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Tue November 1, 2011
U.S. Sues Major Mortgage Broker Over Lending Fraud
In a lawsuit filed against one of the largest private mortgage brokers in the country, the United States alleges fraudulent lending practices by Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. cost the government $834 million in insurance claims paid by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Allied has profited for years as one of the nation's largest FHA lenders by engaging in reckless mortgage lending, flouting the requirements of the FHA mortgage insurance program, and repeatedly lying about its compliance," the U.S. said in the complaint, according to Bloomberg. "In the past decade, Allied has originated loans out of hundreds of branches it never disclosed to HUD."
As the AP explains it, what the government alleges was going on here is that Allied had a number of unauthorized branches that worked with little to no quality control and which the government claims circumvented rules put in place to protect HUD, which resulted in a higher-than-usual number of homeowners falling behind on their mortgages. From 2006 to 2007, the default rate on mortgages the company sold was 55 percent.
The government said Allied made substantial profits through the loans while it violated rules meant to protect HUD's insurance fund and deceived the agency by originating loans for years out of hundreds of "shadow" branches that were not approved by HUD.
The deceitful practice was continued under Hodge's direction even after several senior managers voiced concerns, the lawsuit said.
"Allied operated with impunity for many years due a culture of corruption created by Hodge, who eliminated the position of chief financial officer and other senior management positions, intimidated employees by spontaneous terminations and aggressive email monitoring, and silenced former employees by actual and threatened litigation against them," the lawsuit said. "As a result, Allied was able to conceal its dysfunctional operations and maintain its profitable position in the mortgage industry."
Allied has not yet commented on the lawsuit.