I'm addressing this to other small business owners that have faced the need for financing to expand their business. And having learned the hard way, thought that I'd offer up some warnings.
I need a larger melting furnace and the cost is about $90K. Talked to my bank and was told "shouldn't be a problem, that's not a lot of money". They were happy to lend me 80%. Since I didn't have 18K setting around, especially with the astronomical increases in steel and alloys, I was SOL.
I received several faxes from leasing companies and contacted a couple of them for estimates. Nationwide Business Credit LLC in Irvine CA called several times to follow up and actually offered a package I thought that I could afford with 84 month term. I received the paperwork for the 84 month term via email, signed it and sent a check for $3900 (1st and last months payment + doc fee) via UPS next day letter. Didn't hear a word form them for 2 weeks then they sent a new document for a 60 month term and asked for another $1900. "the 84 month was not available". I responded that I didn't want a 60 month term and that I wasn't proceeding, please send my money back. According to the documents that I signed and they didn't, they are entitled to $895 document fee.
After that I got different local bank to fund the project and proceeded with them. Nationwide is refusing to return my deposit money stating that it was I that screwed the deal by not signing the 60 month deal. To me and everyone I've discussed this with it is a "bait and switch"; attorneys, consultants and the like. I put a deposit on a certian product that they offered and then told me that it wasn't available and I'd have to go with another product from them. Nationwide has offered to send back 15% of the money and hold the balance for funding of some other item if I want, but I have to sign a document to agre to go no further.
I'm in Michigan and the company is in California. A local attorney, who I should have consulted when I first received the documents, thinks that I'm pretty well screwed out of the $. It would cost more in attorney fees to sue them that what I am out.
Mail fraud? Nothing went through the USPS.
Responding to broadcast faxes: mistake.
sending money and signing a document that the other party has not yet signed: mistake
learn from my mistake. I've entered a complaint with the BBB of California Friday and am warning as many as I can about this fraud, theft, deceptive business practices..