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Florida Finally Opens Investigation Into Nonprofit Credit Counselor United Financial Systems

The State of Florida has finally opened an investigation to look into the massive number of consumer complaints about the Florida nonprofit credit counseling organization, United Financial Systems.

As of today there are 650 BBB complaints and 45 Florida Attorney General complaints filed.

Florida Finally Opens Investigation Into Nonprofit Credit Counselor United Financial Systems

For past stories on I have written about the growing mess at United Financial Systems, click here.

If you wish to contact the Florida office which is responsible for the investigation, here is their contact information.

Voice: 954-712-4600
Fax: 954-527-3708

Economic Crimes Division
Office of the Attorney General
110 SE 6th Street, 9th Floor
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-5000

Florida Finally Opens Investigation Into Nonprofit Credit Counselor United Financial Systems
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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.
  • Brad

    Sweet Jesus! Just when I thought the nightmare would be resolved, I receive this in the mail today!!! I did research on the attorney representing the maggot known as Chritopher Boulahanis and turns out he also is from Milwaukee, WI. That made me sick to my stomach knowing he is representing Mr. Boulahanis and fighting for his innocence in any wrongdoing over the past 3 years.
    I guess my question now would be, can we pursue legal action against Boulahanis? I recall the letter from last year stating UFS’ policy of charging clients a monthly fee which was ILLEGAL! I was due $1,100 for 2 months payments never made. Now I feel each client would be deserved this monthly fee as well as their monthly payment refunds.
    The fact that the AG office is basically giving up and saying, “sorry this is all we can do for you. Sucks to be you” is horrible. I would think that they are not living up to their full reputation to go after these leeches and protect consumers for good! I was once told by a representative in the AG of FL office that Mr. Boulahanis cannot serve prison time under these circumstances, otherwise NO REFUNDS would be issued. He obviously violated his agreement and legal obligation to pay back. Was it not a federal crime to mislead and steal people’s money and perform deceptive practices?! And why can’t they seize his assests and sell them to help him pay off his fines? As far as I am concerned, he will now disappear from the public eye, go on to practice whatever else he does (illegally), and AG of FL will sweep this all under the rug without a care for the consumer. (Is it possible to rate the AG of FL on their “job” performance?!)
    Obviously I am VERY angry now. But the consumer has been violated not once, but now TWICE. The very people who are paid a lot to supposedly protect the consumer and not doing their job.
    Please tell me you have some words of encouragement :)

    Brad

    Below is the statement I received in the mail today:

    October 8,2012

    Re:UnitedFinancialsystems.Inc.(AGCase#Ll1-3-1007)

    Dear Consumer,

    This letter serves to update you on the status of your claim for restitution regarding

    United Financial systems, Inc. As you know, Attorney General Pam Bondi previously obtained a

    judgment against the debt consolidation company United Financial Systems, Inc’ and its

    principal, Cilristopher Boulahanis. Through the efforts of the Office of the Attorney General to

    enforce the payment obligations due from the Defendants, a first distribution of approximately

    l4% of each consumer’s qualifying loss was made in March of 2012. Under a payment plan that

    United Financial had previously agreed to, we had anticipated a second and final distribution in

    September of 2012. However, unfortunately, United Financial defaulted on its payment

    obligations under that payment plan.

    The Office of the Attorney General has continued its efforts to collect on the judgment.

    However, a substantial portion of the judgment remains unpaid. We have pursued all available

    collection opportunities, and it is our hope that we will be able to make a second distribution at

    the end of November 2012, which will be equal to or less than the first distribution. Therefore, if

    current collection efforts are successful, each consumer will receive a maximum total refund of

    approximately 28% of their approved claim amount – that is, a 14% payment in the first

    distribution, and a maximum of 14% payment in a second distribution (please note: the second

    distribution may be less than 14% depending on collections prior to November). The November

    distribution would be in lieu of the previously-planned September distribution, and would be the

    last and final distribution in this case. While we were hopeful of obtaining a full refund for all

    consumers, we have reluctantly concluded that this represents the maximum amount that we will be able to recover for consumers in this matter.

    All consumers retain any and all private rights and causes of action should they seek to

    pursue individual relief; please note, however, that generally you cannot recover twice any

    monies already refunded through the efforts of the Office of the Attorney General. Any

    additional updates on this matteiwill be posted online as they become available at the Attorney

    General’s website: http://www.MyFloridalegal.com/UnitedFinancialsystems If you have any

    questions, please call Victim Advocate Josie Ashton at (954) 712-4692

    Sincerely,

    Rene D. Harrod, Assistant Attorney General

    on behalf of Attorney General Pam Bondi

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

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

  • ripped off by UFS

    Dont get your hopes up! I to am a victim of UFS. They have $1,764 of my money. I have filed complaints with everyone i could this of. They have until Auagust 31st to give us our money but i got this email that im not sure what to think of. Does it mean we arents getting our money at all or just not right at this minute. Also Steve, could UFS just declare bankruptcy and screw us all?


    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.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      They could claim the underfunded money is an unsecured debt and in that case you’d probably wind up being listed as an unsecured creditor in their bankruptcy and get little to nothing back most likely.

      For those that might want to try to get their money back before that happens, you may want to consider filing a small claims court suit and hope to get in before they file but before they run completely out of money.

    • Sad pup

      I got the same response.  8/17/2011.  They have no money and we were just giving the August 31st deadline to shut us up for a while.  Attorney Generals office has done nothing!   I have spent hours contacting everyone.  We are all out of our money.

      Anybody who thinks they are getting a refund, is not.  So sad!  I am out $1,300.

  • Steve Rhode

    It seems you have three solutions.

    1. Wait till UFS misses the refund deadline and then go back to the Attorney General.
    2. Find a local attorney and ask them for help.
    3. Consider suing UFS in your local small claims court.

    If you live in a state outside of Florida you can file a complaint with your state Attorney General and see if they will help.

  • Brad

    Hey there! I have STILL been having issues with contacting UFS (SURPRISE!!!?). I filed my complaints w/ FTC, BBB & the Att Gen of FL (all 2nd complaints w/in 6 months on UFS) and Att Gen office finally informed me that there is a Class Action Lawsuit against UFS & they informed me that if you file a complaint you are a part of that lawsuit.  Below is the email I received.  Of course, I have not heard one word from UFS in almost 3 weeks since that email was sent to me!  I have called the FL Att Gen office to complain that UFS does not return phone calls or emails and the thought of receiving a refund BEFORE August 2011 is highly doubtful.  I emailed UFS telling them I will NOT wait 4 months for a refund since they won’t even tell us what happened OR APOLOGIZE for anything and that their communication sucks.  IF anyone reading this is expecting a refund, write them/ email them, etc saying you want your refund issued within 10 business days or you will pursue more action. GIVE ‘EM HELL because they simply do not care.  Considering they took money from people across state lines and never applied it, that is a federal crime.  However, I am sure they will get off with a slap on the wrist, which is not ok with me. And if UFS contacts you for a refund, but throws in you have to sign some paperwork that protects them from you badmouthing them, do not sign it!! You have rights as consumers who were taken advantage of.

    Steve, do you have any more advice for us on this situation, or what we should expect  over this refund?  Also, as far as legal implications go, can we go after UFS for emotional distress, etc in that class action lawsuit.  I have stated with UFS that I merely want my $1100 refund AND for them to pay off my remaining balance, which to date is around $1300.  Not asking too much, is it?

    Thanks again, and please spread the below email around to others who may visit  asking what the current standing with UFS is.  Thanks!!

    Brad KFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi received your email regarding yourconcerns with United Financial Systems. Attorney General Bondi asked thatI respond. I am sorry for your difficulties with this company.Attorney General Bondi is deeply concerned with potentially unfair anddeceptive trade practices that mislead consumers. By law, this officeexercises statutory authority to address unfair and deceptive businesspractices under Chapter 501, Part II, Florida Statutes, known as Florida’sUnfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Our office focuses itsenforcement efforts on business practices by companies which harmconsumers.The Attorney General’s Economic Crime Unit in Fort Lauderdale investigatedthe business practices of this company, and the company has agreed theywill make refunds to all consumers who have requested such no later thanAugust 31, 2011.I am attaching a copy of a letter from Assistant Attorney General TheresaEdwards to the company’s attorney in regard to the refunds. Pleasecontact the company directly to request a refund:United Financial Systems, Inc.1117 Banks RoadMargate, Florida 33063Telephone: (561) 883-2398)Fax: (561) 883-7302Email: [email protected] hope this proves helpful. Thank you for contacting Attorney GeneralBondi.Sincerely,Mark R. BriesemeisterEconomic Crimes DivisionOffice of Attorney GeneralFt. Lauderdale(954)[email protected]

  • Brad

     Hey there! I have STILL been having issues with contacting UFS (SURPRISE!!!?). I filed my complaints w/ FTC, BBB & the Att Gen of FL (all 2nd complaints w/in 6 months on UFS) and Att Gen office finally informed me that there is a Class Action Lawsuit against UFS & they informed me that if you file a complaint you are a part of that lawsuit.  Below is the email I received.  Of course, I have not heard one word from UFS in almost 3 weeks since that email was sent to me!  I have called the FL Att Gen office to complain that UFS does not return phone calls or emails and the thought of receiving a refund BEFORE August 2011 is highly doubtful.  I emailed UFS telling them I will NOT wait 4 months for a refund since they won’t even tell us what happened OR APOLOGIZE for anything and that their communication sucks.  IF anyone reading this is expecting a refund, write them/ email them, etc saying you want your refund issued within 10 business days or you will pursue more action. GIVE ‘EM HELL because they simply do not care.  Considering they took money from people across state lines and never applied it, that is a federal crime.  However, I am sure they will get off with a slap on the wrist, which is not ok with me. And if UFS contacts you for a refund, but throws in you have to sign some paperwork that protects them from you badmouthing them, do not sign it!! You have rights as consumers who were taken advantage of.

    Steve, do you have any more advice for us on this situation, or what we should expect  over this refund?  Also, as far as legal implications go, can we go after UFS for emotional distress, etc in that class action lawsuit.  I have stated with UFS that I merely want my $1100 refund AND for them to pay off my remaining balance, which to date is around $1300.  Not asking too much, is it?

    Thanks again, and please spread the below email around to others who may visit  asking what the current standing with UFS is.  Thanks!!

    Brad KFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi received your email regarding yourconcerns with United Financial Systems. Attorney General Bondi asked thatI respond. I am sorry for your difficulties with this company.Attorney General Bondi is deeply concerned with potentially unfair anddeceptive trade practices that mislead consumers. By law, this officeexercises statutory authority to address unfair and deceptive businesspractices under Chapter 501, Part II, Florida Statutes, known as Florida’sUnfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Our office focuses itsenforcement efforts on business practices by companies which harmconsumers.The Attorney General’s Economic Crime Unit in Fort Lauderdale investigatedthe business practices of this company, and the company has agreed theywill make refunds to all consumers who have requested such no later thanAugust 31, 2011.I am attaching a copy of a letter from Assistant Attorney General TheresaEdwards to the company’s attorney in regard to the refunds. Pleasecontact the company directly to request a refund:United Financial Systems, Inc.1117 Banks RoadMargate, Florida 33063Telephone: (561) 883-2398)Fax: (561) 883-7302Email: [email protected] hope this proves helpful. Thank you for contacting Attorney GeneralBondi.Sincerely,Mark R. BriesemeisterEconomic Crimes DivisionOffice of Attorney GeneralFt. Lauderdale(954)[email protected]

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      It seems you have three solutions.

      1. Wait till UFS misses the refund deadline and then go back to the Attorney General.
      2. Find a local attorney and ask them for help.
      3. Consider suing UFS in your local small claims court.

      If you live in a state outside of Florida you can file a complaint with your state Attorney General and see if they will help.

  • Roselkf

    I have been tyrying to reach this company for months, they will not answer their phones, then eventually it disconnects you. I entered into a contract to pay off 4 credit cards, was suppose to take 3 years, it took over 4 @ $232.00 a month, every month out of my checking account directly and I finished the program and they still owe me a $185.00 deposit, plus they did not pay all of the last credit card bill to Chase Bank, leaving me with $300.00 plus! I would appreciate any and all information you can give me regarding this company.

    My acct # or customer ID # 403863 Linda K. Fogt new address… 9304 Captiva Bay Drive … Miamisburg, OH 45342. Old address… 7603 Essington Cir. … Centerville, OH 45459

    Thanks Much! Linda Fogt

  • Roselkf

    I have been tyrying to reach this company for months, they will not answer their phones, then eventually it disconnects you. I entered into a contract to pay off 4 credit cards, was suppose to take 3 years, it took over 4 @ $232.00 a month, every month out of my checking account directly and I finished the program and they still owe me a $185.00 deposit, plus they did not pay all of the last credit card bill to Chase Bank, leaving me with $300.00 plus! I would appreciate any and all information you can give me regarding this company.

    My acct # or customer ID # 403863 Linda K. Fogt new address… 9304 Captiva Bay Drive … Miamisburg, OH 45342. Old address… 7603 Essington Cir. … Centerville, OH 45459

    Thanks Much! Linda Fogt

  • Steve Rhode

    Start from scratch once the debt is resolve or payments are being made on time. Follow this guide. It’s the same process.

  • guest

    Great news! Any suggestions on how to repair credit after it was ruined by UFS?

  • guest

    Great news! Any suggestions on how to repair credit after it was ruined by UFS?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Start from scratch once the debt is resolve or payments are being made on time. Follow this guide. It’s the same process.

  • Libs3020

    Finally!! I will be contacting them immediately and assisting in this investigation in whatever way I can!

  • Libs3020

    Finally!! I will be contacting them immediately and assisting in this investigation in whatever way I can!

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