|CA Company, Executives Banned from Brokering in Washington
Father of firm’s president previously settled with FTC for record amount
February 24, 2003
By CHRISTY ROBINSON
|After charges of various state violations were upheld earlier this month, Washington state’s financial agency has ordered a California mortgage company to pay fines and consumer restitution totaling more than $1 million. A lawyer for the company’s president said the violations were the work of a rogue broker and that the legal proceedings were tainted.
The agency has ordered company president Jamie Chisick, who lives in California, to pay $457,575 in fines and pay back more than $712,500 to 120 Washington borrowers. He, his company, and four other Nationscapital executives and employees also are prohibited from conducting mortgage broker business in Washington, according to an agency release.
The Department of Financial Institutions accused a broker at Nationscapital Mortgage Corporation of Orange, Calif., in 2000 of violating a Washington state law by alleged bait-and-switch practices, failing to make disclosures, and engaging in deceptive practices, among other charges. Levied at the company were charges of deceptive practices, failure to make proper disclosures, and imposing prohibitive overcharges.
The Office of Administrative Hearings upheld almost all the charges on Feb. 10, but Nationscapital’s lawyer, Gary Roberts, said the company will appeal the decision.
The proceedings were tainted from start to finish, Roberts said.
“One person who testified on behalf of the state got to choose who the reviewing officer was, who wasn’t even part of the mortgage industry. Surprise, surprise, he rules in favor of the one who picked him. Not even in a kid’s game does one side get to pick the referee.”
“We tried to adjudicate this as fair as we could,” agency spokesman Stanley Bernstein said.
Roberts said that while the company should bear some responsibility for a miscreant few within its ranks, the agency seeks to make Chisick responsible for everything. The question is how much is an owner down in California responsible for the misdeeds of Washington brokers.
The company would solicit a Washington consumer by phone from California, then dispatch a Bellevue, Wash.-based representative to the consumer’s home to work a mortgage deal. The company’s Washington brokerage office then sent the documents to California, the agency stated.
Brian Chisick, Jamie Chisick’s father, settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year for alleged predatory lending through his subprime company, First Alliance Mortgage Company. The settlement terms called for almost 18,000 borrowers nationwide to be compensated up to $60 million — one of the largest consumer protection recoveries in FTC history, the Department of Financial Institutions reported last April.
Christy Robinson is the editor of MortgageDaily.com. She received a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism from The University of Texas at Arlington. Her work has previously been published in The Dallas Morning News.
email Christy at: ChristyRobinson@MortgageDaily.com
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