Quicken Loans, which was ranked number one in customer satisfaction in 2010 by J.D. Power, has been accused of fraud and high-pressure selling in a new report from The Center of Public Integrity.
Lawsuits from both borrowers and ex-employees claim Detroit-based Quicken used high-pressure sales tactics to target the elderly and other vulnerable homeowners.
Methods included “bruising,” where employees would take a financial misstep made by a borrower, such as an innocuous late on their credit report, and make it appear as if things were so dire that they could only work with Quicken.
The company was also accused of overstating income on stated income loans and putting borrowers in high-risk loans that allowed for negative amortization (Secure Advantage loan).
Quicken also reportedly falsified mortgage appraisals and other information to push bad deals through, while charging excessive fees.
Attorneys representing ex-employees, who are fighting for overtime pay, argued that the company’s loan consultants aren’t trained to provide mortgage advice, but rather to “manipulate and mislead.”
Interestingly, Quicken ranked 29th in Fortune‘s 100 Best Companies to Work For, which makes you wonder how these lists are compiled. Or just how bad the work environment is these days…
Quicken Loans, now the nation’s largest online mortgage lender, makes loans from centralized internet lending centers in Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio.
It’s also the third largest FHA loan lender and the fifth largest retail mortgage lender, with nearly 4,000 employees and loan origination volume that exceeded $25 billion in 2009.
Do we have another Countrywide Financial in the making?