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After calling and inquiring about “Cardinal Unsecured” we decided to definitely NOT go in that direction. Turns out they wanted to offer us 3 different loans at various variable interest rates and add the interests rates together. Sounds like someone was slumming in their basement with this one!

We called our accountant at the time (Another crook – we no longer use him – go figure) and made an appointment to meet with him to see if he can offer assistance with investors. During our meeting he suggested someone for us to call. We will call him “Phil.” Phil was a retired CEO who now worked as a small business consultant and business professor. Our accountant set up a meeting with Phil. Prior to our meeting, Phil called us and wanted us to bring our credit reports, bank statements, etc. In turn he was going to do due diligence on the franchise and bring us the information.

Fast forward to the day “Phil” agreed to be our small business consultant for a lovely fee of $2,500.00  because he thought the franchise was a good investment, the price we were offered was lower than most being sold, and because he knew for sure he could get us a no collateral loan because of his “connections” at a certain bank. The catch? My husband and I had to show we had at least $25,000 on hand which we didn’t. He said everything we bought for the franchise to keep the receipts and add that to the total. He also suggested if need be, we were to “withdraw money from our credit cards and put it in our savings account so the bank can see the money and then take it out of savings and send it back to the credit card company.” – Have you all seen how many red flags there have been? We were so trusting, so nieve, and such novices that we thought this was how things worked in the business world. Don’t they say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? That totally back fired.

As time went on, “Kevin” and his actions became more and more shady. He told us the gym had 275 memberships. Games started being played of him allegedly shopping the franchise behind our back for a higher price or to move the sale along with us. He tried to keep prepay membership monies. He wouldn’t let us in the facility to verify anything. Because we were novices, we thought we were going to lose our sale and kept making our own decisions based on emotion. Where was our attorney you ask? She was another shady character given to us by none other than our former accountant. She charged us an arm and a leg for doing practically NOTHING. We never even had a face to face meeting with her. This was another reason we started making our own decisions. If we did bring up a concern to our small business guy, he would say “Don’t worry about it.” So we didn’t. We thought he was on our side. He was just another one taking us for a ride and wanted his money.

Meanwhile, after all the paperwork was submitted to the franchise headquarters, we were initially declined. All it took was us begging and the seller calling them for them to change their minds! WHAT!?!?!?! Again I say, ANOTHER red flag. Then there was another red flag – Monies were needed for the landlord. We didn’t have it. How did we get it? I borrowed it from my father. Because we didn’t have any collateral, the landlord wanted a 6 month deposit that was in the realm of a little over $10,000.00 Without that money from my father, the deal would have probably fell through. There was one point in time when my father said, “If I hadn’t given you that money then maybe. . . “

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