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Broker Loses License for Lying to Lenders

Citi Group license revoked

January 23, 2006

By PATRICK CROWLEY


Georgia regulators have revoked the license from a mortgage broker who had allegedly broken the law by not disclosing information to lenders and state examiners.

Citi Group Financial Mortgage Corp. "violated provisions of the Georgia residential Mortgage Act" and was cited by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance "for making numerous misrepresentations in loan files submitted to mortgage lenders and for withholding information ... from examiners," according to a statement issued by the state.

In the statement, regulators made note that Citi Group Financial Mortgage is not affiliated in any way with Citigroup -- parent to mortgage giants CitiMortgage and CitiFinancial.

Rod Carnes, deputy commissioner for mortgage in the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, said he could not divulge details of the allegations. The company's license was revoked on Jan. 4.

"We cannot divulge the specific violations," Carnes told MortgageDaily.com. "There are prohibited acts ... about what should be included in mortgage files and companies are prohibited from withholding information while under examination. But I can't get into specifics."

A phone call placed to Citi Group's office in Norcross, Ga., was not returned to MortgageDaily.com.

Carnes pointed to parts of the state's mortgage lending laws to show what generally brokers are prohibited from misrepresenting.

According to the law, brokers can't misrepresent "material facts or make false statements; conceal material factors, terms or conditions of a transaction to which a mortgage lender or broker is a party; fail to disburse funds in accordance with a written commitment or agreement to make a mortgage loan; provide an extension of credit or collect a mortgage debt by extortionate means; engage in any fraudulent home mortgage underwriting practices."

There are several other provisions of the law.

Barnes said Citi can eventually reapply for the license, but the company must demonstrate it has the ability and controls to comply with state law.

"If they show good will," he said, "they can reapply."

The state wanted to ensure in putting out the statement there was no confusion about the company.

"We went out of our way to make sure we put the exact license number and that the company was in Norcross," Barnes said. "We realize there could be confusion within the industry when people see Citi Group and Citigroup."


Patrick Crowley is a MortgageDaily.com feature journalist and blogger, and a reporter, blogger and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer. e-mail Patrick at: [email protected]
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