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Lender Ordered to Stop Using Web Address

Evergreen Moneysource says CU relationships prompted domain

September 22, 2005


A Washington mortgage lender has been ordered by the state to stop using the words "credit union" in its Internet domain address.

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions told Evergreen Moneysource Mortgage co. to stop using the www.creditunionhomeloans.com Internet address or any other domain or sub-domain that contained the words "credit union."

A letter issued by the department to Evergreen explained that representing itself as or "conducting business under a name or title containing the words 'credit union,'" did not comply with the law because it was not registered as a credit union or as a credit-union affiliate.

Regulators ordered the Bellevue, Wash., company to immediately remove any links to creditunionhomeloans.com from any Web sites with which it had partnering relationships with and to promptly cancel the domain, according to the letter.

The lender had until July 30, 2005, to comply with the department's order to avoid a cease and desist order.

Evergreen Vice President Sandy Goforth told MortgageDaily.com that the address stemmed from the referral-business relationships it carries with credit unions that do not engage in mortgage lending.

The executive emphasized that prior to the department's request to cancel the address, Evergreen did have contact with the regulator regarding permission to keep the address. But upon the department concluding that doing so would violate laws, the company had no other choice than to comply, Goforth said.

Prior to Evergreen, the regulating department had tried to ban "Zurich Credit Union," from promoting itself as a credit union entity. In this case, the company turned out to be fraudulent, according to department spokesman Scott Kinney.

The department was led to Zurich due to a misprint in an ad the alleged company placed in local Washington paper in which it promoted loan consolidations, mortgages, and various other loans. The "credit union" allegedly was located in Carrollton, Ga., and its Web site was registered under a person from Ontario, Canada. When regulators issued cease and desist orders against the company and the registrar, the packages were returned undeliverable, Kinney said.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

E-mail: [email protected]

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