Anyone work with Assured Lending all before?

7 Replies

Why do you ask Tim? Have they contacted you too? Also you state they are out of Pomono, CA but I was told they are out of Corona, CA. Might not be that big of a deal because they are only 22 mins away from one another however thought I might put that out there.

Yeah they contacted me too. Some things jumped out at me that aren't settling. I will spell them out below:

1) The did send me info to look them up on the California Secretary of State and though the company Assured Lending L.P. is shown to be ACTIVE since 2004, and the person who contacted me gave me the name of the person spelled out on the SOC registration document, how am I to be sure that he is the actual person and is not just a perpetrator using the real person's name?

2) When I did a website search of the company's website, it shows that the website was created on November 7, 2019 (that's just 10 days ago)...huge red flag. When I asked the guy (Alex) about this, he made a light joke about me requiring more information than the police do. He then stated that the reason it is showing a date of Nov 7, 2019 is because they just renewed their website. I find it hard to believe that a company (and particularly one in the business of lending for real estate) that has been in business since 2004 is just now creating a website. Furthermore, even if he just renewed his website, it would still show an original creation date, which would differ from the renewal date.

3) I asked him for referrals and he told me he would not provide any (another huge red flag). I told him I had never heard of a lender who was unwilling to provide referrals and that I found it odd that if he has been in business since 2004, he could not provide 2-3 people who were pleased with their services (actually this is the point where he stated I was asking for more info than the police do). He tried to cover himself by say "I could just provide you a bunch of referrals from people I've already prepped who would just lie for me"...while this is true and all, when I asked at the initial, he outright refused to provide them.

4) When we spoke, he outlined all the fees I would have to pay both upfront and at closing. The upfront fees were the appraisal and the inspection fee (both standard). However, when he sent over the term sheet, it stated 2 points and 1 pt to an intermediary. I asked why would I need to pay 1 pt for an intermediary when I told him over the phone that I would be using my own lawyer and would that be okay to which he confirmed that it would be. He tried to state that he would be getting his own lawyer to represent him and that is where the 1 pt. comes in. I told him that I was not happy that he did not disclose this when we spoke. He responded, "you are only paying 3 pts to get a loan, it a nominal amount".

5) He wanted me to wire money to a Chase account in the name of the person who was listed as the intermediary on the Term Sheet. Now my issue with Chase is that it is a worldwide bank in some aspects. For all I know this guy could be sitting in Qatar somewhere ready for my deposit to hit and then he disappears into the night. I would prefer a bank like BofA or Wells where I can place a claim and get my funds back should something go awry. 

6) He did provide me a Proof of Funds statement from California Trust Bank which did show a lot of large deposits, wire transfers, and transactions however I am proficient enough in Photoshop to know that this is a document that one can easily create with the proper software. All it simply takes is modifying the name and address on the statement to match what you desire it to match.

7) At first he was like "you are asking too much things. You are the one needing funding. If my terms don't work for you or you are not comfortable, then don't do the deal". I told him "fair enough, I am not comfortable I will find someone else, at least someone willing to provide referrals in the very least". I thought that would be the end of our communication. To my surprise, he texted me back with a possible few other solutions. This was odd as I have never found a lender of this sort (Private / hard money) who was so eager and actually chased people down. Most, in my experience, do take the attitude of "you need me and if this isn't going to work, I have plenty of others who will be banging on my door trying to get financing"...in other words, they ain't chasing business.

8) On our phone conversation, he told me that he is leaving for Turkey in about a week or so, so if we want to close by my closing date, we need to move fast, hence the use of an individual Chase account to send the initial funds to as opposed to a business acct. if he had more time. This was very odd and made no sense to me. I just kept thinking of all the articles I read stating if there is any pressure to close the deal from a lender then you should run.

9) He was wondering why I worried over losing $1,055 for the inspection and appraisal when he stands to lose more as he is putting up a whole lot more. I told him I don't care if it is $10 it is all relative. I don't want to send my money to him and then he never wires the funds and in fact disappears. There are too many scammers out here who would love to make $1000 even $100 a pop and if they can get 100 people to fall prey, they've done pretty good for themselves. I found his "you're putting up pennies verses my huge amount" tasteless and not professional at all. I told him "I know you are putting up the bulk and that your price is great however nothing states that I need to use you. I could easily go with another who is more willing to provide credentials though I might pay more, I'll have peace of mind". 

What's so astonishing is that I tried (and even up to the point of writing this post) to convince myself that this guy/company is legit. However, looking at the compilation of all these red flags (and there are a few that I've missed) I am more certain that I should look to work with another company. This guy/company might be legit in the end but for me, I can't do it. 

Wish you the best in what ever route you decide to go with.

Hope this at least gives you something to build upon.

Mark:


Thank you for your detailed account. This is all pretty much the same for what happened to us which is why I posted here asking for thoughts on the business. The deal seemed great at first but then all these same red flags started popping up. 

Best of luck to you in finding the funding you need!

@Tim Woodbridge and @Mark Pelshak They reached out to me today via email, which was the first strange thing I noticed. They were responding to my offer to bird-dog the KC area for free as a means of networking, relationship building, and experience gaining. I'm unable to find a BP profile though. So the offer of funding seemed a little off topic but not unusual for a growing business. I'm glad Google redirected me to the forums when performing due diligence. I may still contact them just to see what's up.

Best of luck to you guys!

@Tim Woodbridge , just dealt with this guy too. He is 100% a scam. He originally gave me a term sheet and a pre-approval for a loan. Barely asked for any information, he actually did not ask for any information, I voluntarily told him. 

It looked great to begin with and I was pretty excited as I thought I found a great lender I could build a relationship with. But, then red flags really jumped out. Asked for a commitment amount of 5k (never heard of this) and told me he would be paying for my inspection and get a lawyer I would have to pay for. Funny thing was I got an inspection done already and I sent it to him but he said he needs to get his own also. I said okay man that is on you then, not paying for 2 inspections here. 

He then gave me the excuse that he is flying back to his country in 2 weeks and needs to close soon and needs the money asap. He also got very testy over the phone telling me how much risk he is taking, literally almost whining on the phone. I was like okay this guy is not professional. 

He told his name was John. Not Alex as stated above which is another huge red flag. His name was John Rodriguez on his email and he sounded like he was 100% from asia, which is another red flag. Also I see above that his company was stated to be in Ponoma CA. When I spoke to him his company was in Whittier CA. Another red flag. Below was his email signature 


Looked their address up on google and called the building. Asked if "assured lending is in the building as I am looking to speak with them" and I think this confirms all our beliefs, they were not in the building and had no one under the name Assured Lending or John Rodriguez. 


So, they are definitely a scam. 

This is a scam, @Tim Woodbridge . Flat out. If you Google the phone number on the website, at least three companies are associated with this number: Private Lending Direct, LLC, Private Money Bancorp, and now, Assured Investments, LLC which comes up when you Google Assured Lending, LP.

We own Private Lending Direct, LLC and the website is not ours. Nor is the phone number, which is probably from Google voice. If you ask for Private Lending Direct, LLC l'm told this scoundrel answers the phone using my name (Jeff Smallowitz). He has convinced some very sophisticated investors to send tens of thousands of dollars in up-front fees. Sadly, some found me after it was too late.

Since virtually everything about a real estate loan, licensing, and an LLC is in the public records, this is an incredibly easy scam to pull off -- and difficult to stop.

Stay away from this guy, check my profile for a warning, and also read here:

Private Lending Direct LLC is a SCAM and I Own the Company

As importantly, stay off the web when looking for private money. This guy is trolling BP and probably elsewhere for motivated borrowers. You truly have no idea who you are dealing with and these scammers are extremely slick and convincing. With the number of honorable lenders attending real estate clubs now, there’s no reason to do anything out-of-state or online with strangers when you can meet honorable lenders face-to-face locally.

Ignore all anonymous emails, phone calls, and BP solicitations. Anyone can point to a legitimate license and an LLC in good standing. How do you really know who you are talking to?

Also ask about in this thread: Does anyone know if Assured lending- Corona CA is Legit?