Wash. Dept. Of Financial Institutions Accuses Paramount Of Deceptive Practices

An examination conducted by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) reveals that Paramount Equity Mortgage Inc., a licensed mortgage broker headquartered in California, has engaged in a number of deceptive lending practices.

As a result of the findings, DFI has given notice that it intends to revoke Paramount's license to do business in the state of Washington, fine the firm $500,000 and require restitution for Washington borrowers.

In a Statement of Charges issued July 21, Paramount is accused of charging and collecting unearned fees, charging consumers to buy down interest rates without actually reducing the rate, failing to make required disclosures and making state and federally required disclosures in a deceptive manner.

‘Paramount failed to make proper disclosures in almost every loan we reviewed,’ says Deb Bortner, director of DFI's Division of Consumer Services. ‘Washington has many licensed mortgage brokers who comply with the law. In today's market, we simply do not need a mortgage broker engaged in deceptive conduct doing business in this state.’

Paramount, which acts as both a mortgage broker and as a mortgage banker, made more than 1,700 mortgage loans to Washington borrowers in 2007, collecting more than $8.7 million in fees.

The Statement of Charges also alleges that Paramount engaged in a deceptive advertising campaign.

Source: Washington Department Of Financial Institutions

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