Mortgage Co To Pay $4.5 Million For Fraud
A mortgage lender has agreed to pay $4.5 million for its role in a scheme to give North Carolina homebuyers loans they couldn't afford. Some 171 families who got loans from WR Starkey Mortgage of Plano, Texas will each get a refund of $26,000. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper filed suit against Starkey last November, claiming the company collaborated with a mobile homebuilder called Phoenix Housing Group to snare people with loans that were bigger than the value of the trailers they purchased. Between January 2007 and September 2008, employees of the mortgage company allegedly falsified information on consumer credit reports to boost the customer's ability to qualify for a mortgage and made loans without regard to the homebuyer's ability to repay. Letters will go out this week to customers who qualify for a settlement refund. Starkey Mortgage also agreed to spend $150,000 on consumer education and financial counseling for customers who receive the refunds.