Consumers need to know that they may be dealing with companies who are unlicensed and are not authorized to act as a mortgage lender or mortgage broker. In addition, it is also an unfair and deceptive act for a licensed mortgage lender or mortgage broker to conduct business with a person or company which is not licensed.
Here was the trap we fell into. Marquis Money, an unlicensed company in Houston, was our mortgage broker. He worked with Flagstar Bank with underwater and subprime mortgages.
Predatory Lending and Mortgage Fraud
On February 24, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Case No. 12-cv-01392, against the Company alleging that for over a decade Flagstar had been improperly approving thousands of residential home mortgage loans for government insurance. Specifically, the DOJ alleges that the Company: used unauthorized staff employees in the loan approval process; paid substantial incentive awards to these unauthorized employees for exceeding certain quotas; permitted underwriters to submit false certifications to the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”); and misled FHA and HUD by certifying that the loans had been fully underwritten by properly registered and sufficiently experienced underwriters when they had not. The DOJ further alleges that as a result of the foregoing, thousands of loans were approved for government insurance that did not qualify for insurance and when the loans defaulted, HUD was forced to cover the losses.
On March 13,2012 it was announced that shareholder rights firm Robbins Umeda LLP was investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of the law by certain officers and directors at Flagstar Bancorp, Inc.
In particular, the firm investigated allegations that Flagstar violated the False Claims Act when it improperly endorsed federally insured mortgage loans that eventually defaulted and falsely certified its loan underwriting practices to federal housing authorities. On February 24, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint against Flagstar, which alleges that Flagstar utilized under-qualified underwriting assistants to approve thousands of residential home mortgage loans for Federal Housing Administration insurance. The complaint also alleges that Flagstar improperly set daily quotas for the underwriting assistants and paid them substantial incentive awards for exceeding their quotas. While engaging in this scheme, the officers and directors of the company not only exposed Flagstar to significant liability, but, represented to the investing public that Flagstar was operating in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Flagstar did not conduct its operations in the underwriting of
FHA loans in accordance with HUD-FHA regulations.
On February 24, 2012, Flagstar admitted, acknowledged, and accepted responsibility for submitting false certifications to HUD about the eligibility of its loans for FHA insurance.
In a settlement reached with the U.S Attorney’s Office, the lender agreed to pay $132.8 million to the United States in damages and penalties under the False Claims Act and to reform its business practices.
Flagstar admitted that during the period January 1, 2002, to February 24, 2012, it delegated underwriting decisions to unauthorized staff.
The lender also admitted that it underwrote and approved for FHA insurance loans that did not comply with certain HUD-FHA underwriting requirements, and HUD paid insurance claims on these ineligible loans.
Further, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Flagstar set daily quotas for its HUD approved underwriters and underwriting assistants and paid these employees substantial incentive awards for exceeding daily quotas.
Flagstar agreed to pay $132.8 million and to other concessions to resolve the U.S. Government’s claims.
The lender agreed to pay $15 million within 30 days after approval of the settlement by the court and make additional payments totaling $117.8 million as soon as it met certain financial benchmarks.
Additionally, Flagstar agreed to
(1) comply with all relevant HUD-FHA rules applicable to direct endorsement lenders,
(2) the completion of a 1-year period in which Flagstar’s compliance with HUD-FHA rules would be monitored by a third party at Flagstar’s expense, and
(3) implementation of a training program for all employees involved in the origination and underwriting of FHA loans. Flagstar also agreed to certify to HUD that the individuals in senior leadership positions who previously had primary responsibility for initiating and overseeing Flagstar’s manual underwriting process were no longer employed by the lender
We bought our home in 2008, started negotiations with Flagstar for a HAMP mortgage adjustment in 2009. After a year of back and forth paper work, we decided to hire an attorney to straighten this out in 2010. We were told not to make anymore payments until it was straightened out.
Bad advice from a bad attorney.
Don’t let this happen to you!
My PSA for the day.