Monday, October 10, 2011

It’s not often that I get to tell you something isn’t a scam: “ACT” letters #9NEWS

A local Realtor asked me to look into a letter he says several of his clients received from ACT claiming homeowners have a “scheduled interest reduction option on your mortgage.”

The letter asks homeowners to call an 800-number. I called it myself to see what the pitch is.

Steve told me I could pay off my mortgage much faster using their personal finance software which he said costs about $100 to set up and about $30 each month, no contract. He told me his company Accelerated Cash Flow Technology, and Accelerate Equity and Development have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau in Salt Lake City.

Utah BBB President Jane Driggs told me Monday that she is familiar with the company and that it operates in two manners: 1) The way Steve told me on the phone and 2) by offering a mortgage audit to determine if your mortgage lender is properly applying your mortgage payments.

Driggs says the companies have received 18 complaints in recent years. (The company claims to have hundreds of thousands of clients.)

Complaints came after customers said they were told they could get a rebate (refund) if their mortgage audit didn’t find any problems, but that customers felt the company didn’t process rebates promptly.

If the company found problems in the audit, Driggs says customers are still on their own to fix the problem.

“The company has told us they aren’t helping people get the money,” Driggs said.

However, she doesn’t question the validity of what the company offers.

When it comes to the personal finance software, she says some people have complained they were given a free trial and were charged a fee when they forgot to cancel. (Can’t really hold that against the company, right?)

“The software appears to work but you have to follow it to the letter. You have to be on top of it,” Driggs said.

At my request, the company’s owner, Skyler Witman called me to say he’s getting away from the mortgage audit service and will focus on the personal finance software.

He’s offered to let me try the software (with no cost.) I’m going to check it out and I’ll give you my review on this blog in a week or so.

When it comes to his BBB rating, Witman says stay tuned.

“We are currently working with the BBB to get our rating up,” Witman said. He hopes to bring his business rating up to an A.