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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3

    Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    I recently received a mailing that advertised a financial seminar promising the usual things: lots of additional income, debt freedom in under 4 years, etc., etc. I attended a 2 hour presentation by this company called Advantage Financial Group. The company buys homes that are in foreclosure and rents it out to the current occupant who then have the option of buying it back when their credit has improved. To do these real estate deals, they need individuals to hold the mortgages on these houses, they claim they are not allowed to hold onto regular mortgages as they are a corporation. They claim this is a win-win-win for all concerned since you get a share of the rent + home value appreciation, the company gets a share of the rent plus home-value appreciation and the owner/occupant gets to live in the same home and rebuild their credit.

    They claim that your upfront investment/cost for this entire scheme is $0 (which is true since I got out of the whole thing without any monetary cost). But there are a few troubling aspects to this program that you need to keep in mind before you decide to go with it.

    First of all, you have to open a Variable Universal Life insurance policy with a company that Advantage recommends and that will hold pretty much all your income from this scheme. They claim that this has tax benefits and is part of the "financial plan". In general, these variable life policies are bad deals because of the fees and other costs associated with them. But if you are going to put only your additional income from this scheme into this policy, then it is still no money out of your pocket, but I would have preferred a different savings vehicle.

    Secondly, the company CEO, Lee Loomis has very strong opinions, but does not back these up with very sound analysis. He is strongly against 401k's and IRA's. In these seminars, he goes around showing charts of how you save a little in taxes now, but pay a lot more later (which is true, but the point is not how much you pay in taxes, but how much you have left at the end of the day). I have my own analysis, which I believe is done the correct way, that shows (as most mainstream financial planners will show) that putting money in an IRA or 401k is much better than putting it in a taxable vehicle or even in a tax-advantaged vehicle like a variable universal life policy. Similarly, he has strong opinions about building up home equity (he claims that building up home equity is a waste since the money can be put to better use earning more money). He is in fact an advocate of negative amortization loans and other products that can actually keep you in debt longer, but one of his opinions is also that it does not really matter if you are in debt. He also has strong opinions about the stock market (does not acknowledge that over the long term, it is a pretty safe investment if you have the discipline to stick with it) and on and on.

    On top of being very opinionated, this person does not brook any dissent whatsoever. To explain this, let me get to what happened about 3 weeks after I attended the seminar. I was vaguely interested in the scheme since it did not involve me putting up any money upfront. I wanted to get to the inner workings and was going to go with the scheme unless it involved putting my current financial plan in serious jeopardy. So, I cooperated with these folks and applied for the insurance policy (had to undergo a physical for this), opened multiple bank accounts as they required me to do, collected all my financial papers from the past two years (W-2's, tax returns, pay stubs, home mortgage statements, bank statements, 401k statements, invest account statements, etc., etc.) and set up an appointment to actually meet one of their financial planners for further action.

    Today morning, I went to their offices and met with Lee Loomis himself. He looked at my paperwork and started off on the wrong foot by claiming that I was lying about my income. He said the income I was reporting in my tax return was not the same as what I was claiming in his worksheet. I explained to him that the income I reported in my tax return was after 401k deductions and other before tax items were taken out. I then took out a current pay stub, multiplied the gross income reported on it by 24 and showed him that it was the same income as I claimed on his worksheet. This is pretty basic stuff and any person who has filled out a couple of tax returns in his life knows that the number that goes on your tax return is not your total gross income. This did not inspire much confidence in this person's financial acumen or knowledge.

    Then, he came to a line in the worksheet where I showed that I had some credit card debt and the monthly payment I was making on that debt. I said I had that debt only because I got a good interest rate from the credit card and decided to use that instead of money from my home equity line of credit because the interest on my HELOC is higher. I don't use that credit card for any other purpose, so I don't carry any high interest credit card debt at all. But he started multiplying my monthly payment by 12 and claimed that that was how much in interest I was paying for that credit card debt. I tried explaining to him that the monthly payment included the minimum payments due for the card and so it was both principal and interest (and obviously, my outstanding balance on that card does go down each month and I know from the statement exactly how much in finance charges I am paying and how much of the minimum payment goes towards reducing the balance). He got very rude at this point and started shouting that I was not supposed to try explaining to him how credit cards work.

    So, I said, "I guess we have a difference of opinion here". He glared at me for a few moments and then with no warning, he just tossed my paperwork across the table to me and said, "we are all done here.". He then had me escorted out of the office.

    I will let you draw your own conclusions about this outfit, but here is my take on it. If at all this scheme actually makes money for anyone, it is probably not anywhere close to the kind of money that is shown in the slick presentation during the seminar to bait people. Most probably, the scheme ends up losing money for most people and because of the complexity of the process involving multiple real estate deals, cash value accumulation in a life insurance policy, etc., most people do not even realize it. The financially savvy are most likely to identify the problems if they are let into this scheme, so I am guessing I got shown the door for being too financially savvy. If that is not the case, this scheme is nothing but a cult and Lee Loomis is the God of this cult. You disagree with him and you are not worthy of joining the cult. They want only true believers who will jump off the cliff after Lee Loomis when he orders them to. If either of these scenarios appeals to you, you should check this company out, otherwise, you have hereby been warned. Enough said.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    i wonder if your application was accepted by lee would you have considered this company is a scam?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1

    Re: NOT A SCAM

    I am a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner (CFP®) and was recently introduced to the Advantage Financial Group. I have spoken with a couple who are members. The husband is a Financial Analyst with a large bank, he said “We have been with Advantage Financial Group for a little over a year and have received 5 income producing properties with no money dawn and estimate our annual income in retirement will be between $200,000 and $220,000 tax free in addition to both spouses having a million dollar life insurance coverage currently to protect their family.”

    It is my professional opinion that they have one of the best financial planning strategies ever created, and that a company that does so well for their members should not be on a website called scam.com. :D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,120

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    You will be better off with large legitimate estate management companies. This one does not smell right. Too many promises. Too many shady deals.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    260

    Re: NOT A SCAM

    Quote Originally Posted by CFOforyou
    I am a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner (CFP®) and was recently introduced to the Advantage Financial Group. I have spoken with a couple who are members. The husband is a Financial Analyst with a large bank, he said “We have been with Advantage Financial Group for a little over a year and have received 5 income producing properties with no money dawn and estimate our annual income in retirement will be between $200,000 and $220,000 tax free in addition to both spouses having a million dollar life insurance coverage currently to protect their family.”

    It is my professional opinion that they have one of the best financial planning strategies ever created, and that a company that does so well for their members should not be on a website called scam.com. :D
    I am the president of the united states and I think a person who comes here and makes a single post with no details about the program or why he likes it is a troll...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    12

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    This Group is a REAL SCAM!!!!!
    The California Office and Chicago Office are being investigated by the State Attorney Generals Office in cordination with the FBI!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    8

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    I just checked the California and Illinois Attorney General's websites and there's no mention of any ongoing investigation to this company. Also, this doesn't seem to be something the FBI would be involved in does it? Is the FBI now investigating real estate investments? Where are you getting this information? Where can it be verified?

  8. #8

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    Some of these people posting on here do not even know about the company. It looks as though they spend their day commenting on scams (some have over 1,000 posts to their name)! As someone who actually is familiar with the company, I have been involved in Lee Loomis' program for over two years and he has changed my family’s lives for the better. We own several investment properties (right on track with our plan) and have a retirement plan in place that we didn’t have before. To be fair, there have been a few bumps along the way. Our account manager has changed a few times over the years (some due to promotions), and communication wasn’t so great when we started the program. A lot of this is expected with a growing company, though, and our family all agrees that it has been well worth it. At the workshop I attended Lee explained that the program isn’t right for everyone, and I feel that the people saying negative things about Lee Loomis and the program probably do not know him very well or simply weren’t right for the program. From what I’m reading here, I am sure the same people will tear my testimonial apart, but since anyone under the sun can say whatever they want on internet sites like this, I wanted to give my side of the story. I know other members that have had the same experience, so I wanted to be a voice for those of us who have good things to say.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    31

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    UPDATED INFO.

    Lee Loomis is being investigated by the FBI now.
    I was once like some of you who thought this turned out to be a poorly planned investment but that Lee himself wasn't a crook, just mismanaged his business. Well it looks like I put too much faith in him because I just heard from one of his investors who just sat down with a company insider, that the FBI is now after him. They've seized his equipment and records and have denied him when he asked for them back, presumable out of fear he will shred documents.

    This investor I talked with today, said they found out their name was forged on documents and that Lee and his partners had been collecting rent from properties, paying the minimum and pocketing the rest and often not paying investors back. Investors were asked to created special bank accounts(I can't think of the name of them right now), but apparently the money in these account will not be seen again. One man apparently lost millions.

    The FBI reports that Lee has a lot of the money he embezzled in an off shore account in Switzerland.

    I urged this investor to contact all the other investors and file a class action civil suit, because the FBI will only go after Lee for criminal charges, but that wont get you back your money, a civil suit will.

    I have watched this investor struggle with loomis wealth, all the way back from when it was advantage financial. They have seen nothing but neglect and theft. Their credit score was ruined, they are now shackled with 3 properties they cannot get rid of or pay the mortgages on. Before this, this person was free of debt, had their home well on the way of being paid off (now has a second mortgage thanks to Loomis). The majority of their time is taken up with deal with this problem. It's not right. If people want to call me a troll because this my first post, fine, whatever, I've been to enough message boards to know how that works. But I'm not lying and I am only posting this to inform his investors that they need to be pro-active and not assume Lee is going to take care of your problems, he wont, he has his own to deal with now.
    Last edited by Hellataz; 11-16-2008 at 04:37 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    31

    Re: Advantage Financial Group: Beware!

    Lee confesses he defrauded his investors.

    http://www.news10.net/news/local/sto...=54984&catid=2

    Anyone who wishes to share their story with the report who broke the above story. here is his contact info:

    George Warren
    Reporter, KXTV News 10
    400 Broadway
    Sacramento, CA 95818
    (916) 321-3317
    gwarren@news10.net

    He is collecting stories from the victims of Lee Loomis.

    In addition this is the attorney in charge of the civil complaint filed against Lee's companies in hope that the money that was seized can be freed up to reimburse his victims. I would recommend calling him to see how you might be able to join the suit if that's possible.

    LAWRENCE G. BROWN
    Acting United States Attorney
    SARALYN M. ANG-OLSON, SBN 197404
    Special Assistant U.S. Attorney
    501 I Street, Suite 10-100
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Telephone: (916)554-2700

    Good luck everyone.

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