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Family says financial advisor disappeared with thousands of dollars

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- To say the Gathing family is frustrated would be putting it lightly. They said they were already in the financial hole trying to catch up on bills. They say they're now on the verge of losing everything after seeking what they thought was professional help.

"Now I gotta figure out what I gotta do. Everything is backed up," Earnest Gathing Sr. said.

In April, Gathing and his son said they hired Angela O'Bryant who presented herself as a financial advisor and the owner of Correspond Write Now.

Earnest Gathing Jr. said they hired O'Bryant for help with their credit and "to help situate our money, but then she also let us know that she could help us out with our house as well."

After paying her about $1,600 upfront to secure her services, they said O'Bryant helped them file chapter 13 bankruptcy and make a house payment. However, an auto accident late this summer would reveal the money wasn't going to their numerous creditors.

Gathing Jr. said, "That's when everything hit the fan."

He explained, "If it wasn't for the accident with the police hitting my dad, we would have never knew. We would have been steady making payments."

They said the car insurance was behind three months, along with the house note and car note.
Already in debt, they now they say they're out close to $4,000 and are unable to get reach O’Bryant.

"And when we got to her office there, her office door was open. It was pretty much cracked. When I pushed it open, it was completely empty," Gathing Jr recalled.

It turns out they're not alone. Numerous clients continue to air similar frustrations on the business's Facebook page. The Better Business Bureau lists the company's accreditation as suspended.

FOX 17 stopped by the office downtown. There's a sign on the door. It reads, "Correspondence Now [sic] is no longer a tenant in this building. We have no forwarding address. Anyone here on business with Correspondence Now will be trespassing and will be subject to the authorities."

The number listed on the business's BBB page no longer works. FOX 17 left a message on a number listed on the business's Facebook page letting O'Bryant know the Gathings want an explanation and their hard earned money.

Gathing Sr. said, "I just wanna know why."

"Why me? Ya know. Lost my wife, lost my son... now this," he said.

FOX 17 will continue to look into this business.

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