Ameriquest Mortgage Co.'s agreement last week to pay $325 million and reform its operations could turn out to be the first in a series of regulatory actions targeting subprime mortgage companies, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. On Jan. 23, the parent company of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. announced a $325 million settlement of allegations that it deceived borrowers, falsified loan documents and pressured appraisers to overstate home values. A task force of 49 states and the District of Columbia investigated the Orange County, Calif.-based company and two affiliates -- all specialists in higher-cost mortgages to borrowers unable to qualify for bank loans. The company agreed to overhaul its lending practices without admitting wrongdoing. Now, similar investigations are underway by stat...
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