EZ-AXS / Brooks Lending / EZ-AXS Group / Brooks Lending
I applied for a loan through www.ezaxsgroup.com on July 4th. On July 6th, I get a phone call from Brooks Lending. Mr. Paul Johnson. He assured me that I had been approved for $7, 500 however, since my credit was less than perfect I needed to secure my loan. I had 4 choices. 1. Put up collateral 2. Get a co-signer with collateral 3. Pay for an insurance policy 4. Make 6 months worth of payments up front. The way Mr. Johnson explained the insurance was that if I was unable to make the payments for any reason then the insurance would make the payments. Ok. We've been offered this type of "disability" or "credit-life" type policy before on other loans. He then advised that I needed to send the Money Western Union, and they would reimburse me for the Western Union fees. I needed to call him back when I got to Western Union, and he'd tell me where and to who I needed to wire the money. He said "make sure if Western Union asks who you are sending the money to, just tell them it's a friend, or a relative. Otherwise, they will make you pay a higher transfer fee." I get to the Western Union, to pay the $590 for the "insurance policy". He tells me to wire the money to Cheralyn Cole in Pickering, Ontario Canada. Ok, I work for a commercial insurance company, and it's not unusual for "specialty" insurance to be underwritten in another country. When I asked why I wasn't sending it to a company, again I was told because Western Union would charge me more. Cheralyn works for the insurance company. I call Mr. Johnson back with the MTCN, and he advises that the money would be direct deposited into my checking account within 1 to 2 hours. About 90 minutes later I get a phone call from a "supervisor" Mr. Scott Hayes and am told that Mr. Johnson made a mistake, and that I needed to send an additional $590 to the insurance company. Mr. Johnson had given me the price of a 1 year policy, but I needed a 2 year policy to secure my loan. I told them that I did not have the money to pay an additional $590. After about 45 minutes of being put on hold, Mr. Hayes came back on the line and said that he had been able to negotiate the 2nd year down to $475. During this time, I had looked up Brooks Lending everywhere I could on-line. They looked like a legitimate company. I then call my husband and ask him what I should do. He told me to go ahead and wire the other $475 and see what happened. I wired the additional funds and called Mr. Hayes back with the MTCN. He assured me that the funds would be in my bank account by 10 am the next morning. I called him when I didn't see the funds, and he said that he was waiting confirmation that the insurance company had been able to retrieve the funds. I point blank asked him if this was a scam, that I was worried. He said "and you should be", "no, what I mean is, no this isn't a scam, and you have nothing to worry about". Great! I was pretty sure at that point I wasn't going to be getting anything. I thought this money was an answer to many prayers trying to get things caught up because my husband had been out of a job for over a year, and had gone back to work in Jan. I get a phone call from Mr. Hayes that there was some type of problem, and Western Union would not release the last $475 to Cheralyn Cole. I needed to call Western Union and see what was going on. About the time I started to call Western Union THEY CALLED ME! They asked me what the money was going to Canada for. I told them it wasn't really any of their business. The lady on the phone than asked me "Is this money to pay for an insurance policy to get a loan?". Ok - YES! She tells me thank you for being honest, but we WILL NOT release the funds. It's ILLEGAL IN THE U.S. AND CANADA to require anyone to pay for a loan or an insurance policy upfront for a loan. Great, don't I feel like the complete idiot now! I call Mr. Hayes back and tell him that I just want to cancel the whole transaction, and to send my money back to me. He said he would request the cancellation, however, it would take approx. 4 weeks to get my money back. Why? It didn't take me 4 weeks to send it Western Union - why couldn't the money be sent back Western Union? I got no real explanation why. The phone number that I was given, and used [protected]. The number in MN that I was given was [protected]. As of July 14th, their phone numbers have been disconnected. I filed a complaint with the BBB, and the mail sent to the address in the website had been returned to the BBB as undeliverable. Their website www.brookslending.com has also been disabled. I have tried getting in touch with ez-axs group, but have had no luck. Maybe we should all file law suits against EX-AXS Group! I mean, after all it's THEIR website we used to apply for loans that we were all taken for!