An executive at a bankrupt subprime mortgage lender who is believed to have killed his wife before taking his own life was motivated by personal, rather than financial, problems, authorities said.

Walter Buczynski, 59, the vice president of Fieldstone Mortgage of Columbia, Md., called police before jumping from a bridge over the Delaware River Jan. 18, the Associated Press reported, citing the Burlington County, N.J., prosecutor’s office.

Buczynski asked dispatchers to check on the welfare of his wife, Marci, 37, who was later found dead at their home in New Jersey from blunt force trauma injuries to the head that resulted in a fractured neck.

The mortgage executive also left a note in his car saying the motive for the killing was the couple’s personal relationship, and not their economic situation, and that the couple’s two sons were safe, the AP reported.

Buczynksi is believed to have died after jumping from the Delaware Memorial Bridge, a twin suspension bridge connecting Delaware and New Jersey, although his body was not recovered during searches conducted over the weekend.

Fieldstone Mortgage reportedly made $5.5 billion in mortgage loans and employed about 1,000 people as recently as 2006, AP said, but was down to fewer than 20 employees after filing for bankruptcy.

Authorities in Kansas City, Mo., and Charleston, S.C., have said Fieldstone Mortgage was a target of mortgage fraud rings at the tail end of the housing boom.

The company filed for bankruptcy last year in the face of rising early payment defaults, reporting $121 million in liabilities and less than $15 million in assets, the Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.

According to another report in the Sun’s Sunday edition, the IRS in 2006 filed a lien against Buczynski that was still open, claiming he owed more than $656,000 in back taxes. He earned $787,000 in salary and bonuses the year before, the paper said.

According to the Sun, Walter and Marci Buczynski were married in 1998 and lived with their two sons, ages 8 and 15. The older boy was a product of Marci’s previous marriage, and Walter also had two grown sons from a previous marriage, the Sun said.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to matt@inman.com, or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 150.

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