Ameriquest mortgage company is paying out more than $18 million to 13,686 New Yorkers in restitution for indulging in predatory loan practices, a news article in the North Country Gazette reported. The company, like many others around the country, reportedly enticed homeowners to refinance mortgages by misrepresenting and/or failing to disclose loan terms, charging excessive loan origination fees and inflating appraisals to qualify borrowers for loans.
This restitution is part of a $325 million settlement Ameriquest opted for. According to another article, the actual amount of restitution each New York resident will receive depends on the number of eligible New Yorkers who participated in the settlement, which was first announced in January 2006. Residents will be eligible to receive money based on their individual loan, payment history and evidence that the consumer was subjected to illegal and predatory practices.
The settlement came as a result of state governments taking the initiative to hold Ameriquest accountable for their predatory lending practices and dashing the hopes of hundreds of thousands who were in pursuit of the American Dream. Hopefully, the money from the settlement will help these borrowers somewhat defray the price of costly loans they were duped into financing.
Such lenders do nothing short of using aggressive and deceptive lending practices to exploit borrowers. These predatory lending practices have definitely caused today’s horrible crisis in the mortgage industry, which is threatening to further weaken the economy.
Predatory lending has become a scourge in Southern California because of the high concentration of elderly and immigrant families in this region who are not as familiar with the law. It can create situations for people that result in the loss of their homes, businesses, vehicle and property they may have worked their entire lives to acquire. In serious cases, retirees have been duped out of their entire life savings or homes they have lived in for decades.
Don’t let this happen to you. Here are some tips from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help the consumer guard against these predatory lending practices. At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, we’ve represented many clients over the years in predatory lending cases. Finding the most experienced and most effective legal representation may make all the difference in a predatory lending case. It could make the difference between losing everything you’ve worked for and successful recovery of all damages.