I’ve been fortunate to have the sage advice of wise and learned mentors over the course of my life. These individuals have served to guide my efforts by maximizing performance, increasing efficiency and plotting my course towards abundance and away from peril. It is the latter that moves me to share with you my experience in the (MCA) space and a reaffirmation of why proper vetting and due diligence cannot be underscored enough in our industry.

Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to get to know some of the major players in the space and it has left an indelible impression as to just how fraught the alternative lending industry is with bad actors. I’ve come across every manner of degenerate: con artist, swindler, thug, loan shark, racketeer and common thief. Absent any over oversight or viable regulation, anyone, from any walk of life can simply begin brokering, directly funding or syndicating with nary a license or even certification.

The enormous profits that can be made in brokering these deals (let alone funding them) further serves to invite an unprofessional and undesirable element into the fold. The alternative lending space is the outlier when it comes to the world of finance, the final frontier completely devoid of the best practices and sound ethical standards that are fundamental to the professional advisor or consultant.

This results in dealing with individuals who, many times, are predicate felons looking not for a second chance to do things the right way but for another opportunity to perpetrate their schemes, scams and swindles. I share this with you because I was almost taken by one such individual and but for the advice and counsel of a good friend, I may have fallen victim to this person’s smooth-talking confidence game. My goal is for this to be a clarion call for all to heed. I believe everyone deserves a second chance and the opportunity for redemption.

Nevertheless, if an individual has shown a repeated propensity to engage in malfeasance and criminality, evidencing a moral compass that has not just gone askew, but is irreparably rotted with corruption, it would be a fools errand at best to afford them the opportunity to continue, and willful complacency at worst.

There is a reason why a finding of moral turpitude bars those who seek a license to practice law from doing so, the trust and the power they wield in influencing the structures and rules of society is unequivocal, with far reaching ramifications. I am of the mind that a similar finding should be extended to all matters financial when the public is involved. “Ye shall know them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”

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