A Florida-based net branch operation that previously promoted itself as a haven for mortgage brokers looking to avoid companies that would eventually collapse has itself collapsed.
Global Mortgage Inc. has shut down.
Its phones are either disconnected, not being answered or have constant busy signals. Those that are still in service contain such messages as "This office is closed," "This office is no longer in service" and "Global Mortgage is no longer in business."
Top officials of the Clearwater, Fla.-based company have reportedly either quit or been fired.
As recently as last Aug. 31, the company had been promoting a "branch manager opportunity."
More recently, it billed itself as "America's Foremost Branch Opportunity" and its Web site featured a video with a woman saying, "We're always here to answer any questions you may have about how to become a Global Mortgage branch office."
But the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on March 7, though court clerk Lee Ann Bennett noted the Global had failed to file a corporate ownership statement, a statement of attorney compensation, a full list of names and addresses of all creditors, and all required schedules and statements of financial affairs.
One person from a Global Mortgage branch who did return a call from MortgageDaily.com confirmed that the company had gone out of business but refused to answer any specific questions.
"It's a private corporation and I can't answer any of those questions," he said.
When asked whether employees had received their final paychecks, his only response was, "What do you care?"
He would not identify himself and the number he called from was identified only as "unknown."
However, the manager of the Cleveland office, Paul Weinzimmer, told MortgageDaily.com he was owed $41,000.
"Maybe in a year or two from now I might get a couple grand or something like that. Or there may be nothing left," he commented. "You just have to move on."
He said he has heard that others were owed from $8,000 to $150,000.
"A branch manager in New Jersey," he said, "had not been paid since December -- he was strung along forever -- and his home is now in foreclosure."
Weinzimmer said his office, which had a staff of five in addition to himself and a partner, has been able to continue operating through an affiliation with Top Flight Financial.
The shut down of Global, which did business as Global Mortgage of Delaware Inc., apparently has been going on for some time.
The most recent mortgage industry news posted on the Web site was from late January.
Global Mortgage's Web site indicated it was licensed in 41 states and the District of Columbia but, on a separate Web page, it listed only 13 states where it had licenses. Those states included Missouri, where it had an office in Springfield, but a manager of another lender with an office "just down the road" told MortgageDaily.com that Global Mortgage had closed the office "a couple years ago."
No offices of Global Mortgage Inc. could be found in four of the other states -- Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Rhode Island -- in which it supposedly was licensed. The phone number for its only Illinois office was reported as "not valid" although its license is valid until July 10, 2008. Calls to Global Mortgage Inc. offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania and Virginia did not reach anyone.
In its Web site listing for a "branch manager opportunity," Global Mortgage described itself as "a solid company," explaining, "We are a compliance driven company. We work together with the top regulators in the country to insure ... longevity of our business.
"Many other companies will allow you to do anything with very little regard to compliance, and will eventually be on the imploded list."
In December 2006, Connecticut's Department of Banking took action against Global Mortgage and owner and president Scott Losch for employing or retaining at least nine unregistered originators and imposed penalties of up to $100,000 per violation. And in January 2007 the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance issued final cease and desist orders against Losch and wife Debra Losch for making false statements to lenders, operating unapproved branches that were run by unapproved managers and other violations of state banking laws.
The two previously owned Clearwater-based Business Mortgage Inc., which did business as BMI Financial Services. Last October, that company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing assets of $10,100 and liabilities of $44.3 million, including a $43 million claim against it resulting from its loss in a California anti-trust case. In mid-2006 it had filed articles of dissolution with Florida's Division of Corporations.
The shut down impacted an estimated 500 employees.
Global was a previous advertiser with MortgageDaily.com.