Golden Eagle Leasing 2023: Reviews & Complaints
Note: As of 2022, it has been some time since we saw any evidence that Golden Eagle Leasing is still in business. However, because of the ongoing legal issues of parent company Northern Leasing Systems, we will continue to monitor Golden Eagle Leasing. If you have any information that the Golden Eagle brand is still in use, please let us know in the comments.
Golden Eagle Leasing is one of several business names used by the equipment lease provider Northern Leasing Systems, whose Chairman and CEO is Jay Cohen. Other affiliates include MBF Leasing, Lease Finance Group, and Lease Source-LSI, LLC. Golden Eagle Leasing was originally a subsidiary of Hypercom but was sold for $30 million to Northern Leasing Systems in 2003. The company has since been wholly absorbed into the Northern Leasing brand, but it appears that some leases continue to be sold under the Golden Eagle name. Northern Leasing does not seem to maintain an independent website for Golden Eagle Leasing at this time.
Northern Leasing Systems Lawsuit Update 2021
In June 2020, the New York Attorney General won the 2016 lawsuit filed against Northern Leasing Systems, Inc, voiding thousands of fraudulently-induced credit card equipment leases. The ruling also vacates nearly 30,000 default judgments and bans Northern Leasing from engaging in equipment leasing, effectively dissolving the company. The Attorney General’s victory will also force Northern Leasing and its related entities, Northern Leasing’s chief executive officer, and others who engaged in the fraudulent scheme to provide restitution to small business owners who were fraudulently induced into financing leases for credit card processing equipment from April 1, 2013, through the present. Northern Leasing is ordered to dissolve 60 days after providing relief. Restitution amounts are to be set by the court at a later date. Small business merchants are not required to take action at this time in order to receive restitution.
In February 2021, the Supreme Court denied the Northern respondents’ motions for discovery and a trial or evidentiary hearing and denied the Attorney Respondents’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the petition as against them, effectively upholding the 2020 decision.
Additionally, according to EINPresswire, in November 2020, the OAG brought forward another, separate proceeding after discovering that Northern Leasing’s owners and officers had created two new entities — NLS Equipment Finance and Leasing Expenses Company — to continue defrauding small businesses using the same scheme barred by the court in the prior litigation, as well as to continue collecting on leases rescinded by the June 2020 court order.
The companies found liable by this ruling — also issued by the New York County State Supreme Court — were operated by former Northern Leasing Chief Financial Officer Ariel Schachter and former Northern Leasing officer Sara Krieger and were owned by trusts that benefited the families of Northern Leasing’s owners, Jay Cohen and Leonard Mezei. The court found that these companies had “risen on [Northern Leasing’s] ashes” in an earlier December ruling that granted a temporary restraining order barring them from collecting on any equipment leases. In February 2021, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a decision and order in February 2021 effectively shutting down Northern Leasing Systems’ alleged attempt to continue to enforce illegal leases, including those voided in the 2020 decision. The parties named in this proceeding include Leasing Expenses Company LLC; NLS Equipment Finance LLC; Leonard Mezei; Ariel Schacter; Sara Krieger; Jay Cohen; a Jay Cohen Family Trust; Fieldston Capital LLC; and JS Ventures Holding LLC.
Despite the extensive and public legal action against the company, Northern Leasing Systems appears to be still operating at some level, as per a promotional article from March 18, 2021, celebrating the company’s 30th anniversary penned by founder and president Jay Cohen posted to PRWeb, a promotional website. Additionally, some former customers report to the BBB that they continue to receive bills from Northern Leasing Systems, including for properties that the customers no longer own. According to some comments from customers, Northern Leasing Systems no longer answers communications, though they continue to list a phone number on their website.
In a further example of how major the case against Northern Leasing Systems is, it has become a reference point for fraud in New York law, even being invoked in the 2022 case against former US President Donald Trump.
Golden Eagle Leasing Point of Sale
Golden Eagle Leasing is not a merchant account provider; rather, it leases credit card processing equipment like terminals, printers, barcode scanners, and other point-of-sale technology. As with Northern Leasing and Lease Finance Group, Golden Eagle’s equipment leases are often packaged with the merchant accounts of payment processors, meaning that the company’s customers are usually unaware that they are signing up for service through multiple companies.
For a more complete analysis of the primary company behind this network of lease providers, please see our Northern Leasing Systems review.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers 48-month, non-cancellable equipment leases that often cost…
- Complaints & Service: Complaints number more than…
- BBB Rating: Has no rating with…
- Sales & Marketing: Allows independent sales agents to package its equipment leases with other merchant accounts and has…
Golden Eagle Leasing Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||700+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Non-Cancellable Lease|
Lower Complaint Total Than Its Affiliates
There is a much lower volume of negative Golden Eagle Leasing reviews than its fellow Northern Leasing companies; however, the company still shows over 60 complaints in a search of Ripoff Report. Common themes among complainants include non-cancellable, long-term leases, expensive equipment, deceptive sales claims, poor or unavailable customer service, and aggressive collections practices. We will also hold Golden Eagle accountable for the hundreds of complaints filed against its DBAs, as there appears to be little if any separation between these entities. If you have your own Golden Eagle review to make, please do so below.
Northern Leasing Systems Lawsuits and Fines
In March 2013, the New York Attorney General reached a multi-million dollar settlement with Northern Leasing and its affiliated companies over a scheme to drain nearly $11 million from the bank accounts of small business owners. The case alleged that Northern Leasing had created a shell company called SKS Associates LLC, through which Northern Leasing misled customers and began withdrawing lease payments from merchants’ bank accounts long after their leases had expired. Although this settlement concludes the Attorney General’s lawsuit and appears to be the end of SKS Associates, Northern Leasing and its related companies still conducted business and grew into a very large equipment leasing network.
In April 2016, the New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Northern Leasing Systems, Lease Finance Group, and MBF Leasing “for their fraudulent and deceptive practices that trap small business owners across the country.” The lawsuit alleges that Northern Leasing Systems and its subsidiaries knowingly deceived thousands of business owners into buying overpriced equipment and then abused the judicial system by filing suit in New York to collect on overdue lease payments. The lawsuit seeks to vacate default judgments obtained by Northern Leasing against business owners, enjoin the company and its owners from further deceptive practices, obtain restitution for merchants, dissolve Northern Leasing, and force the company to notify all three major credit reporting agencies that the default judgments have been vacated. It was allowed to proceed in December 2017 and was resolved in June 2020 with a victory for the New York Attorney General, providing relief to thousands of small businesses. This marked the second action that the New York Attorney General took against Golden Eagle Leasing. Merchants who have been harmed by Golden Eagle Leasing are instructed to take no further action at this time. Restitution amounts are to be set at a later date, undisclosed as of this review.
In 2021, the Supreme Court upheld the 2020 decision and the New York Attorney General made a further decision and order shutting down subsidiary companies that Northern Leasing Systems was allegedly using to attempt to continue to enforce their voided leases.
Over the time of its existence, Northern Leasing has racked up about $11,300,000 in fines for fraud, benefit plan administrator violations, and consumer protection violations.
Golden Eagle Leasing Customer Support Options
The company (as Northern Leasing Systems) offers dedicated support numbers and emails on its website.
Golden Eagle Leasing Customer Service Numbers
- (866) 781-0440 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
- (888) 607-3607 – Collections
- (800) 342-7172 – Fax
Other Support Options
Based on client feedback, these communication channels appear to be lacking when compared to top-rated providers for customer service.
Golden Eagle Leasing Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Online Ratings Summary
Northern Leasing Systems on BBB Rating Analysis
GEL’s BBB profile has been combined with that of Northern Leasing Systems. Northern Leasing Systems is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an F rating. There are no customer reviews on the BBB website for this company. However, there are 7 customer complaints closed in the last 3 years, with none closed in the last 12 months. A common theme in these complaints is the difficulties encountered by small businesses when leasing equipment from Northern Leasing Systems. Complaints often mention high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresentation of equipment or lease terms, and issues with contract terms for returning leased equipment. Additionally, there are complaints about challenges in reaching customer service and receiving harassing collection calls.
“I have repeatedly attempted to return my credit card processing machine that I leased for my former business, which closed in February 2020. I have met my lease obligations, but they continue to charge my bank account $55 per month. Despite numerous calls and even sending the processor back, they have not ceased the charges. This is happening even though the company has been shut down by the NY AG office.”
– Complaint from May 17, 2022
There are no positive reviews published about Northern Leasing Systems, Inc. on the BBB website.
Golden Eagle Leasing Rating Analysis
Golden Eagle Leasing has a 1.0-star rating based on 9 customer reviews on the PissedConsumer website. The common themes among these reviews include dissatisfaction with customer service, issues with lease agreements, and problems with equipment and billing. Customers express strong dissatisfaction, citing unethical practices and lack of transparency.
“Horrible business practices. Still charged me to terminate the lease and threatened to ruin my credit if I didn’t do and pay what they wanted. Horrible company and all-out thieves.” – Review from November 2, 2020, by an anonymous user from Princeville, Illinois, United States.
“Unethical and not transparent. This company will bury deep in a 48-page lease agreement a lot of unsavory terms that take advantage of smaller businesses. They are looking to make boatloads and are okay with being deceptive about leasing rather than purchasing equipment. They have had to revise their agreement because of all the issues they have had in court and continue to operate in a way that gets new legislation passed, then they have to adjust. They will mess you up, take you for a lot of money, have zero sympathy even when dealing with something like the coronavirus outbreak that has led to hurting businesses, and they will get their money.” – Review from April 3, 2020, by Brad W. from Norman, Oklahoma, United States.
There are no positive reviews published about Golden Eagle Leasing on the PissedConsumer website.
ComplaintsBoard Rating Analysis for Golden Eagle Leasing
The reviews on ComplaintsBoard for Golden Eagle Leasing and Golden Eagle Leasing LLC do not provide a quantifiable average customer review rating or a specific number of customer reviews. However, the reviews present a range of customer experiences and opinions regarding the company’s services.
“Harassment on a monthly payment for a credit card machine – I had changed my bank account number and notified the merchant services of this change as I did with my original contract. However, in January, I received an ugly call from Golden Eagle Leasing threatening to attach the non-payment of the amount due on Jan 1, plus a non-payment notice to my credit- at this point, it was barely 2 weeks late. I was threatened with being taken to court eventually for a payment of $4800 for the 4-year lease. When I told her I wanted to return the machine, she said the machine is not worth more than $300-400. I sent a check for payment of the January lease, which was received and cashed on 1/19/2016. Since then, I have received 3 letters, which state the amount due is $268.88. I called their customer service who asked that I send a voided check for future payments and to ignore the invoices I am receiving as they did receive my January payment. I would be happy to return this machine as I have no need for it if they will accept the cancellation of this contract. I feel this is a fraudulent company.”
– Review from January 27, 2016
“In November 30, 2007, I leased a credit Card Machine from Golden Eagle at the request of my credit card agent. After I decided I was not going to accept credit card in my business, I sent a letter of cancellation and also faxed a copy to Golden Eagle. 10 days later I returned the machine which they received. They still and continued to send me statements for the machine. After 6 months, they withdrew $700.00 dollars from my account. I called the next day and they told me that they received the cancellation and the machine, and the withdrawal was a mistake in accounts, I demanded the money back and was told that I have to wait 14 days, before they process the money in case I put a stop to the money from the bank, I told them what stop if the money is withdrawn from you guys and gone. Still, I waited 14 days, after 14 days I called back and they said I had to wait from 8 to 10 weeks to process my own money which they illegally took from my bank account. I cussed at them cause I told them I was not waiting 8 to 10 weeks for money they withdrew from my account illegally in less than 10 seconds. I was put on hold and they never got to me again on the phone. it has been over 8 weeks already and I called again with no answer from anybody there, I was put on hold again with music coming through the phone and they never got back with me. This people are ripping businesses off and something needs to be done about this company. I’m surprised this company is still in business.”
– Review from October 14, 2009
There are no positive reviews published about Golden Eagle Leasing on the ComplaintsBoard website.
Golden Eagle Leasing Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
Non-Cancellable Four Year Term
The standard Golden Eagle Lease Agreement contract involves a non-cancellable 48-month agreement, which means that upon signing the lease, clients are obligated to pay the full cost of the four-year lease whether they use the equipment or not. The full cost of standard Golden Eagle rates and contracts appears to be several thousand dollars, often up to ten times the cost of purchasing the leased equipment independently. It should be noted that most credit card terminals can be purchased for under $500. Non-cancellable, long-term leases mean a business can pay thousands for that same equipment making them a contract term to avoid. We encourage business owners to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.
To terminate the contract, merchants can either notify Golden Eagle of their intent to terminate the contract, return the equipment, and pay the remaining balance; or they can purchase the equipment and pay the remaining balance. Either way, they will be on the hook for the remaining monthly payments. It appears to be standard company policy to simply withdraw the amounts owed on delinquent accounts in monthly or lump sums, often without ever notifying the client. The vast majority of complaints online indicate widespread dissatisfaction with these contract terms, and we are inclined to agree with the clients in this case. Golden Eagle’s leasing terms are not at all competitive with the equipment rental terms offered by budget-friendly credit card processors.
Golden Eagle Leasing Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
A Supplier for Resellers
Golden Eagle allows independent sales agents with any merchant account provider in the industry to resell its equipment leases as an addendum to his or her usual merchant account contracts. Golden Eagle appears to exercise little-to-no oversight when it comes to how the agents sell its products, but it will typically enforce the full terms of the agreements that are signed.
This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Hundreds of Sales Complaints
We have found hundreds of Golden Eagle reviews filed against the company and its DBAs that allege that the sales agent did not disclose the conditions of the equipment lease. There are also numerous reports of aggressive collections efforts by Golden Eagle, even when clients state that they were completely duped into signing the agreement. In general, there is no positive information to be found about Golden Eagle’s sales approach, and the company has earned an “F” in this category. Business owners are advised to seek a third-party statement audit to renegotiate the terms of improperly disclosed equipment leases.
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