Paramount Equity Mortgage under heavy scrutiny #business #mortgage


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Paramount Equity Mortgage under heavy scrutiny

Washington state intends to revoke the company s license, and Oregon will investigate its advertising

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Oregonian Staff

Washington mortgage regulators announced Wednesday they intend to revoke the license of Paramount Equity Mortgage, a Roseville, Calif. firm that has blanketed Northwest radio stations with commercials promising cheap and easy mortgages.

Oregon mortgage officials are also looking into Paramount’s advertising.

The Washington Department of Finance accused Paramount of charging and collecting unearned fees, charging consumers to buy down interest rates without actually reducing the rates, failing to make required disclosures and making state and federally required disclosures in a deceptive manner. The department said it will fine Paramount $500,000.

“Paramount failed to make proper disclosures in almost every loan we reviewed,” said Deb Bortner, director of consumer services for the finance department.

In addition, the state had a problem with Paramount’s claim that it would pay to have its customers’ homes appraised. Paramount covered the cost of an appraisal and then charged its clients a series of fees, Washington officials claimed.

Paramount officials denied any wrongdoing.

“We believe these allegations are completely unjustified, and we look forward to defending ourselves against all charges,” the company said in a written statement.

If Paramount and Washington regulators can’t negotiate a settlement, the charges will be heard by an administrative law judge.

Paramount made more than 1,700 mortgage loans to Washington borrowers in 2007, collecting more than $8.7 million in fees.

Among the individuals named in the Washington action is Hayden “Hayes” Barnard, Paramount’s president, co-owner and spokesman in the company’s ubiquitous commercials.

Oregon regulators are also looking into Paramount but are restricting their probe to the company’s ads. Oregon has not launched a formal investigation into the company’s operations, though it has received seven consumer complaints and several questions about its advertising, said Lisa Morawski, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The Oregon department’s mortgage division adopted new rules in May aimed at preventing “bait-and-switch” and other misleading advertising.

Paramount Equity Mortgage under heavy scrutiny

Washington state intends to revoke the company s license, and Oregon will investigate its advertising

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Oregonian Staff

Washington mortgage regulators announced Wednesday they intend to revoke the license of Paramount Equity Mortgage, a Roseville, Calif. firm that has blanketed Northwest radio stations with commercials promising cheap and easy mortgages.

Oregon mortgage officials are also looking into Paramount’s advertising.

The Washington Department of Finance accused Paramount of charging and collecting unearned fees, charging consumers to buy down interest rates without actually reducing the rates, failing to make required disclosures and making state and federally required disclosures in a deceptive manner. The department said it will fine Paramount $500,000.

“Paramount failed to make proper disclosures in almost every loan we reviewed,” said Deb Bortner, director of consumer services for the finance department.

In addition, the state had a problem with Paramount’s claim that it would pay to have its customers’ homes appraised. Paramount covered the cost of an appraisal and then charged its clients a series of fees, Washington officials claimed.

Paramount officials denied any wrongdoing.

“We believe these allegations are completely unjustified, and we look forward to defending ourselves against all charges,” the company said in a written statement.

If Paramount and Washington regulators can’t negotiate a settlement, the charges will be heard by an administrative law judge.

Paramount made more than 1,700 mortgage loans to Washington borrowers in 2007, collecting more than $8.7 million in fees.

Among the individuals named in the Washington action is Hayden “Hayes” Barnard, Paramount’s president, co-owner and spokesman in the company’s ubiquitous commercials.

Oregon regulators are also looking into Paramount but are restricting their probe to the company’s ads. Oregon has not launched a formal investigation into the company’s operations, though it has received seven consumer complaints and several questions about its advertising, said Lisa Morawski, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The Oregon department’s mortgage division adopted new rules in May aimed at preventing “bait-and-switch” and other misleading advertising.


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