IBJNews

1,300 Hoosiers eligible for United Financial restitution

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says more than 1,300 Hoosiers are eligible for restitution from United Financial Systems Corp. in the wake of a court ruling against the Indianapolis-based company.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled last year United Financial Services violated state law by selling estate plans without a license to practice law.

The court determined that United Financial and related companies were liable for refunding fees to the victims and appointed the attorney general's office to assist with the refund procedure.

Zoeller said Friday that state residents must apply for restitution from the company by Oct. 15, 2011, to qualify.

Consumers who qualify and have not received a prepaid claim card in the mail from Zoeller's office should call the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division at (317) 232-6330 or 1-800-382-5516, he said.

The Supreme Court ordered United Financial in April 2010 to cease its unauthorized law practice and reimburse clients who paid fees after June 6, 2006. The court’s order applied to 1,306 clients who collectively must be repaid more than $3 million.

The company also faces at least two class-action suits that could involve 4,000 or more Indiana clients who paid fees before June 6, 2006.

Richard Kennard filed a class-action suit March 16 in Marion Superior Court against United Financial, which in 2002 sold him a $2,500 estate-planning package, along with two annuities. Kennard is represented by Indianapolis-based law firm Cohen & Malad.

Like many United Financial clients, Kennard had a will in effect when a saleswoman visited his home in 2002. His suit claims she persuaded him to buy "inappropriate" power-of-attorney and living-will and trust documents, which were drafted by a lawyer that the firm contracted. Kennard’s probate lawyer later revised the work.

In January, a Logansport law firm also filed a class-action lawsuit against United Financial on behalf of thousands of residents for what attorneys estimate could be $10 million to $20 million in damages.

The lawsuit by Starr Austen & Miller alleges constructive fraud, contractual claim violations, conversion, and disgorgement of fees due to the unlawful practice of law. . The suit named Donald A. Bonnell of Kewanna as the sole plaintiff, but it contends a larger class of 2,000 or more people could have valid claims.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT