Division of Banks Orders Mortgage Research Center to Pay $750,000 for Working with Unlicensed Loan Originators
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Office of Consumers Affairs’ Division of Banks (“Division”) announced today that it has entered into a comprehensive agreement with Missouri-based Mortgage Research Center LLC d/b/a Veterans United Home Loans (“Veterans United Home Loans”), a licensed mortgage lender and mortgage broker for conducting business with unlicensed mortgage loan originators. Under the terms of the agreement, the company has agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty to the Commonwealth.
“Consumers who do business with licensed mortgage lenders and brokers have a reasonable expectation that they are also working with licensed mortgage originators,” said Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “Veterans United put consumers at risk and as a result will have to perform a top to bottom review of its policies, hire an external auditing firm and implement a Division-approved action plan in order to stay in business in Massachusetts.”
According to the agreement, during a routine examination, the Division became aware that Veterans United Home Loans’ allegedly was in substantial non-compliance with state and federal law because it was conducting business through unlicensed mortgage originators. Specifically, it found substantial non-compliance with applicable state and federal laws and rules that govern mortgage lender and broker activities.
Under the terms of the order, Veterans United Home Loans is required to:
- Engage an independent auditing firm to develop an acceptable internal control plan to review the company’s policies and procedures;
- Implement controls over mortgage loan origination activities in compliance with applicable federal and Massachusetts laws and regulations; and
- Identify an independent consultant to conduct a written risk assessment of the company’s compliance with fair lending laws and regulations and develop an action plan.
The company denies any allegations of wrongdoing.
“Mortgage brokers, lenders, and loan originators must comply with all applicable laws and regulations if they intend to offer services to Massachusetts consumers,” said Commissioner of Banks David Cotney. “The Division of Banks is committed to ensuring that companies are held to the standard of the law and that consumers are protected during financial transactions.”
Consumers are advised to check that the mortgage businesses and individuals they do business with are properly licensed in Massachusetts by accessing www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.
Anyone with additional questions regarding this matter may contact Division’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-495-BANK (2265) x 501 or at www.mass.gov/dob.
The Division of Banks is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and oversees state-chartered banks and credit unions, check sellers, debt collectors, foreign transmittal agencies, mortgage lenders, brokers and originators.
The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.