An Arkansas securities commissioner has ordered an unlicensed California reverse lender to stop brokering mortgage loans within Arkansas.
Arkansas Securities Commissioner Michael Johnson recently issued a cease and desist order to Financial Heritage for conducting mortgage business in the state without being licensed.
The order also named Financial Heritage's local agent, Diana Gucciardo, who the Securities Department said has been known to do business as Safe Money Management.
On its Web site, Financial Heritage touts itself as "The Reverse Mortgage Company."
The Securities Department determined that neither Financial Heritage's San Diego, Calif., home office, nor its branch office located in Mountain Home, Ark. -- largely a retirement community -- were registered with Arkansas after a resident submitted an inquiry regarding the company's status, said Mike Spades, a spokesman for the state division.
The state found that Financial Heritage was soliciting consumers for the purpose of taking out a reverse mortgage loan secured by real property in the Mountain Home area. One marketing strategy the brokerage company used to offer such a loan involved an invitation for a "free dinner" at a local restaurant.
While failure to comply with the cease and desist order would have cost Financial Heritage a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation, Spade said the company was not fined.
A Financial Heritage spokesman said everything was "in good shape" and that the company should be receiving their license to conduct business in Arkansas this week.