The fee, $5000, for "Medicaid application and support" for our mother, * *, was totally inappropriate! Bad/wrong/misleading advice given.
January 11, 2013, about the time Mother entered the nursing home, $5000 was paid to sales rep, * *, FFG, for "Medicaid application and support." This service was sold to us even though Mother had very little. She only had $10,000 in the bank, a $5000 life insurance policy, and owned her home which later sold for $50,000. Her total income was/is about $1600. She would have quickly and easily qualified for Medicaid without the service from FFG. We didn't know this. Upon *'s advice, we gave $5000 of her money to FFG, paid medical bills and the nursing home with the remaining money. He had me sign the last page of a blank Medicaid application form. Her home was for sale. We were led to believe that a "Lady Bird Deed" was needed in order to protect the money if/when we sold the house. Later, we found out that it didn't matter, that the "Lady Bird Deed" didn't make any difference in our case. Knowing now what we didn't know then, we never needed FFG's advice/service. Months went by and we didn't even know if FFG had sent Mother's application to the state. There was no proof, no copies of anything sent, and no communication. Finally, after many calls, I demanded a copy of the application that was supposedly sent to the state. I didn't receive this copy until May 3, 2013. It was a mess... incorrect information was given and the most current bank statements had not been included. Medicaid was declined. We were extremely upset! After many calls and discussion with * *, VP at FFG, he turned our case over to another business, * * *. * * made corrections to the application, gathered current documents/statements, and resubmitted it. Medicaid was finally approved in July 2013. However, because we had followed *'s earlier advice, and had transferred Mother's $5000 life insurance policy into our names, we had to pay a penalty on that money. The state case worker told us that penalty could have been avoided if we had of simply assigned the policy to a funeral home. I later wrote a letter to Jose Feliciano, CEO of FFG, expressing our frustration over this penalty and asked for a reply. There was absolutely no response from him. October 16, 2013, we sold mother's house for $50,000. FFG was given all the information and documents/statements needed to let the state know so that we could pay the state mandated penalty on the money and be done. FFG and/or * * * was supposed to complete the proper paperwork for us as part of the service purchased. They told us we would have to pay the nursing home through May 2014. Once again, there was no valid communication from FFG to let us know things were in order, no copies or proof of anything. We were never told the amount of the penalty, On August 5, 2014, I found out (just by chance) from the nursing home office that Mother's state case worker had no knowledge of Mother's house selling. Again, the paperwork was a mess. I immediately called FFG/* * and begged for information and proof of anything that had been sent to the state. I was told that everything had been sent in, "it wasn't their fault," that the state had "overlooked it." I asked for proof, copies of forms they were supposed to complete for us, anything that could show how they were benefiting our mother's case. To this date, Sept. 25, 2014, I have received NOTHING from them. I have called many times speaking to * *, * *, * *. I have a written log of dates and conversations, and emails that I have had with them. I have a copy of the letter I wrote to Jose Feliciano, along with my AT&T record that proves all the times I've initiated communication with them. I have tried to resolve this issue and get results. At this point, and in our case, it is our opinion (my sister's and mine) that we have been scammed. Please know that this business does not fulfill their commitment as stated in their brochure!
We would like a complete refund, but more importantly, we do not want this to happen to anyone else! Stop this business from selling this $5000 product to people who clearly qualify for Medicaid assistance. Lower this business's rating, and please notify the state of Texas of any wrong doings committed by them!
First, we are not aware of any complaint that has been ever filed on us with the BBB, so this is new territory for our company. Nevertheless, please accept the following as a response and rebuttal to the complaint submitted by the complainant.
First and foremost, we assert that there is a lot of inaccurate information being provided by the complainant.
Bottom line: Without our services in this complicated and confusing process, this lady would most likely have spent down the mother's assets without being approved by Medicaid. She hired us to get her Mom approved, and we did so successfully.
NOTE: We can provide a letter dated July 12, 2013 from Complainant expressing her deep appreciation for our work and efforts on this case.
Since that time, the complainant has expressed frustration about the fee after explaining to us that she was told by a case worker that she could have done this on her own without the fee. Well, that is true, just as it is true that we all can cook our own meals rather that eat out, we all could fix our own cars if we did the research and obtained the tools,.......and we all could do many things on our own, IF we knew how to ..... AND had the resources to do so.
Furthermore, we also want to point out that she did not follow some of our recommendations that would have provided additional protection to the estate. Selling the home would convert the exempt asset into cash, which is a countable asset. By not selling the home until the eventual demise of her mother, the entire value would have been protected. The complainant specifically requested the Lady Bird Deed which was a part of the services provided.
We also wish to address a few other points:
1) This particular case has proven to not be a profitable endeavor for our company. Nevertheless, we have attempted to provide the support and services that we do for any and all clients. We have spent well over 400 hours on the case over the past 22 months, as well as associated phone expense, legal expense, and other related expenses. We are disappointed the complainant feels otherwise.
2) It might be worth noting that the case WAS APPROVED, which is the goal for all cases in which we are hired. Although it was not initially approved with the information provided and submitted by the complainant, we immediately appealed the case, worked hard on providing all the accurate information needed, and diligently worked to make sure that it was approved. She expressed appreciation for this effort as noted in the letter mentioned above.
3) It seems apparent that the complainant does not fully understand the full process and impact of the efforts we made on her behalf. As previously mentioned, it is doubtful that she had the knowledge nor time, or experience to tackle this situation, which is why people seek our services. There is no doubt that she may have learned some things along the way over the past 22 months but we confidently believe and know that we helped her and definitely know that we have reasonably accounted for the expense she incurred to utilize our services.
4) The Complainant may opine that she feels our advice was wrong or misleading, and she is certainly entitled to that opinion, whether substantiated or not. However, our firm has built a solid reputation in this community, state, and region for the services we provide. Furthermore, we have received many compliments and a generous amount of adulation for the efforts and goodwill generated by our services. To make an accusation such as the one this complainant made about "them being scammed" is an insulting, very unprofessional, and most inappropriate. No business could continue in business for 20+ years by doing ANYTHING unethical. We are very regretful that she has taken this position and convinced herself that we have done harm. However, there is no way this company would risk it's position in this community, nor it's reputation in the financial industry by willingly taking advantage of any client or customer.
5) Please note that the complainant states that she wrote a letter to our Owner with which she got no response. Well, while it is true she received no written response from him personally, she did receive a call from his Executive VP, regarding these issues. The Exec VP has been very understanding, supportive, empathic, and responsive to her concerns for over a year. So it must be noted, that the insinuation that her inquiries, complaints, and demands for refund have been ignored, is completely inaccurate.
In conclusion, we have spent many years building a reputable and well respected business. Our financial group and it's subsidiary companies would not survive if the business, it's representatives, and employees did not conduct themselves with the utmost integrity. It is disconcerting to have to respond to assertions such as the Complainant. Nevertheless, we are confident, as the complainant herself stated in the letter dated July 12, 2013, that we have provided professional service, demonstrated extraordinary patience and cooperation, and extending our usual courtesy in doing everything possible to meet the demands and expectations of the Complainant on behalf of her mother's needs.
With that in mind, we must politely refuse her request for a complete refund and will confidently rely on our integrity, our detailed documentation, the facts and documented evidence of events that occurred, in resolving and /or closing this issue.
We welcome and are willing to meet with all parties involved and to allow the Complainant to express any frustration she may have. However, we also request the opportunity to make sure ALL facts are known.... in fairness to both parties, in order to avoid any unnecessary and/or unfair negative character portrayals of either and all parties involved.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Everything I said in my complaint was accurate and true. We paid for expertise and got nothing! We did everything they advised us to do. Mother only had $10,000, and they got $5000 of it. We provided all documents they asked for. We couldn't afford the upkeep on Mother's house for it to just sit there empty and rot. We were advised to sell it. Yes, I wrote a compliment specifically for * *, who actually works for * *, dated July 12, 2013, because she was the one who evetually helped us, even though we paid $5000 in January 2013 to Feliciano Financial Group. Our case was turned over to her after I expressed my many frustrations to * *. Please note that she had to make many corrections to the application and resubmit it. Only then, it was approved. There were many things not handled correctly, and this company knows the truth. Why have no documents or copies of anything been sent to us after many requests? Why were we NOT told to assign Mother's life insurance policy to a funeral home to avoid a penalty on that money? Why can this company just say "the state overlooked" the paperwork they supposedly sent in, but they refuse to provide any proof that they ever sent it? Why can't they provide any kind of document showing how much money they "saved" us by hiring them? Why did they ask me to sign blank state application forms for them to fill out, but don't provide copies of what was supposedly sent in? Why didn't Mr. Feliciano respond to my letter? (His VP didn't really respond to that specific letter either). Why were we told our penalty period on the $50,000 house sale would be up in May 2014, and then find out from the state case worker it wasn't up until August 2014? Why were we not told the amount of the penalty? Why weren't we provided any evidence of their 400 hours of work? We paid for expertise, and got nothing! I don't care how many years they've been in business. I don't care how sterling their reputation is. This is all I have to say. I am letting this go now, knowing the truth, and knowing my questions will never be answered. Case closed.