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US Bank Among 6 FHA Lenders to Face HUD Actions

HUD issues civil money penalties against 2 mortgagees, settles with 4 more

Nov. 5, 2009

By staff

Four Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders settled with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, while the agency hit two other approved mortgagees with $27,000 in civil money penalties. U.S. Bancorp's bank unit was among the disciplined firms.

A $20,000 civil money penalty was imposed against 1st Rate Mortgage Corp. in Green Bay, Wis., according to an announcement today. The non-supervised loan correspondent allegedly violated third-party origination restrictions, falsely certified compliance with the restrictions and failed to maintain a required quality-control plan.

Another $7,000 civil money penalty was levied against New Haven, Conn.-based Access Mortgage Corp., HUD said. Access, a non-supervised direct endorsement mortgagee, allegedly used the official FHA logo and failed to notify HUD of a change in its doing-business-as name.

The housing agency noted that both 1st Rate and Access will have an opportunity to challenge the penalties and seek a hearing before an administrative law judge.

HUD reached a settlement with Nations Direct Mortgage LLC over the alleged use of HUD's official seal in a contract posted on its Web site. The Irvine, Calif.-based, non-supervised, direct-endorsement mortgagee reportedly agreed to a $3,500 civil money penalty.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based VanDyk Mortgage Corp. has reportedly agreed to a $7,500 civil money penalty over claims it failed to adequately document a borrower's income and for failing to stop an employee from handling her own loan origination.

U.S. Bank, N.A., is accused of failing "to provide necessary documentation delayed the re-sale of the foreclosed property and the department's mitigation of the FHA fund's losses in connection with the claim." The Minneapolis-based institution "agreed to settle allegations that it violated HUD/FHA requirements in the submission of documentation necessary for the department to process a claim on a multifamily insured property" for an administrative payment of $37,500.

The fourth settlement was with Sun West Mortgage Company Inc. in Cerritos, Calif. The non-supervised loan correspondent allegedly originated 10 home-equity conversion mortgages but failed to notify HUD that Massachusetts had issued a cease-and-desist order prohibiting it from the unlicensed origination of loans in that jurisdiction. SunWest agreed to a $10,000 civil money penalty.

Finally, HUD said its Mortgagee Review Board -- which was responsible for all of today's announced decisions -- issued a letter of reprimand to Boise, Idaho-based Community Lender Inc. over its failure to notify HUD that it lost its Idaho license as a result of a lapsed surety bond -- though that problem has already been corrected.

"There should be no doubt about the message we're sending to our lenders," FHA Commissioner David Stevens stated in the release. "FHA standards are there for a reason and we expect our lenders to follow them or pay the consequences."

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