From the Seattle Times:
A federal judge today is expected to sentence a former Bellevue loan officer to prison for perpetrating what prosecutors say is one of the largest home-mortgage fraud cases brought so far in Western Washington.
Christopher Brooks, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with fraudulent loan applications on 18 Puget Sound-area homes that went into foreclosure and were sold by banks at a loss of more than $2 million.
A grand jury indicted him and his co-conspirators last summer for obtaining about $27 million in fraudulent loans on more than 50 homes in the region. Brooks admitted to paying borrowers to take part in the fraud.
In a memo to the court, Brooks’ attorney acknowledged his client could be viewed as “a poster child” for the nation’s mortgage mess but said the court should take into account the complicit behavior of the banks and give him a lighter sentence.
Read the entire story here. The attorney for the loan originator tries to put the blame on the banks for allowing so much mortgage fraud to occur during the bubble run up. As an educator, I’m amazed at how many loan originators agree with this attorney. They say, “Jillayne, the wholesale lenders encouraged us and taught us how to over state income and made us sell more of the toxic loan products to people” and there’s no talk of any personal responsibility of the individual LO’s role in the mortgage meltdown.
In the same conversation, loan originators also blame the consumer for not reading their loan documents.
How can LOs not wish any personal responsibility for themselves but demand personal responsibility for their consumers? Answer: They can’t. This is a contradiction that exposes an ugly truth.
Today the reputation of brokers, loan originators, and yes, BANKS is in the gutter. The real answer is that it’s beyond time for loan originators to stop shirking responsibility for their own conduct and embrace a higher duty to the consumer. We have to start rebuilding our reputation at some point. Let’s start right now.
Category: Bellevue LO Sentenced