Those Nifty Postcards Offering $$$$

Let’s see. This week brought nifty offers to claim money on my behalf from Unclaimed Funds Retrieval, L.L.C. ($1,605.49), Financial Services Group L.L.C. ($1,805.01), and Karyn A. Ward, CPA ($3,207.75). Unclaimed Funds Retrieval in Irving is run by one Johel A. Contreras, according to the Texas Secretary of State. Financial Services Group, L.L.C. is run by Vyacheslav Alaytsev. And, yes, Karyn A. Ward is indeed a CPA.

The deal here is simple. The senders promise you “unclaimed money.” In fact, they get you to come into their offices so they can sign you up to represent you at the appraisal district to reduce your property taxes. In reality, unlike real property tax consultants they send out postcards because anyone who responds to a postcard is likely to be gullible. Vyacheslav had at least one customer sign forms that gave Vyacheslav 100 percent of any savings. The fact is, any citizen can go down to the Appraisal District office and pretty much be assured of getting a 10 percent reduction just by showing up.

One more note: For all I know, Karyn A. Ward is the best CPA on the planet. I don’t like painting her with the same brush as I’m swiping over Johel and Vyacheslav, but she did it to herself by sending out the same kind of postcards as they do. According to the Texas Society of CPAs, she violated no ethics rule — which only tells me the Texas Society needs to upgrade its ethics rules.


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6 responses to “Those Nifty Postcards Offering $$$$”

  1. David Kaplan says:

    Wick, I don’t know the specifics of your situation but I am speculating you may have recently purchased a home.. The Texas Property Tax Code allows homeowners to file a late application for a property tax homestead exemption up to one year after the property taxes are paid. If the exemption results in an overpayment you get a refund. Sometimes title companies get busy and don’t clearly explain this at the closing.
    You are right about contacting the County Appraisal District….. it will be glad to mail you the neccessary forms free of charge. This is very simple to do.. — A Texas Property Tax Attorney

  2. Dallas BK says:

    Wick, I think you are confusing “unseemly” with “unethical.” One does not necessarily imply the other.

  3. km says:

    “they get you to come in your office?” Really?

  4. MeTwo says:

    Yeah, what Kaplan said.

    I almost got taken in by this very same scheme some years ago. Also, most states have an unclaimed funds website that anyone can access for free.

  5. Not an attorney but says:

    To shine a little more light on how these guys most likely operate regarding property taxes… they get data from the Appraisal District through the open records act (it is public information). They run a query on properties that have no Homestead Exemption but the physical address and mailing address match. These would be the people most likely to be a slam dunk for simply filing an application for Homestead and receiving a discount (or money back).

  6. scott says:

    Who gives a shit how the advertise Wick. Why aren’t all fiduciary quandrys in retail services not spelled out. And, part and parcel would be to order a broad simplification of forms and contracts. It is really rather absurd that simple contracts take pages, and that fine print may undermine the ostensible spirit of the contract.

    Again, in RETAIL contracts this would simplify and eliminate these bad loans. Since lender/brokers would have to state clearly, and obtain a signature next to a form that says I work for You/the Bank/the Seller, whatever.

    By retail I mean simple investments in 401ks and IRAs, mortgages and other sticky wickets that most people will encounter. On that note, terms should be in large if not bold print, especially figures relating to what percentage takings the lawyer will get in the circumstance you cite.