COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
COMMISSIONER OF BANKS
MORTGAGE BROKER AND
MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR
In the Matter of
Eldervantage, LLC and Reversemortgagepage.com
Saint Paul, Minnesota
The Commissioner of Banks ("Commissioner") is charged with the administration of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, and applicable regulations found at 209 CMR 42.00 et seq., relating to the licensing of mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers; and Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255F and applicable regulations found at 209 CMR 41.00 et seq., relating to the licensing of mortgage loan originators.
Pursuant to the authority granted by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, the Commissioner has investigated the activities of ELDERVANTAGE, LLC AND REVERSEMORTGAGEPAGE.COM (collectively referred to as "Eldervantage") located at 2087 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, to determine if Eldervantage, has engaged in the business of, or is about to engage in, acts or practices constituting violations of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E and Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255F. Based upon such investigation, the Massachusetts Division of Banks ("Division") hereby issues the following CEASE DIRECTIVE ("Cease Directive") as a result of the findings alleged herein.
A. FINDINGS OF FACT
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, section 2 relative to the licensing requirements for entities engaged in the business of a mortgage lender and/or mortgage broker states in part:
No person shall act as a mortgage broker or mortgage lender with respect to residential property unless first obtaining a license from the commissioner.
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, section 1 defines a mortgage broker as:
Any person who for compensation or gain, or in the expectation of compensation or gain, directly or indirectly negotiates, places, assists in placement, finds or offers to negotiate, place, assist in placement or find mortgage loans on residential property for others.
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255F section 2 relative to the licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators states:
Section 2. (a) No individual shall act as a mortgage loan originator with respect to any dwelling unless such person has first obtained a mortgage loan originator license from the commissioner or is exempt from the licensure requirement under subsection (b). No person shall knowingly employ or retain a mortgage loan originator unless the mortgage loan originator is licensed under this chapter or is exempt from the licensure requirement under subsection (b). Each licensed mortgage loan originator shall register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry and shall maintain a valid unique identifier issued by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A, section 2(a) states:
Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.
- On or about June 6, 2011, the Division reviewed a website maintained by Eldervantage at www.reversemortgagepage.com which contained information relative to reverse mortgage loans.
- The Division's review of the website maintained by Eldervantage found that it directed consumers to complete certain information to "Get a Free Quote," including but not limited to a prospective borrower's name, address, e-mail address, phone number and estimated value of their property. Each of the items requested by Eldervantage are necessary to complete a reverse mortgage loan application. In addition, the website contained a toll free telephone number that consumers could call to get more information.
- The Division's records indicate that Eldervantage is not licensed to do business as a mortgage broker in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 167E, section 7 states in part;
A bank may make or acquire a reverse mortgage loan, pursuant to a program for reverse mortgage loans which has been submitted to and approved by the commissioner…
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 167E, section 7 ("section 7") is made applicable to all mortgagees making reverse mortgage loans in the Commonwealth by General Laws chapter 183, section 67. Said section 7 requires Massachusetts state-chartered banks and all other mortgagees including federally-chartered banks and credit unions intending to make reverse mortgage loans to submit for the Division's approval a program, which meets specific criteria set forth in section 7.
- The website contained certain information relative to reverse mortgage lenders. Through the "Lender Directory" page the consumer is directed to a listing of reverse mortgage lenders for the state of their choice, including Massachusetts.
- The "Lender's Pledge" page states in pertinent part, "We at Reverse Mortgage Page are committed to bringing you together with the best, most reputable reverse mortgage lenders. Our reverse mortgage lenders pledge to: 1) be registered and in good standing with all appropriate government regulators…7) completely follow all federal, state, and administrative laws..."
- The Division's records indicate that several Massachusetts reverse mortgage lenders listed on www.reversemortgagepage.com are not licensed or approved to make or acquire reverse mortgage loans in the state of Massachusetts.
- As of the date of this Cease Directive, the website maintained by Eldervantage endorses certain "reverse mortgage lenders" that are not authorized to conduct the mortgage business in Massachusetts as they do not maintain an active mortgage lender or mortgage broker license pursuant to the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E.
- As of the date of this Cease Directive, the website maintained by Eldervantage directs Massachusetts consumers to contact a particular individual at each of the "list of approved reverse mortgage lenders." A review of the licensing status of a number of individuals identified and endorsed by Eldervantage revealed that they are not authorized to act in the capacity of a mortgage loan originator as they are not appropriately licensed pursuant to the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255F.
- As of the date of this Cease Directive, the website maintained by Eldervantage continues to be operational.
B. CEASE DIRECTIVE
- Eldervantage, and any and all officers, members, managers, employees, independent contractors, or agents, operating on behalf of Eldervantage, and their successors or assigns, shall immediately cease engaging in the activities of: (a) a mortgage lender and/or a mortgage broker, as those activities are defined under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, section 1; and (b) a mortgage loan originator, as those activities are defined under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255F, section 1, relative to any residential property in Massachusetts. Therefore, Eldervantage is ordered to immediately cease soliciting or accepting, either directly or indirectly, any personal information, contact information or applications from prospective borrowers for property located in Massachusetts until such time that Eldervantage has obtained a license to conduct business in the Commonwealth pursuant to General Laws chapter 255E, section 2.
- Eldervantage shall immediately cease providing Massachusetts consumers information regarding reverse mortgage products.
- Eldervantage shall immediate cease directing Massachusetts consumers to mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and/or mortgage loan originators that are not appropriately licensed in the Commonwealth.
- Within five (5) days of the effective date of this Cease Directive, Eldervantage shall submit to the Commissioner:
A detailed record, prepared as of the date of submission, of all contact and borrower property information obtained from Massachusetts consumers including but not limited to all pending applications for reverse mortgage loans for Massachusetts consumers. The records to be produced shall include the consumers' names, addresses and the dollar amount of each reverse mortgage loan.
- Eldervantage must submit a response within five (5) days of receipt of this Cease Directive. The response must indicate whether Eldervantage will seek to be licensed as a mortgage lender and/or mortgage broker. The response submitted must also include a signed copy of the enclosed affidavit, attesting that Eldervantage will immediately cease from engaging in any unlicensed or unauthorized activity including any use of advertising or soliciting information from prospective borrowers in Massachusetts until such time as a license and/or approval to engage in such activities is issued by the Commissioner.
BY ORDER AND DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF BANKS.
Dated at Boston, Massachusetts, this 23rd day of August, 2011
David J. Cotney
Commissioner of Banks