Online Gurus - Robert G. Allen
Number of Customer Reviews for Robert G. Allen: 38
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WOW! That is all that I can say. Where do I begin with this guy? He has been marketing his No Money Down Real Estate techniques for so many years and now recently, online information to allegedly make multiple income streams, that there is so much information on him I am just going to have to cut to the chase. Or at least try to.
Over 20 years ago I first bought one of his No Money Down books (since thrown away) and like every young starry eyed entrepreneur thought, I was going to go get rich in real estate. Well I learned very quickly that I could only buy property with his techniques in a down cycle of the market. When trying to buy property, 99% of the people in the industry that I talked to just laughed at me.
I realize that a person is instructed to find motivated sellers but gee wiz, give me a break. It was like pulling teeth. I speak from experience because I am a real estate investor and do buy properties and invest in properties in different parts of the country, but instilling into people false hope or unrealistic expectations just to induce them to let go of their hard earned money, I believe is criminal.
I think guys like Robert G. Allen make most of their money in selling information, which is fine if the information provides value to you and you are willing to spend the amount of money necessary to get it. But Allen oversimplifies getting into real estate and I think that is just creating a great let down to many, because the value is not there. Consequently whatever else he has to sell is not of interest to me.
I am a real estate investor and all I can tell you is that you need to develop a network of people that you work with who can make you strong where you are weak. If you are being mentored by another individual or group or have gone thru course after course and have tried to succeed but are finding it difficult give me a call at 760-931-4770 or e-mail me at John@jcsbicca.com and I will discuss with you my program. I have money available for gap financing and fix up so that you can succeed. I already have helped numerous students. My capacity is limited so I am very selective. Feel free to contact me to see if you qualify.
The following is an experience of one of his students that best summarizes the complete sham that I believe Allen is:
1) “As an alumna of Robert Allen's Creating Wealth seminar, I felt moved to write to thank you for taking the time to provide a much needed service to the public.
By the time I took this course, a Neuro-Linguistic Programming expert had added his techniques to the seminar, resulting in a total immersion weekend of information and emotional bonding/sharing underscored by NO outside contact, rock music blasting from a state-of-the-art sound system (complete with smoke machine) and a grand finale-- ritual "breaking through" a piece of plywood with our bare hands, to symbolize emerging through our blockages to wealth. I couldn't afford to stay in the hotel each evening, so I commuted back and forth from Los Angeles the entire weekend. I remember feeling SO elated on the drive home each evening, that it felt like I was in some kind of ecstatic trance: the car seemed to float along the freeway and I would arrive home too excited to sleep.
Motivational speakers enthusiastically inflated one's self-esteem, from early morning to very late at night and (almost incidentally), Robert Allen was present at the first and last sessions, talking about his wife and kids, his philosophy on finding one's life purpose etc.; like a kindly paterfamilias who genuinely wanted to help each participant to succeed in life in general, and real estate in particular.
The main idea was, if you can get real (i.e. confront some of the painful/traumatic beliefs about yourself that are keeping you from being successful), you can get your estate. What perfect market timing. Here was a newly created niche of former mid career aerospace workers, with wounded self-esteem, LOTS of time on our hands, very little investment knowledge, but with large lump sums of buy-out cash on hand! The worst memory I have, after a few days of role-plays and confessions to total strangers some of my most painful childhood memories and disappointments, was the final evening. After days of speeches, applause, dancing, laughter, exhilaration and hugs, several hundred people of every imaginable description were now seated on the floor in a HUGE circle.
The room was now dark, except for several dozen flickering votive candles that seemingly appeared out of nowhere, as the soothing sound of birds chirping and water trickling softly came through the speakers. The NLP expert used a low, hypnotic tone of voice to take us back to a time when we first felt loved, and asked us to write about the experience. Even now, I remember the astonishing, overwhelming feeling of love that enveloped that room; so much so that many others and I present, began to weep!
Then, suddenly, the room lights came on, the candles were extinguished and we were handed a questionnaire to complete and guided out of the room, past tables displaying tapes and books for sale, strategically placed near the exit. I felt so utterly duped and devastated at that moment. I filled both sides of the questionnaire with my feelings of psychological rape, which it took me years to heal from!
What we basically got was a very expensive encounter seminar weekend at a Disneyland hotel. No one from my group made any money from any deals, that I'm aware of, other than one guy who bought a building in the San Fernando Valley that was later damaged in the earthquake. The last I heard he managed to qualify for some type of government funding to demolish and rebuild.
The only thing this weekend taught me was to be VERY wary of anything remotely resembling NLP or any other encounter group, and ESPECIALLY to be wary of any real estate seminars thus disguised!”
THIS IS PATHETIC! WHAT A JOKE. This mans experience is disturbing. All he wanted was to become rich in real estate, not make Allen rich or engage in some sort of psychobabble! Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way back in my 20’s by buying every real estate gurus books and seminars, boy did they make me feel good, but the next morning I woke up depressed, because I had no idea how to get started. I later learned that if you want to make money in real estate hook yourself up with others that are actually doing it, pool each other’s talents and get started.
If this has not convinced you to run to the hills then maybe the following from another one of my sources will:
2) “Author of best-selling books Nothing Down, Creating Wealth, and The Challenge, one-time seminar guru and founder of many Robert Allen Nothing Down clubs around the U.S., Allen’s advice is generally terrible. Although I did like a chapter he wrote on property-wanted ads. Otherwise, he is little more than a financial publicity stunt man.
My book photographically reproduces documents from his famous “Send me to any city” nothing-down deals. The L.A. Times accepted his challenge and made him do them in San Francisco, which is near where I live. I went there and got all the documents on each of the seven deals. Some were also done in the county where I live. On one, which was apparently typical, the documents seem to show that Allen lied to the first-mortgage lender—Bank of America—about whether there was any secondary financing (there was—a seller mortgage) and about his intention to occupy the San Francisco condo as his principal residence (He lived in Provo, UT at the time and never occupied the SF unit). At that time, June, 1981, when home mortgage interest rates were at 18%, Bank of America would only make loans to owner occupants and prohibited all secondary financing. I have their loan policy for the date in question in the book, too. My wife was a loan officer for Bank of America at the time.
At best, you would have negative cash flow following his books. At worst, you would go bankrupt and wind up in jail. He doesn’t put it this way, but his nothing-down techniques almost all require you to mislead an institutional lender or take advantage of an unsophisticated seller or both. The president of his Atlanta Robert Allen Nothing Down Club literally went to federal prison at Eglin AFB, FL. for doing illegal nothing-down deals. There is virtually nothing in his material about how to make a profit. Rather he simply assumes that real estate goes up so much every year that you need only buy it to cash in.
Allen himself got into financial difficulty with the IRS as early as 1984. In 1986, IRS filed a $346,395.79 lien against Allen. In September of 1987, he also had:
another $65,649.90 IRS lien more than $76,000 of delinquent tax warrants filed by the State of Utah lawsuits and judgments regarding over $100,000 in unpaid fees to fellow gurus who spoke at his meetings Allen declared Chapter 7 (total liquidation used when the bankrupt party has a negative net worth) bankruptcy in San Diego on July 10, 1996 (Bankruptcy Petition #96-09323-LA).
Bankruptcy creditors sometimes get pennies or nickels on the dollar. According to Allen’s bankruptcy papers, his creditors got nothing. The Initial Meeting of Creditors was held on August 9, 1996. A lawyer tells me that Allen would have been asked questions under oath about his assets during that meeting. A copy of the transcript of that meeting would be interesting. It would typically be in the case folder.
The Allen’s attorney, Richard V. Vermazen, got $2,000 to handle their bankruptcy according to court papers. The Allen’s were discharged from their debts on 10/17/96. The case was closed with no distribution to the creditors on 10/31/96.
The creditors who were stiffed in the bankruptcy file were:
• American Express Optima Card
• Bank of New York
• Citibank Visa
• Farmers InsuranceGroup (San Diego)
• Ferrette & Slater ALLC (San Diego)
• Franchise Tax Board (California income tax)
• Internal Revenue Service
• John Graff (Highland, UT)
• Mark IV Properties (San Diego)
• McKay, Burton, Thurman (Salt Lake City)
• Neiman Marcus
• Scalley & Reading APC (Salt Lake City)
• Scott Meredith Agency (New York City)
• Shirl and Gail Loveless (Provo, UT)
• Simon & Schuster (New York City)
• The Broadway (Phoenix)
The Allen’s may have had other creditors. These were the only ones listed in the bankruptcy court files. Now that Allen is running full-page ads touting his financial skills in 2003 and 2004, one wonders if he has gone back and paid these creditors like his fellow Provo guru Howard Ruff did after his post-bankruptcy financial rebirth.
Most recently, he was sending out an e-mail soliciting customers for a business opportunity that has “nothing to do with real estate.” As far as I’m concerned, nothing he has ever done had anything to do with real estate. It was merely about making Bob Allen rich and famous. I am told that his former associate Marc Stephen Garrison once had a private conversation with Allen that went something like this. Garrison: “I m concerned that our students are not using the real estate investment information we’re teaching them after the course is over.”
Allen: (wearily) “We’re not in the real estate investmet information business, Marc. This is show business.” If you paid thousands of dollars for one or more of Allen’s courses, I hope you enjoyed the “show.” Although I suspect you could have gotten more entertainment at the hottest play or musical on Broadway for a lot less.
I also heard that Allen was telling people his bankruptcy was caused by an avalanche that destroyed an expensive home he and his wife were building. He tried to pawn that story off on me, too. Here are the details as I recall them. The avalanche occurred around February. But the IRS and the State of Utah had filed liens against him for non-payment of taxes months before the avalanche. Furthermore, I interviewed him by phone about all this and recorded the conversation with his approval.
I asked him what kind of real estate genius, as he was claiming to be at the time, would fail to insure his home. He said he did have insurance against the avalanche. “Did you file a claim?” “Yes.” “Did the insurance company pay it?” “Yes.” “So how did the avalanche cause your financial difficulties if it was fully insured?” He then mumbled something about a deductible. Gimme a break. At the time, he was claiming to be a multi-millionaire. Millionaires are not bankrupted by the deductible on their homeowners insurance. Plus there is still the pesky fact that he was in financial difficulty before the avalanche ever happened. And then there is the question of why he was building a mansion in the mountains when he was not paying his state and federal taxes like the rest of us.”
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Once again WOW! Don’t be a fool and spend one penny on this guy. Obviously I do not recommend him at all.
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