Two Bulletin Board Complaints---Union Capital, Irvine, California
by Christopher Menkin, editor
Kathy Douke of Precision Concrete Pumping, Citrus Heights, California. called in with the second complaint on May 20th, Thursday and followed up with the signed agreement, copy of the check, along with this
“I wasn't happy to say the least, to hear your news about Union Capital. I have ordered a copy of my check and will forward as soon as possible. I didn't tell you one very important thing about this lease - because Bryan and Dan and John all told my vendor "TA Pump" that the lease would fund they released the pump to me on "good faith". I left a $20,000.00 check (that has not been cashed) with the pump company to show my good intentions.”
I plan on calling the Irvine Police Department today if the money does not arrive today.
“Please advise what you think my next step should be.
“Thank you, Kathy Douke” copy of signed proposal:
In the agreement was a clause, as in the first complaint, “ Lessee, upon acceptance of this proposal, shall forward the Commitment Fee to Lessor. The commitment Fee will be applied to the first & last billing period upon lease commencement. (Here is the kicker:) In the event that the lease fails to commence, expenses, not to exceed Ten Percent(10%) of the equipment cost, within seven(7) business days. Expenses and fees incurred are non-refundable.”
I had called the parties at Union Capital by telephone on Friday, and sent e-mails. No response. In the month of placing telephone calls, I never reached anyone but voice mails, leaving messages. Only two calls out of the dozen or more were returned in a conference call manner with several people talking on the other side.
This time I left a voice mail that Leasing News was printing the complaint next Tuesday, response or no response. The second complaint had been going on for over a month, and may be more complicated, but this complaint from Precision Concrete Pumping was “cut and dry.”
In less than an hour, I received a telephone call from Keith Attlesey of Attlesey and Thomlison, who said he represented Union Capital. I told him I was going to print the Precision Concrete Pumping complaint as it was ready to go. He asked me to send a copy of what I had received
and would look into it. We then discussed the second complaint, where he again brought up the agreement in the contract about the 10% expenses. Basically, I told him I did not think it would hold up in a court of law as they would have to produce receipts
He then said he thought Leasing News wanted to test this in court. I suggested he have a good retainer. He said he didn't need it since he had been representing Union Capital since the year 2000, when he “...stole the account away from Ken Greene.” He said some other things about Ken Greene.
I advised him that Ken Greene was working on an agreement regarding expenses, but employed by ten “sponsors,” and that while he was on the Leasing News Advisory Board, he does not review any story or complaint before it is printed, nor does any of the advisory board. Furthermore, Leasing News has utilized five attorneys, including Mr. Greene, who worked pro bono on the RW Professional suit against us. As a point of reference, Leasing News refers calls
As a side note, to insure there was no conflict of interest, I spoke to Ken Greene about this, who called Mr. Attlesey, who according to Ken Greene, denied what he had told me over the telephone.
2:01pm the same afternoon, the follow fax was received from John Wilcox of Union Capital:
“A quick note on this complaint:
1) Customer has received a refund.
2) Lessee was approved (very good credit) but TA pump (collateral) after further investigation was not approved.
3) Customer without our consent went down to pick up equipment. We never authorized release in writing or verbally. She put $20,000 down with the vendor to get equipment released.”
Kathy Douke told us she now had a check in the next communication, less $750:
“First I would like to relate one really crucial series of phone calls that occurred on Friday May 14' after Bryan Scott telling me just the day before that our lease would fund and that he would be calling our vendor prior to us picking up the pump to assure them that our lease would be funding the next day.
“Friday morning (after driving 400 miles one-way from Sacramento on Thursday evening) we arrived at TA PUMP located in Stanton, CA (Southern California) to discover that Bryan did not call them with a purchase order. I must have made half dozen phone calls to Bryan Scott and to the General Voice mail on Friday to find out why he never phoned. TA PUMP relied on my word that it was funding and made a decision to trust me that the loan was going to fund either on that day or the next Monday, so released our $50,000.00 custom concrete pump to me. As a show of good faith I did leave the vendor with my check for $20,000.00 just in case something happened and it didn't fund as promised. When Bryan finally did call TA PUMP, he advised them not to release the equipment to me even though I had sent them my check for $30,313.52 which had already cleared my bank on 5 /13 /04!
This back and forth kind of conversation went on the entire afternoon where Bryan or Dan would tell me everything was fine and then they would turn around and tell TA PUMP not to release the equipment (they did not know that I had already taken possession). A final conversation between Dan and my husband at 6:00 p.m. on Friday left us with the decision to continue pursuing the lease since they had already cashed our $30,313. check.
“On the next Monday (the 17') I had a conversation with both Bryan Scott and John Wilcox and they assured me that they would both call TA PUMP to let them know that the lease would be funding that week. Every day Bryan would call to advise me of the progress and each time he would assure me again that the lease would fund the next day - until Friday the 21st. That is when he told me that he would be returning my money because he could not help me with the lease.
“Per our telephone conversation today, I am faxing you a copy of Union Capital's "Refund/Lease Agreement" that was sent along with their check to me in the amount
“Please note his reasons — 1> Lessee Withdrawal Prior to Funding. 2> Vendor Declined 3> Lessee requesting refund
“1> Bryan Scott called me on Friday 21" on or about 1:00 p.m. to tell me that he was not going to be able to help me with obtaining a lease so he would be refunding my "Commitment Fee" which would be mailed the same day.
2> After I asked him why he responded as follows: after doing some checking discovered that our vendor, TA PUMP was probably going to go out of business due to customer complaints about their pumps and the fact that their just wasn't that many of their pumps in the industry.
3> Bryan Scott told me that Union Capital would be refunding my "commitment fee" since they were not able to help me with a lease.
“Since it was Union Capital that reneged on the agreement and not me I feel that the total amount of $30,313.52 should be refunded. They are not entitled to even $750 for any reason.
They should be compensating me for the torment and torture they put me through not to mention making TA PUMP believe that it was me that was lying to them all along.
“Union Capital should not be able to treat people this way nor should they be able to profit from their deceit.
“If it weren't for you and Cory at Business Finance.com I don't think my story would have turned out as good as it is and I hope that no one else is taken advantage of by Union Capital.”
The first complaint came from David Nicol, owner of Azimuth Pavement Markings, San Mateo, California from an incident that started late May,2003, after they received this “pre-qualified Equipment Line of Credit” letter:
“Based on yew recent payment history per company D&B, Union Capital is pleased to offer a pre-qualified equipment line of credit to Azimuth Pavement Markings in the amount of $150,000.00 (if your requirements exceed the pre-qualified amount,, please let us know ) for upcoming equipment acquisitions.
“Some of our products and service include
“Union Capital is a leading provider business –to- business for the construction & concrete industry. For more information, please contact your account representative or visit, our web site and apply online at www.unioncapital-llc.com
A proposal was generated for $202,524:
A lease for $50,000 was secured with a leasing company (who's owner, who did not want to be quoted in print, would not consider the $150,000” and was surprised that Union Capital would continue to pursue the matter. The complaint centers on this part of Union Capital's original “approval.”
Tim Brooks, Chief Financial Officer, for NLB Corporation http://www.nlbcorp.com/ said Union Capital did not return telephone calls, and in the beginning they kept saying they had an approval, but never sent a purchase order or gave him the source of the funds. The topic of vendor recourse never came up in any conversation with Union Capital.
“Never asked me. The topic never came up,” he said. “ If it did, I could have done it with any of the leasing companies we regularly work with. Why would we use them?
“In reference to the rental payments, yes, they were making them, and the credit of the payments were part of the transaction,”he explained. “ I never got a call from Union Capitalabout it and no one discussed it with us. He just could not afford to keep making the rental payments. ”
Here is a copy of the rental payment made by Azimuth Pavemement Markings:
December 4,2003 a new proposal was signed for $150,000:
The proposal was sent in with the dates of performance circled and an e-mail sent with this paragraph:
“I do not want to extend the agreement for another 40 working days as it says in the now acceptance documents. I can only agree to this
A copy of the e-mail and proposal:
From this time period, Mr. Nicol states he was never able to reach anyone at Union Capital. They did not return telephone calls. The
Bryan Gunn and John Wilcox at Union Capital deny this, first stating the contract had not been met, meaning conditions of the proposal,
Telephone calls to Union Capital were not returned to Leasing News and it was not until an e-mail was sent that we would print the complaint without a statement, since it appeared they had “no comment.” This brought a telephone conference from John Wilcox
“This letter is in response to a complaint filed by Azimuth Paving Markings (APM). Our agreement dated December 4, 2003 will provide clarity on what transpired on this transaction. The following is a summary of details pertaining to the processing of this lease:
“1> Union Capital, LLC issued a check in the amount of $3,094.38 to Azimuth Paving Markings. This refund was to be forwarded for first and last payment on a $50,000 approval that was funded through Amerifund. A copy of the lease documents for that transaction has been provided for you (exhibit 1). A request for the cancelled check has been made and we will fax that to you immediately upon receipt.
“2> A balance of $17,636.22 was maintained by Union Capital for the lease agreement dated December 4, 2003 for a lease amount $150,000. A copy of that agreement has also been provided for you (exhibit 2). The lease agreement required vendor recourse, additional financial information and additional collateral. A conditional approval was secured on the basis of our agreement with APM. Upon acceptance of agreement, we proceeded to complete transaction. Most of the requirements needed to complete transaction are listed on the first page of the agreement which APM failed to provide or execute on.
“I have attached both exhibits to this letter for your review. Union Capital, LLC at all times performed its responsibilities required under the agreement entered in by both parties. APM failed on many instances to complete transaction as documented.
“In closing we would like to proceed with the transaction per last agreement or offer a refund that both parties can agree to. We welcome the opportunity to present our case in more detail by phone or appointment. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please give me a call.
In trying to seek a clarification of the letter, the voice mail message identified Mr. Wilcox in the “Credit Department.”
Mr. Nicol again repeated he did not want to have anything to do with
Again, Union Capital said they wanted to move forward on the lease
In the course of the conversation with Keith Attlesey of Attlesey and Thomlison, he had said that Union Capital had made an offer of
Mr. Nicol wanted a full refund, reiterating the jobs he had lost,
After several days of trying to reach Mr. Attlesey and Union Capital
“This is in response to your last fax. Yes, this is our response however Keith Attlesy is working on the file and would like to provide a more comprehensive analysis of file. In the meantime go ahead and print
Dated May 25,2004
“This letter is a follow-up to our previous correspondence regarding Azimuth Paving. After further investigation on the file and events that transpired, the following facts should provide additional clarity on this deal:
• The first takedown was funded for 50K, of which $3,094.38 was forwarded back to Azimuth Paving. A check Azimuth Paving still denies receiving. A copy of the cancelled check was faxed to you yesterday.
“Union Capital would like to make the following concessions:
1) Provide a lease on any equipment needed or
“Union Capital has also forwarded this file to our General Counsel for review. We would like to reach a resolution quickly so that both sides can move on with business. Union Capital primary concern is funding transactions for clients and vendors in an efficient and ethical manner.
“In closing, I would like to make some clarifications on our conversation with you:
“We never told you verbally or in writing that we "justified" expenses or claimed that.
We never said our expenses equaled our internal cost such as D&B, telephone, etc.
“You stated deposit held would be "justified" for lost commission if we had the appropriate language in our agreement. We would like to see how that language reads in an effort to incorporate that on future agreements.
“We wish to contact client, however per email, he wished no further communication.
“Regardless, we will attempt this call in order to resolve this matter. We will keep you abreast of any developments and ask that you give us a few days to reach a conclusion.”
The issue that Union Capital had kept more than 10% as per their
Mr. Nicol stated:
“They never gave me the contract only the proposal and the invoice of 6/12/2003 for 1st & last payments of $5730.60 and $15,000.00 10% pre paid P.U. T. total due $20,730.60. There proposal states that if through no fault of mine the lease does not commence within SEVEN DAYS that they will return my commitment fee, I sent all the doc's to you in order starting with there advertisement. I will mail a copy of all of them to you today.
“ They keep on stating that they have the time to do this deal and that I gave them another 90 days from December 12th 2003 did I miss something it's the end of May 2004 and I have not heard from them since February with NO LEASE NO FINANCING NO EXPLANATION except I signed a new deal in December.
It's been over 12 months..... “