Bridge Capital, Lake Forest, California---Two Complaints


“ We had been dealing with the above subject for a loan of $30,000 against

invoices for durable medical equip.  When it was time to fund, they said they were "over budget" and suggested outsourcing.  We declined and asked for the return of our monies $2,410.30 which was to go for the first and last lease payments and the doc fee.  We have yet to receive this and our calls go unanswered.  I have reported them to the BBB and Dept. of Corporations, Financial Services Division.


“Don't know if you can help in any way, but please contact me at 941-953-4308 or fax 941-954-2993 or e-mail- rita  Possibly you could put something negative about Bridge Capital in your newsletter (a complaint has been filed, etc.).  I look forward to hearing from you and thanks.”


rita levin


The above was received in December.  After receiving copies of the agreements and talking with Paul Behechti, the president, a summation of this is after two months, the lease was not approved, and the lessee went elsewhere, asking for their “commitment fee” back.



“We had no choice but to go elsewhere for the funding.  Bridge Capital kept putting off sending  the money, with one excuse after another, and when it came down to the wire they said they were over budget and suggested they outsource the financing.  Since we had been pre-approved by other vendors before even approaching Bridge, and our vendor had been promised payment for weeks, we felt it necessary to take advantage of the funding available immediately.  There was no breach on our part.


“Calls to Bridge Leasing do not get returned and the only offer we have gotten from them is to hold our monies for future financing with them.  First, we do not wish to work with them any further, and second, we have no idea when the need for this kind of financing might arise.  Therefore, they have no right to withhold returning our monies.


“I realize you are only a third party in this, and we only contacted you on the advise of another finance company who suggested you might want to place something in your newsletter.  Certainly it was not our intention to get you involved.”


rita levin


The first intention is to seek a resolution, to negotiate a settlement. There was a documentation fee involved in the commitment letter, so deducting this and then splitting the remainder in half seemed a good compromise.  Paul Behechti agreed to this.  Rita Levin did not.


There was no “time limit” in the agreement, and the applicant after two months, did seek out another company and obtained a lease at the rate originally quoted by Bridge Capital Leasing.


The first role as an ombudsman is to seek a resolution.  The applicant went to the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Corporations, as Bridge Capital Leasing does not have a Finance Lender's License.  However, they are licensed as a Real Estate Brokerage firm, which allows them to act as agents for loans and finance leases.



Company Name:

Bridge Capital Leasing

Company Type:




Year Founded:


# of Employees:


Broker Business?


Discount Program?


Lease Range:


Equipment Accepted






Paul Behechti

Primary Contact

Address #1 - Primary

25381 Commercentre drive
Suite 150
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Phone Numbers

Office Phone:








This complaint has been in “limbo” for several months, and it appeared both sides had a position. It was not until the second complaint was received in February that the first had more credence:


“I would like to tell you the story of how Bridge Capital Leasing located at: 28351 Commercecentere Drive in Lake Forest, California treated our company and will not return the money paid by us to them in the amount of over $3000.


“Search for Bridge Capital Leasing and you will see the link to this site listed there as well on the right under Sponsored links.


“They are being reported to the Better Business Bureau, and the United Association of Equipment Leasing. We have also submitted this story to KCBS Television in Los Angeles and they are deciding to possibly do a story about this.


“The facts (in brief)...


“Several months ago a lease agent / sales person working for Bridge Capital by the name of Linda Caplette who initiated contact for our lease which we were told that we were "Pre-approved" for. Shortly thereafter, she had left the company and our file was transferred to another salesman named Alex Butler who we negotiated with for many weeks as we were continued to be told that we were approved for the lease so we proceeded. Here is a screen shot of the email received with the docs attached and a refund promise for unused funds.



“We were urged to complete the lease agreement and invoices for equipment to be purchased so they could get a check cut to the vendors within a week. We let them know that we were not going to need the initial 75k that they "pre approved" us for and gave them a new amount for which they reduced the down payment amount and promised a refund (Which I have confirmed by email from Alex) if we did not use the full amount that we were approved for. We sent the agreement, a check, and the invoices as instructed. Bridge Capital quickly cashed the check we sent.


“After several weeks, I contacted Alex and was told that he had never received the invoices that I faxed to them, so I re faxed them. He confirmed by phone that he had received them and that payments would start being made quickly to the vendors for the furniture and equipment. I had not heard back and the vendors were not paid, so I called Alex back after a couple of weeks and was told that Alex no longer worked there and that my file would be handled by "Paul" who was a manager. I spoke to "Nicole" after no return calls after many attempts to Paul and she said that she would help. She obtained my file and told me that the vendors had not been paid yet and that they only needed another business reference to get it done. I gave her the information and she told me that it would be expedited. After several more days, I called again and Nicole had told me that Paul had all of the info and would get back to me. This never happened. I called more than 15 additional times on various days and left messages for Paul.


“After an extreme amount of frustration and duress, I was finally able to speak to "Val Stiefel" who is an attorney there an he told me the file had gone to him. I quickly received correspondence letting me know they want to do the lease but cannot because of issues they found on the credit reports. How could this be if I was already approved as told many times? I told Val Stiefel was no longer was interested and asked if they would please return the money I had paid to them because as of this late date, I no longer needed the lease since we had already purchased what we needed because of their lack of response for several months. He told me he would speak to Paul and get back to me. After leaving many messages for the next week or so, I finally spoke to Val & Paul before Christmas, and they told me they wanted to keep the money towards a future lease. I told them that because of the extremely poor way my account and myself as a customer was handled and because I had been lied to many times by them, I would never do business with them and demanded a full refund. They asked me to wait two weeks while they get the refund together because of the holidays. I agreed and they promised to call me as of the second week in January.


“Around January 21st I never received a call and finally contacted Val Stiefel after 2 attempts and was told they had not yet decided what to do (which is contrary to what I was told before Christmas). Val promised to speak with Paul and get back to me. I demanded same day response and he did call me back stating that they have a greed to pay me back 50% the money owed because of "expenses". I demanded a full refund and promised to post my story on this web site if they did not comply.


“Bridge Capital Leasing promised us a lease, had us send a check, then cashed the check and did not honor the lease. I have personally placed more than 30 phone calls to them to get this resolved and it took months before I could even get as callback. Now they offered to return 1/2 of the money due to "expenses". They will not honor a full refund which we paid for the lease down payment.


“Their web site is located at: In my opinion, they have stolen our money and have scammed us while personally causing me countless hours and an extreme amount of stress. Now they are threatening to sue me if this site is not take down due to Libel. Can you believe it?


“I know it is hard to believe that companies in this day and age still treat customers like this. I can only hope that nobody else has had to endure the horrific treatment that I have received by Bridge Capital Leasing.


“Hopefully, they realize that they have wronged our company and will return our money eventually.


“Thank you, Mitch Farber


Netbilling, Inc.


Here is a copy of the lease signed:


For several months, Paul Behecti told the lessee, he would be returning

the money, according to both Mitch Faber, Paul Behcti, and Val C. Steifel,

the alleged “house” attorney.


There are several e-mails to this, but when Mr. Farber did not receive the

money, he created a web site and brought his case to the world wide web.

Basically Bridge Capital said that was “slander” and  “the deal is off.”

This was confirmed in an e-mail to Leasing News by Paul Behechti.


Leasing News kept giving deadlines to make a statement and/or resolve

the complaint.  It appeared to be a valid complaint to us.


Several calls were placed to both Val C. Stiefel and Paul Behechti this week.

The last communication was a fax from Mr. Val C. Stiefel to Mitch Faber,

sent to Leasing News by Mr. Stiefel.


“In it he basically says a credit matter has “impacted the loan terms, but there remains a viable leasing package for you to enjoy. “  This statement indicates the original lease presented was not approved, the rate and terms were changed. In addition, he asks for further credit information.  The fax was dated December 3,2003.


The last e-mail from Paul Behecti was last Friday:


“Mr. Steifel is an attorney and our lead  counsel and  he is  currently discussing the issue of lender's license with  outside counsel. I don't have a problem settling with both complaints if in  fact we are in non compliance with the department of Corporation. Outside  Counsel will have his ecommendation to us this Monday and We have a board meeting on Tuesday to discuss these two specific cases.”


E-Mails and telephone calls to both parties was not returned on Wednesday.


There is a provision in the Real Estate Law that calls for a fine

and censure for mishandling escrow accounts:

In California, escrow processing can be performed under various forms of

licensure.  Most commonly, real estate related escrows are performed by

independent escrow companies licensed by the California Department of

Corporations and title insurance companies licensed by the California

Department of Insurance.  Real estate brokers licensed by the California

Department of Real Estate can also perform escrows, but only in transactions

where the broker is acting as an agent.  To determine if a specific escrow

company, title company or real estate broker with an escrow division has

been the subject of administrative action, please check the following sites:


  a.. California Department of Corporations - Escrow Agents/Employee

Disciplinary Actions

  b.. California Department of Insurance - Consumer Alert/Enforcement


  c.. California Department of Real Estate - Public Licensing Information

I think you should return both monies to both complainants.


The Complaint Bulletin Board is for legitimate complaints.  Our role is

to verify the complaint and materials, not to inform the Real Estate Board

or give legal advise, such as simply in the State of California you can

got to Small Claims Court for transactions under $5,000.


There was no agreement presented that allowed  Bridge Capital to keep

any money.  Particularly in view of the rulings recently un-executed

leases (, the contract appears

to be “invalid.”  The fact is the complaint appears to be valid, therefore

it is now listed on the Leasing News Bulletin Board.


Virus Info Center
Leasing News, Inc.
346 Mathew Street,
Santa Clara,
California 95050

Mission Statment