Howard M. Fichman, Lenders Loan Capital, Lake Worth, FL is listed as one of the NY Bagel Café franchise “approved lenders.” However, when Fichman and Lenders Loan Capital’s president reviewed the information about NY Bagel Cafe on UnhappyFranchisee.com, they decided to cut ties with the controversial franchise seller before completing their first deal.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) NY Bagel Café franchise ads promise the company provides “100% financing” of their franchise opportunity as long as the franchisee pays a $17,500 – $29,500 franchise fee up front.
Unhappy franchisees claim that once they pay their franchise fee, franchise salesman Dennis Mason tells them it is THEIR responsibility to find funding. Despite the representations made in the ads, Mason simply gives them a list of “approved lenders” that the franchisees are responsible for working with to obtain funding.
UPDATE: Howard Fichman has been terminated as an independent contractor of Lenders Loan Capital. See HOWARD FICHMAN Terminated Over NY Bagel Café Ties
Lenders Loan Capital Does the Right Thing… Without Hesitation
As soon as he learned that NY Bagel Cafe was collecting fees from franchisees prior to them qualifying financially, Lenders President/Partner Joseph Ilardi investigated:
I personally reached out the referrals that were sent to us from NY bagel and they did state that they paid a franchise fee.
No one should charge a fee without having proof of funds to actually start the business, not just the fee.
I also informed them that the right way to start a franchise is to have the funds to start the business and then start spending, not the other way around.
Moments ago, I spoke to Dennis Mason and said I was unaware of them charging upfront fees. He said they have a money back guarantee but I explained it does not matter and people should not be charged a fee without knowing they can afford the business.
After looking into NY Bagel Cafe’s business practices, Ilardi sent us an email stating “We will stop doing business with NY bagel effective immediately.” He announced additional step to ensure that Lenders Loan Capital doesn’t accept clients who charge up-front fees, like NY Bagel Cafe. He wrote::
I will now implement a disclosure to referring organizations that will specifically state that they are not collecting fees or making any promises or obligating us in anyway. We will also have the borrower sign a disclosure stating that they have not paid upfront fees to get funding or any promises related to funding or we will not accept their application.
While we began this story as skeptics, we were mightily impressed by Joseph Ilardi and Lenders Loan Capital’s responsible and swift reaction.
And we don’t mightily impress easily.
Other Lenders Distance Themselves From NY Bagel Café
When we asked other “Approved Vendors” about their relationships with NY Bagel Cafe, those who responded were surprised that they were on a list… and immediately asked to be removed from it.
Most claimed they had never closed a deal for NY Bagel Cafe franchisees.
Sherri Seiber, COO of FranFund, wrote:
“We were unaware that we appeared on this list of funding sources for NY Bagel, but now the random calls we’ve received from folks interested in funding makes a little more sense… We have never had a funding solution for the 5-6 people who have contacted us as they all had poor credit… We do not know Dennis Mason…”
Sherri asked for contact information so she could demand they remove FranFund from their list.
Jerry Jones from Funding Solutions said his firm has never worked with a NY Bagel franchisee.
He said his firm primarily funds through bank loans and would never go the credit card route because it’s too risky.
When asked if he was aware of the high failure rate (90% plus), Jerry wrote:
If we were aware of these details we would have requested that we be removed from the list of financing sources.
If a prospective franchisee called and we were aware of the above, we would have told them that we do not work with the system.
He quickly sent a note to NY Bagel Cafe President Joseph Smith:
Mr. Smith — Funding Solutions is requesting to be removed from the listing of Financial Advisors for the NY Bagel brand. We have never had a completed financial application with any strength and only 1 or 2 a year. We were never asked to be on the list. Our name was found in general listings available to the public such as Restaurant Times or IFA listings.
Now we are aware of materials which, if substantiated, could be harmful to our company. Please remove our name and send a revised list that shows we are excluded. We will not be working with any of your future applicants and we are not working with any at the present time.
Funding Solutions, LLC.
Ami Kasar of MultiFunding wrote:
I do not know how our company got on the list of “approved” financing vendors for this company. We have received several phone calls over the years and never been able to finance any of them or been able to take any of them on as clients. We have never taken a penny from any of these people.
So who is Providing This 100% Financing…?
We know that NY Bagel Cafe is aggressively running ads claiming that they provide “100% financing beyond the franchise fee.”
We know that they are meeting with and signing up prospects and aggressively collecting franchise fees.
Who is providing all this funding if those on their “Approved Lender” list aren’t?
We’ll continue to investigate and report on NY Bagel Cafe and share what we find.
Read what we’ve learned so far here: NY Bagel Café Franchise Scam Overview
Here are some of the other “approved lenders” in the NY Bagel Café network. Please share what you know about them:
|Don JohnsonDiamond Financial262 Hwy 36
Keansburg, NJ 07734
First Empire Group
163 Washington Valley Road
Warren, NJ 07059
|Jim SaiaSeed Capital3037 E. Warm Springs
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Kari Aragon, Processor
Leaf Now Funding
|Ted C. KennedyUnsecured Funding SourceSr Account Manager
(866)475-4254, Ext. 302
(954)416-2929 Direct Line
777 Main St.
Ft. Worth, TX 76102
Red = Have asked to be removed from list
|Jerry JonesRandy JonesFunding Solutions
199 N. Main St.
Plymouth, MI 48170
P.O. Box 356
Ambler, Pa. 19002
Note: We don’t know whether these are legitimate, ethical lenders or not, or what their relationships are to NY Bagel Café, which is why we invite them and others to share information and opinions.
NY Bagel Café Franchise Scam Overview (INDEX OF POSTS)
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TAGS: Howard M. Fichman, Lender’s Loan Capital, Don Johnson, Diamond Financial, Jim Saia , Seed Capital, Ted C. Kennedy, Unsecured Funding Source, Jerry Jones , Randy Jones, Funding Solutions, NY Bagel Cafe, NY Bagel franchise, NY Bagel Cafe franchise, Joe Smith, Joseph Smith, Dennis Mason, franchise scam