Lawsuit Against First Franklin Financial Corp, a Subprime Lender, Alleges Violations of Fair Business Practices

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April 04, 2007 16:37 ET

Lawsuit Against First Franklin Financial Corp, a Subprime Lender, Alleges Violations of Fair Business Practices Act, Says Plaintiff, Allison Morris

ATLANTA, GA — (MARKET WIRE) — April 4, 2007 — A lawsuit now in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against First Franklin Financial Corp, a subprime lender and operating subsidiary of Merrill Lynch Bank Trust Company, was amended today to add allegations of unfair and deceptive acts and practices. The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were denied a mortgage based on company claims that the plaintiffs say are fabrications and misrepresentations of their credit information. “The company may be looking to tighten its credit standards, but it should make sure its standards are lawful and don’t result in reckless, and intentionally dishonest and fraudulent conduct,” says Allison Morris, the plaintiff in this case.

Merrill Lynch Bank Trust Company acquired First Franklin in September 2006. Published reports show that while First Franklin was part of National City it did more than 650 loans per day or 13,000 loans per month to consumers in 2005. “With the number of loans they transact each day, I’d be surprised if we are the only applicants that have had this First Franklin experience. More than likely people with less than perfect credit let these kinds of misrepresentations and fraudulent claims go unchallenged and that’s what companies that do this are counting on. We’ve established a website, hoping to hear from others who have had similar experiences with First Franklin. Just ten instances such as ours could lead to a class action suit,” says Morris.

Before filing suit the plaintiffs say they wrote Mitch Narvett, manager of the Atlanta branch of First Franklin, asking that the company reconsider its decision. The plaintiffs subsequently wrote company president, L. Andrew Pollack, but never received a response from him. Morris says she believes there will be many more of these type lawsuits as subprime lenders continue to change their credit standards on the fly while showing little, if any, regard to consumers or the law.

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