Week Adjourned: 9.24.10

Top Class Actions

Don’t Put that Mortgage in Reverse. If there’s any possible way to make a buck off consumers, you better believe the banks will figure it out. It seems there’s just no end to the stuff they get up to. Case in point, a Seattle mortgage lender, The Seattle Mortgage Co, a unit of Seattle Bank, is being sued in California over alleged illegal lending practices.

Here’s the deal, the suit focuses on fees paid to brokers and charges levelled against borrowers in reverse mortgage transactions.

FYI—a reverse mortgage, also known as a home equity conversion mortgage, is available only to people over the age of 62 years, and is heavily regulated by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—but maybe not heavily enough.

While it is the intent of the regulation to ensure that mortgage brokers provide their customers with the best financial advice based on the customer’s needs, it is possible that the brokers may have been influenced by the fees they receive from the banks selling the loan products. In other words, it may have been in the brokers’ and bank’s best interests for your grandmother to take out a reverse mortgage—but not necessarily hers.

The class is estimated to affect as many as 7,800 seniors, and if the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs, reimbursement of costs and damages may total as much as $56 million, the lead attorney representing the plaintiffs has said. And that’s just one state. Similar practices may be going in on other states… but that remains to be seen.

Top Settlements

Payday Loan Violations Get Settled. And then there’s the pay day cash advance market… Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 9.24.10”