 days past due). Creditors are calling me from 8am to 9pm looking for past due payments. I’ve been paying what I can (over the last month an additional $1500 which I couldn’t afford) to help get the accounts closer to current. I am stressed and depressed about this. I have enough to worry about and I feel so helpless. I work too hard to be taken adventage of by these crooks. I pray for a resolution and restitution ASAP! Thanks for posting this info, at least I know I’m not alone.

  • Accelan01

    The last time any payments were made to my account was August 8th, 2010 with funds withdrawn from my checking account in July 2010. In August, September and October, $649 was withdrawn from my account (totalling $1947) but none of that money was dispersed to my creditors. I could not get in touch with anyone at UFS by phone, email or regular mail. I followed your advice to the T. I put an ACH block on my checking account, filed a complaint with the BBB, FTC, my bank and the FL State Attorney office. I sent a certified letter requesting my $1947 be returned with 14 days. I also sent an email with that information. Within 20 minutes of sending the email, I received a call from Carol at UFS. She told me they had an issue with their payment systems and that they corrected it and sent the past due payments to all of my creditors immediately and that it would take 15 business days to post. It has since been 23 business days. No payments have been received. Yesterday I received an email from Nikki at another company, American Debt Counseling. She said my information was on file at United Financial Systems….I have a call into her but I don’t know what is going on at this point. What I do know is that my credit has taken a very negative hit (accounts 60 and 90 days past due). Creditors are calling me from 8am to 9pm looking for past due payments. I’ve been paying what I can (over the last month an additional $1500 which I couldn’t afford) to help get the accounts closer to current. I am stressed and depressed about this. I have enough to worry about and I feel so helpless. I work too hard to be taken adventage of by these crooks. I pray for a resolution and restitution ASAP! Thanks for posting this info, at least I know I’m not alone.

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