Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
1st United Consultants

January 22, 2013

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received complaints from consumers who alleged they applied for Debt Appraisal Programs with 1st Untied Consultants as a solution for the consumers’ financial problems. The consumers entered into Client Service Agreements, Payor Service Agreements with Meracord LLC d/b/a/ Meracord, and Savings Plan Sign-up Agreements. The consumers signed these agreements on the promise that 1st United Consultants could help the consumers get out of debt by providing referral services to third party financial providers including referrals for modifications on existing residential home loans.

The consumers had funds automatically withdrawn from their checking accounts according to Schedules of Payments provided by 1st United Consultants. The consumers later discovered these funds were not being applied to their existing debts including their mortgage loans. The consumers have been unsuccessful in contacting 1st United Consultants to inquire about the status of the promised debt consolidation/reduction programs and to request refunds.

1st United Consultants provided the following information to the consumers regarding its contact information: phone: (800) 486-4831 (no longer in service); fax: (800) 754-6602; e-mail: info@1unite.com; and website: www:1unite.com.

1st United Consultants is not licensed by the Washington State of Department of Financial Institutions, the Washington State Department of Licensing, Washington State Department of Revenue, or the Washington State Secretary of State. In October 2012, Federal Trade Commission initiated legal action in the Eastern Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, for Case No: 1:12-CV-2394, in which 1st United Consultants is named as one of the Defendants.

Verify Licenses

DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the "Verify a License" feature on DFI's website at www.dfi.wa.gov.

Report Fraud

If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a mortgage broker, consumer lender, money transmitter, or escrow agent; contact the Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the Internet, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus.

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