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Signet Folds, Dealers on Hold

May 10, 2011

Dealers, consumers and state regulators want to know the whereabouts of Greg Lehmann and his Signet Financial Group. The Vacaville, Calif.-based F&I product provider, which offered a service-contract refund agreement, closed its doors without notice in late March, leaving consumers with a lot of questions and dealers without answers.

Those answers can’t come soon enough for Marty Barger, general manager for Big Island Honda in Kona, Hi., part of the 16-store Fletcher Jones dealer group. Barger said his dealership has originated more than 300 Signet service contracts. The still-active and -enforceable agreements were offered as a complimentary add-on, a policy that was in place before Barger joined the dealership two years ago.

“I just want to find out what happened to them and whether they’re going to file for bankruptcy,” said Barger. “We’re kind of in a holding pattern until we find out more.”

But the more time passes, the more Barger believes his dealership is facing a situation similar to one it dealt with four years ago, when the now-defunct Automotive Professionals Inc. went silent before filing for bankruptcy in April 2007. That debacle cost Barger’s dealer group approximately $200,000 in repair work after it decided to honor the API contracts it sold. He’s still waiting to hear from Signet, but customers are already speaking up.

“I just had a woman in my office yelling at me that she wanted her refund,” he told F&I magazine last week. “I told her that we haven’t made a decision on how we’re going to handle it. We just found out three weeks ago.”

Similar stories regarding Signet warranties, which dealers pay between $130 and $140 to sell, have appeared in newspapers from Allentown, Pa. and Kansas City, Mo. to Boise, Idaho. The company’s name appears on a number of complaint boards and has a one-star rating on Yahoo! Local, where 27 consumers have posted stories about delayed payments, claims being denied and unreturned phone calls. In one post, an angry reviewer posted what he said was Lehmann’s home phone number. That number has since been disconnected.

Chris Gonzalez, deputy district attorney for the Solano County (Calif.) District Attorney’s Office, said her office has received calls and written complaints regarding Signet, but could neither confirm nor deny whether her office is investigating the company.

Tony Green, a spokesperson for the Oregon’s attorney general, John Kroger, said his office has received 42 complaints on Signet. He confirmed that his office is investigating the company, but could not offer any additional details.

A spokesman for the California Department of Insurance said no complaints had been filed with the state agency. “They are not on our radar, as far as I know,” said agency spokesman Dave Althausen.

Calls to Signet’s office went unanswered. At one point, a newspaper article claimed the company’s answering service informed callers that the company was closed until further notice. The company Website said it’s under construction and the company’s office in Northern California is no longer open.

According to a report in the Oregonian, a daily newspaper in the state of Oregon, some dealers received an e-mail from Lehmann on April 6. It read: “It is with great regret that I must announce, effective immediately, Signet Financial Group Inc. is ceasing operations due to lack of capital necessary to support continued operations. I will be contacting you each individually by phone to discuss the various options available.”

Big Island Honda’s Barger never received that e-mail, despite the fact that his predecessor had arranged for the dealership to purchase Signet’s GRP product directly from the company.


  1. 1. GERALD MCCOY [ September 19, 2015 @ 09:45AM ]


  2. 2. Peg Decker [ March 06, 2016 @ 06:19AM ]

    Just found out about this scam a few days ago . please if anyone help get our money back let us know

  3. 3. Peg Decker [ March 06, 2016 @ 06:20AM ]

    Please if anyone know how to get our money back please let us know. Thank you

  4. 4. Carole Dunn [ June 10, 2016 @ 08:21AM ]

    I am owed $1943.00. Help. Who do I contact?

  5. 5. Sean Porter [ September 11, 2017 @ 12:59PM ]

    I am owed $2487.00

  6. 6. Sean Porter [ September 11, 2017 @ 01:00PM ]

    I'm owed $2487 if anyone knows how to get this back please help


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