Ideal Mortgage Bankers, doing business as Lend America and Lending Key (Ideal), allegedly violated several Federal Housing Administration (FHA) origination and underwriting requirements, according to a review by the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Mortgagee Review Board.
The Mortgage Review Board alleges no fewer than 12 violations, finding that Ideal made false certifications, failed to document borrowers' income and approved loans that did not meet the FHA's minimum credit requirements, among other charges.
More than $14 million of loans were subject to false certifications, says U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell, who, at HUD's request, has filed a complaint against Ideal in federal court in Central Islip, N.Y. The complaint seeks a court-ordered injunction that would prevent Ideal from making FHA-insured loans. According to a press release from Campbell's office, the complaint also seeks relief against Lend America's executive vice president and chief business strategist, Michael Asshley.
HUD has notified four of the company's underwriters that it was suspending and/or proposing debarments for their actions in connection with these violations. Separately, HUD issued pre-penalty notices to these underwriters advising them that the department is considering imposing civil money penalties against them as well.
Ideal has 30 days to respond to the board's notice, and the underwriters have 30 days to oppose their suspensions and/or proposed debarments and to respond to the allegations in the pre-penalty notice.
‘Any FHA-approved lender that seeks to do business with us must follow our standards – it's just that simple,’ FHA Commissioner David Stevens says. ‘If we determine that our partners are not playing by the rules, they'll cease being our partners."
A spokesman for Lend America released the following statement: ‘The company was taken by surprise, expects to continue in business and will respond more completely once all allegations are reviewed.’Â SOURCES: HUD, U.S. Department of Justice