Following cease and desist orders from several state banking regulators, a Florida-based lender has called it quits.
Aapex Mortgage Corp. has "ceased all operations," according to a voice message at the company's headquarters in Brandon, Fla., Friday morning.
The message advised where to submit payroll inquiries, but said, "No other inquiries will be accepted at this time. Thank you for your understanding."
The recording was no longer available by midday.
Aapex is licensed as a correspondent mortgage lender in Florida doing business as Apex Financial Group Inc., 1 Aapex Discount Mortgage, 1st American Lending Source and 1st National Mortgage. The license's initial effective date is listed as July 12, 1993 and is set to expire Aug. 31, 2008. The company has correspondent lending branches licensed in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, New York and Ohio, according to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.
On its Web site, Aapex touts loan programs such as 100 percent no income verified, 100 percent refinance and purchase with a credit score of 620, 100 percent investor purchase loans, 1 percent home loans and construction and lot loans.
Over the past year, at least eight states took enforcement actions against Apex Financial.
In February, the Ohio Department of Commerce reportedly issued a notice of intent to revoke Apex's mortgage broker certificate of registration.
The following month, the Massachusetts Division of Banks announced it ordered Apex to cease and desist after an examination had revealed that the company had been subject to at least three enforcement actions in other states and had not informed the division as required. Apex also failed to provide access to certain information required by the division, according to an announcement.
The "other states" referred to Ohio's notice issued because of Apex's failure to pay its franchise tax within the time required by law, the Alabama Banking Department's January cease and desist order revoking the license of Aapex after it found the company was conducting business from several unlicensed locations in the state, and Apex's consent agreement with the North Carolina commissioner of banks that resolved the commissioner's claims that an examination of Aapex revealed that 32 of 185 loans reviewed were closed by unlicensed individuals.
Toward the end of April, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance ordered Apex to cease and desist due to evidence that the company had engaged in mortgage broker/lending activities without a license.
In July, the California Department of Corporations ordered Apex to immediately desist and refrain from the prohibited activity of net branching in the state, while the Connecticut banking regulators issued an automatic suspension, temporary order to cease and desist and notice of intent to revoke licenses of Apex also due to conducting activity as a net branch without being licensed to do so and through unregistered originators, among other things.
And last month, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance told Apex to stop doing business because examiners discovered nearly 600 mortgage lending law violations, including the utilization of unlicensed mortgage solicitors, unlicensed offices, and charging prohibited fees. The department sough a monetary penalty of $700,000, and refund of all inappropriate fees.