BEWARE of fraud by erentpayment.com

303 Replies

We are currently in the middle of a scam by erentpayment.com.  They have taken money deposited by our tenants and have refused to pay us.  They have been very limiting with information and turned their phones off and are not replying to emails.  Cancel all automated payments if you currently use their system.  We are starting the legal process to take action.  I'm guessing they have taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from people.  Help spread the word so others are not hurt by this.

That would certainly be concerning... do you mind sharing what exactly transpired? How long have they had your tenants funds?

We have had no problem using this company up until this month.  I was actually recommending them for their good customer service.... that is until now.  Typically it takes from 3-5 business days for the funds to be deposited into our account, from when the tenant pays rent.  All tenant payments starting on 10/5/2017 have not been deposited into our account.  With the Columbus day holiday, I knew it would take an extra day, so I wasn't initially concerned.  And then nothing was deposited.  Granted, this isn't a small sum.  Personally, they have with-held $12,000+, but not just from our accounts, from hundreds of others.  There was never communication that there was a problem until I contacted them and they said they are "switching banks" and they are having difficulty accessing the reserve accounts.  They have turned off their phones and are not answering emails.  It is very frustrating.  The missed deposits are now 12+ days late and we are now thinking they will never come.  

Oh for crying out loud. I'm not associated with them, but have been watching this play out. They changed banks. When someone opens a new bank account and makes substantial deposits suddenly, the bank holds the money (as they legally can) for a certain period of weeks to protect themselves from fraud until a relationship is established. That's what I believe is going on - the new bank is holding the funds in their account, so there are no funds to forward to yours.

Bad/novice business planning, yes. Fraud, hardly. Put out the torches and let the folks spend time getting their affairs in order to resolve this problem vs. handling the mob reaction.

Medium logopngMatthew Olszak, Olszak Realty, Inc | [email protected] | 847‑447‑6824 | IL Agent # 475167456

Another discussion about this issue at the forum link below. Unacceptable to be sure, but it looks like they're trying to resolve it? I use erentpayment but had the funds deposited by the 5th... which I guess was before they switched banks:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/499...

I had two payments submitted to them on 10/5. Both posted to my account 10/12. I could see how the delay could cause a frustrating cash crunch for some... but it’s too early to make the fraud accusation I think.

My wife found this company on bigger pockets.  She most definitely is in the right, and boarder line obligated to inform the public that a company that used to accept payments from tenants, and disburse the funds to landlords is no longer longer disbursing the funds to landlords.  Furthermore, they have shutoff their phones and customer service department, not updated their customers as to the status of their funds, and refused to name their banking institutions or legal representation that they are using.  

This is most certainly a fraud, and a large one. If not, they should be updating their customer base as to where their money is at, and when they will get it. This rent collection and payment scheme is the perfect Ponzi scheme. They take a clients money and can move it from bank to bank like it's their own money. (Matt, thats apparently what you think happened). Thus, proving the lack of oversight involved in this kind of business/industry. As long as they can grow their customer base the scheme continues. The creator doesn't even have to put himself out there as the frontman of the scheme, and can hide behind an LLC. Interestingly, Rick S is a "pro" member, claims to be the manager or owner, and has 397 post on bigger pockets. I encourage him to comment, or better yet send me my 13,000$. At this point I doubt either will happen.

I hope I'm wrong, but when the company shuts off the phone and fails to deliver on the "updates" they promise.  You have to fear the worse.  This company is still accepting "new" money and the public needs to know.  I don't want to come across as confrontational, but the public needs to be made aware of the problem/fraud.  

Originally posted by @Matt Higgins :

My wife found this company on bigger pockets.  She most definitely is in the right, and boarder line obligated to inform the public that a company that used to accept payments from tenants, and disburse the funds to landlords is no longer longer disbursing the funds to landlords.  Furthermore, they have shutoff their phones and customer service department, not updated their customers as to the status of their funds, and refused to name their banking institutions or legal representation that they are using.  

This is most certainly a fraud, and a large one. If not, they should be updating their customer base as to where their money is at, and when they will get it. This rent collection and payment scheme is the perfect Ponzi scheme. They take a clients money and can move it from bank to bank like it's their own money. (Matt, thats apparently what you think happened). Thus, proving the lack of oversight involved in this kind of business/industry. As long as they can grow their customer base the scheme continues. The creator doesn't even have to put himself out there as the frontman of the scheme, and can hide behind an LLC. Interestingly, Rick S is a "pro" member, claims to be the manager or owner, and has 397 post on bigger pockets. I encourage him to comment, or better yet send me my 13,000$. At this point I doubt either will happen.

I hope I'm wrong, but when the company shuts off the phone and fails to deliver on the "updates" they promise.  You have to fear the worse.  This company is still accepting "new" money and the public needs to know.  I don't want to come across as confrontational, but the public needs to be made aware of the problem/fraud.  

You too can be a Pro member by paying the fee, it doesn't mean much, just that we support the forum. They clearly stated the phone response and web chat was discontinued due to the mob reaction overwhelming their systems, which I 100% understand. To all of these folks out there threatening legal action - where do you expect it to go and how soon? It'll take a lawyer 2 months to draw up the complaint, another month to serve it, another month for the initial motion to dismiss, and so on. It'll be 2 years before anything happens in court.

Get real - the company has publicly stated the issue that THEIR DEPOSITS - IE money coming from your tenants, are being held by their banking partner. Once those funds get released, or they deposit "reserve" funds to guarantee those funds, you'll get your money. I think erentpayemnts likely didn't get into that logistical discussion because they figured most would understand these things, but apparently not.  Just calm down and understand the process. Sure its not how things should have gone but its where you are now, so that's what you have to work with. If the owner wanted to dip-out with your money, why would he be responding to all of the lynch-mob's nonsense?? Let him focus on resolving the issue vs. making you feel good while it happens.

Hopefully I don't end up with pie on my face at the end of this...

Medium logopngMatthew Olszak, Olszak Realty, Inc | [email protected] | 847‑447‑6824 | IL Agent # 475167456

I hope you are right too.  

So you also think people should keep using the platform?   Just have our customers keep sending them their money and wait for THEIR DEPOSITS to be released?  Or would you discontinue use of the platform?  I'm baffled that you really think most customers should understand when their rent doesn't show up in their account in a couple weeks.  If a tenant didn't pay for a couple weeks you would evict them.  If 60 of my tenants didn't pay their rent for two weeks I would be worried about going out of business.  Agreed, that the legal process of hiring an attorney and firing out a demand letter would be  a slow process, but surely the authorities should be able to verify if there was or wasn't wrong doing in this situation quicker than a couple years.  I guess it's easier to say "let him focus on resolving the issue vs making you feel good while it happens" when it's not your money.  

Get real- if they aren't paying their old customers do you really think they are going to pay their new customers?

I honestly appreciate the discussion Matt.  Thanks for trying to put people at ease.  I wish I could share your optimism and I hope there is egg on my face at the end of this....

Thanks for the warning. I was considering switching to them but now I know better. The fact that they are not keeping the posters informed is most concerning to me. Even if they resolve this problem I will remember this and never use them.

I have also been watching this for days and this is my first post here.

I will lie if I say I'm not concerned, I am really concerned. Fortunately my rents were all processed on the first and deposited correctly, so I was not affected.

I too think this is not fraud, but instead a mistake on eRentpayment's side, poor planning, no contingency plan, etc... I've been using erentpayment for several years, and when I needed support they were always very responsive. They have also spent time making small upgrades, features to the site. That is what makes me believe this is just a dumb mistake on their end.

Depending on how this plays out over the next few days, I'm already preparing letters to send all my tenants to be switched over to a new service, perhaps Cozy.

Rick S. If you are reading this, the biggest issue is the lack of clarity on your end. I'm not sure if you are embarrassed, not aware yourself of the actual issue or it's something else. But the lack of communication in my opinion is digging your company into a much bigger hole. 

We can all make mistakes, but it's all about how you handle and own up to them.

Yes! They have our money too. I work for internet companies and I've never seen a response so unprofessional and full of red flags. Taking down your home page instead of sending emails and posting a message that indicates a clear action is in order, and are not doing that. I thought this company was real, but it looks like a small operation and they appear to be over their heads. Crap!

I think fraud is a dangerous word to be throwing around.  I agree that new investors should be warned that people are not getting their payments.  I also agree that erentpayments response has been atrocious.  But alleging they committed fraud is a big allegation.

Fortunately most of my rents were processed prior to this issue.  However, they have a new tenant security deposit and first months rent of mine totaling about $2,500.  I could absolutely use that money right now.  I haven't pulled the plug on them yet, but I have another tenants scheduled to make a payment soon and will be stopping that if this isn't sorted out quickly.

What I understand is that the old bank has arbitrarily set a number or formula for the amount of reserves that erentpayment must keep with them after closing their accounts to cover any insufficient fund notices or disputes that come through.  Erentpayment should have known their bank would do this and should have been prepared for it.  Clearly they were not.  They also should have discussed this with their bank prior to moving banks.  Again, they clearly did not.  This is their fault and their lack of communication.  I believe the bank is holding the money for some arbitrary time period and it will be released.  Maybe I'm wrong but what we are hearing jives with my knowledge of banking and business.  I can understand why they aren't giving out the name of the bank.  What good is a bunch of angry phone calls to a receptionist answering the phone going to do?  I also understand why they aren't giving out the name of their attorney.  Attorneys charge for every minute they are on the phone.  With all the phone calls from angry customers, they would be up to the sky in legal bills and it isn't an appropriate use of their lawyers time.

While I certainly caution everyone to consider other options going forward, especially while this issue is unresolved and the communication from erentpayment is abysmal.  I ultimately think this will be resolved with everyone getting their money.

I called the Colorado Attorney generals office before filing a complaint yesterday.  I didn’t want to be accused of filing a false complaint. 

They retuned my call today and asked me to file the file the complaint with both their office along with the Office of internet fraud.  IC3.gov

Again, the office of the attorney General in Colorado asked me to file a complain and seemed to be already aware of the situation.  They are not as confident in the integrity or erentpayment.com as the bigger pockets community seems to be....  

Look up till now I feel like there are people, who don't have money being held up, trying to defend a business that made a rookie level mistake and then shut themselves off to the world when they couldn't handle the pressure. Call it fraud, call it a failure, call it whatever you want the fact of the matter is the ONE service you pay these people to handle they are screwing up. 

They have effected several landlords who now could have issues in their own business because the people they trusted to do their job didn't. I don't think legal action is there to actually get a money out of the company, though they clearly owe damages in my non-lawyer opinion, it is to kick them out of the market place. I know I will never use them now, I know that many landlords her won't either, I also think this will/should be the beginning of the end of an obviously mismanaged, unprofessional, group of clowns masquerading as legitimate service providers. 

I would apologize for being harsh and I feel I must disclose that I have never interacted with the company. That all being said I don't think we should be attacking the victims in this case by telling them to calm down and wait it out. They should absolutely switch providers and seek recompense for the massive failure here. In this one particular example they have lost $13,000 potentially forever, that is straight up theft! If a bank was suppose to process a check for you in that amount and instead held it without releasing the funds to you there would be a little indignation I feel. If someone was suppose to collect money for you and then pockets it instead I feel like that is a huge issue.

Good luck getting your money guys and you have my support, for what that's worth! 

My opinion is this is a MASSIVE f-up by the company that could very well sink it, but its not purposeful fraud. All companies screw stuff up.....its all on how you handle it, and communication with its customers is key....which apparently they are doing a horrible job of doing. If I was a customer I would be very pissed too.....but I don't think I would be screaming criminal fraud....

Hope it works out for all of you..

I just called their "customer service" line and a guy named Dave answered. I asked if this was erentpayment.com customer service and he kindly said "Nope you have the wrong number". I would be concerned, since this is the number directly off their site.

From the homepage you would think they are a reputable business, I'm not sure they aren't, but you need to stop the bleeding and tell the community what's going on. Staying silent is the worst thing to do, even if the announcement on the Homepage turns away a few potential customers that's the sacrifice you took switching banks and not planning this out better. At least it would show you cared about previous customers. I use Cozy.co and if they did this I would be just as mad as other customers of erentpayment are currently. I think Cozy is going to be getting a flood of new customers soon.

Originally posted by @Rick M. :

After looking for the deposit schedule, I found this

“For early October during our transition to a new processing bank the processing time may be 3-5 business days. This is a temporary change while we complete the transition.”

https://support.erentpayment.com/kb/a3/what-is-the-deposit-schedule-for-erentpayment.aspx

This needs to be on the homepage!!

Customers were fine with 3-5 Business days as that was deemed reasonable on Oct. 3.  When it came all the way to Oct. 13th and still no movement after 8 business days people began to grow concerned but phone lines were still open.

Flash forward to Monday Oct. 16roughly 6am PST they then release the "story" of funds being tied up in a bank swap but provide no further details as to when the issue will be resolved but that their lawyer has determined the amount required to be held in reserves...they promise more details later in the day which never occur.  By 8am PST phone lines have been cut off and nothing more is heard from Erentpayment end.

Tuesday Oct. 17, another vague message is posted on their FB page at roughly 6am PST the jest of which states that they have a legal and financial resources in place (once again no specifics given) and that they will be conducting a meeting at 2:30 pm PST to discuss the issue and will update later in the day.  Once again no update is given and phone lines/email continues to be shut off.

Today, Wednesday Oct 18, the only message the post on the FB page reads:  "We will have an update with further details later today".  This was basically the same message they left their customers with on Tuesday at 6am PST.  Since then there have been no further updates.

People are growing concerned when communication wasn't established before hand stating when/why a bank swap was being initiated and when you finally do tell your customers expect 3-5 days that is what they expect.  When you give no further update for 10 days they rightfully worry...once again mind you this information isn't being emailed to landlords...only on a facebook or support page that you have to actively seek out.  As it stands we are now 14 days out and 10 business days in with no real idea of what happened/why it happened/how the issue is getting fixed.   "We have financial and legal resources in place" and "We are having a meeting" do little to ease people's mind.

At what point should customers become alarmed and seek action?

Sure would like to find out which bank caused the issue....maybe there's no recourse with them, but I  (and I suspect hundreds of landlords) would sure like to give them a piece of my mind......

I have used ERP for over two years, and my money was always there like clockwork.  Sounds like ERP's bank may have changed their deal with them, for whatever reason.

ERP has made the situation far, far worse with their lack of communicativeness.....I'm likely going to go back to tenants just depositing direct to my bank account.

Originally posted by @James Baker :

Sure would like to find out which bank caused the issue....maybe there's no recourse with them, but I  (and I suspect hundreds of landlords) would sure like to give them a piece of my mind......

I have used ERP for over two years, and my money was always there like clockwork.  Sounds like ERP's bank may have changed their deal with them, for whatever reason.

ERP has made the situation far, far worse with their lack of communicativeness.....I'm likely going to go back to tenants just depositing direct to my bank account.

 As far as known parties involved:

Check Commerce and ECheckit admit that they handle Erentpayment transactions but both state that the other company is the one that needs to be talked to.  Check Commerce says ECheckit does the processing while ECheckit says they are just a reseller of Check Commerce.

Some landlords have determined through tenant's banks that funds passed through or ended up in a First Premier Bank but they (FPB) aren't giving any information out.

Originally posted by @Myron Cummings :
Originally posted by @Rick M.:

After looking for the deposit schedule, I found this

“For early October during our transition to a new processing bank the processing time may be 3-5 business days. This is a temporary change while we complete the transition.”

https://support.erentpayment.com/kb/a3/what-is-the-deposit-schedule-for-erentpayment.aspx

This needs to be on the homepage!!

Customers were fine with 3-5 Business days as that was deemed reasonable on Oct. 3.  When it came all the way to Oct. 13th and still no movement after 8 business days people began to grow concerned but phone lines were still open.

Flash forward to Monday Oct. 16roughly 6am PST they then release the "story" of funds being tied up in a bank swap but provide no further details as to when the issue will be resolved but that their lawyer has determined the amount required to be held in reserves...they promise more details later in the day which never occur.  By 8am PST phone lines have been cut off and nothing more is heard from Erentpayment end.

Tuesday Oct. 17, another vague message is posted on their FB page at roughly 6am PST the jest of which states that they have a legal and financial resources in place (once again no specifics given) and that they will be conducting a meeting at 2:30 pm PST to discuss the issue and will update later in the day.  Once again no update is given and phone lines/email continues to be shut off.

Today, Wednesday Oct 18, the only message the post on the FB page reads:  "We will have an update with further details later today".  This was basically the same message they left their customers with on Tuesday at 6am PST.  Since then there have been no further updates.

People are growing concerned when communication wasn't established before hand stating when/why a bank swap was being initiated and when you finally do tell your customers expect 3-5 days that is what they expect.  When you give no further update for 10 days they rightfully worry...once again mind you this information isn't being emailed to landlords...only on a facebook or support page that you have to actively seek out.  As it stands we are now 14 days out and 10 business days in with no real idea of what happened/why it happened/how the issue is getting fixed.   "We have financial and legal resources in place" and "We are having a meeting" do little to ease people's mind.

At what point should customers become alarmed and seek action?

I didn’t take the time to look at ERents FB page, I’m not that invested in this thread LOL. But I do find it interesting that this would happen and how it’s being handled is atrocious. I would be just as livid if I was using ERent over Cozy. I haven’t heard of ERent until this thread was made. All LLs that are using ERent have a reason to be concerned. I hope it’s just a bank being careful and causing all the waves not potential fraud.

I know a lot of LLs that are hopeful of that as well but wouldn't you think the Bank would give ERP the dates of how long they wanted to hold "reserves" and if you were ERP why not just say "Sorry but due to bank holdings funds won't be available until X date."

I hope all is well...we've only got about 3K held up but that will hurt if this is something bigger. To me, it looks like a very legitimate thing going on but these posts of "fraud" and "ponzi scheme" all over the place are really worrying me ... 

I don't use this service, but if I charge my tenants a late fee per day, then I would expect erentpayment.com to pay me a daily late fee for all the extra days my rent payment was held up by them.  They should have notified all their clients up front or as soon as they knew there would be any problems with payments.  Ducking out and not answering phones looks shady, whether it is or not.