Leasing News - Alerts and Flags


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

cover letter:

“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 to a judge to prove the expenses. I told him I have appeared as a “legal witness” for over thirty years in court, have seen over 500 such complaints here at Leasing News, and while I was not an attorney, it was my experience that charging 10% as “expenses” would not hold up in a court of law, unless you had receipts to prove it.

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 seeking an attorney to our web site: 

 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 of $29,563.52. Mr. John Wilcox has provided a copy of the "agreement" and has highlighted the areas where he believes the lease entitles them to some kind of fee.

“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.”


 Kathy Douke
Precision Concrete Company
PO Box 7087
Citrus Heights, Ca 95621
(916) 826-1719 cell or (916) 722-4499 bus. kdoukel@comcast.net

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
-       Lease rates as low as 6.5 % (aoc)
-       Wide Range of Credit Levels Considered
-       No Age Restriction on Equipment, Terms up to 84 Months
-       Quick Approvals
-       Ready-Mix Trucks, Plants is our specialty!

“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

 “Best Regards,

Bryan Gunn
Sr, Accountant Executive Construction Finance Division
800-571-8828 toll free
949-7894500, ext. 203
949-789-4508 direct fax”

 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
if (the vendor) is confident that they will be paid the $150,000.00 that
is owed by me.”

 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
vendor says they did not return telephone calls.

 Bryan Gunn and John Wilcox at Union Capital deny this, first stating the contract had not been met, meaning conditions of the proposal,
such as vendor recourse.  They then said they had an approval and
Mr. Nicol never signed the contract.   Mr. Nicol said he never received
a contract.  The vendor was never informed a purchase order
was in the works. Union Capital did not produce a contract or the source of their approval.

 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
and Bryan Gunn, who denied everything.  After asking for a written
statement, they said they would get back.  Another telephone conference call was initiated by John Wilcox and Bryan Gunn, who said
they had an approval, wanted to go ahead on the lease, but Mr. Nicol
did not.  Mr. Nicol said he had not heard from them and was tired
of all the promises and wanted his money back.  This was conveyed
to Union Capital, who then on May 14th supplied the following:

 “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.

John Wilcox
Legal / Accounting Union Capital, LLC
949-789-4500, ext. 201
949-789-4501 fax”

 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
Union Capital and wanted his money returned.  He had lost two
major city contracts because he did not have the equipment, he
told us, plus the rental payments he had made on the equipment,
which was to apply toward the purchase.

 Again, Union Capital said they wanted to move forward on the lease
as they had an approval as all the conditions had been met of
the proposal.

 In the course of the conversation with Keith Attlesey of Attlesey and Thomlison, he had said that Union Capital had made an offer of
a settlement.  I told him according to Mr. Nicol that was not true,
but that I would act as an ombudsman and see if I could help.
He then said, ”Then you are a legal mediator.”  After a few words,
he suggested I offer $8,000 to Mr. Nicol.

 Mr. Nicol wanted a full refund, reiterating the jobs he had lost,
the turmoil he had been through, and anger in dealing with
this company.

 After several days of trying to reach Mr. Attlesey and Union Capital
by telephone and fax, on May 25th, John Wilcox of 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
this one:

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.
       The second takedown was approved and an agreement based on that approval was signed and initialed by Azimuth Paving on December 4, 2003. The agreement was clear and concise on the terms and conditions of approval. Azimuth Paving backed out less than a week later. Confirmation of this action was done by email.
       Azimuth Paving was utilizing equipment for 9 months, refusing to pay rental payments to the vendor violating an agreement signed with vendor.
      Agreement signed allowed up to 90 days to complete transaction. Union Capital had submitted and worked on second takedown for several months before structuring deal for approval.
       Lessee stated to Leasing News, that calls were never returned or communication was poor. In actuality over 25 documented phone calls and emails were made and information required by Azimuth Paving to be turned over, never materialized.
       Agreement states a 10% fee based on total equipment cost would be withheld in the event of default. This clause was initialed by Lessee. Please see a copy of agreement for clarification.
       Attorney for Azimuth Paving never challenged the agreement and failed to discuss a resolution on matter. Continued...

“Union Capital would like to make the following concessions:

1)     Provide a lease on any equipment needed or
2)     Offer a refund that is fair and equitable for both parties.

 “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.”

John Wilcox
General Manager
Legal / Accounting
Union Capital, LLC 949-789-4500, ext. 201 949-789-4501 fax

The issue that Union Capital had kept more than 10% as per their
contract was not addressed.  After repeated attempts by Mr. Nicol
to communicate that he did not want to do business with Union
Capital and wanted his money back, John Wilcox was continuing
to ask for additional time “to resolve this matter.”

 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..... “


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