Lender Ordered to Pay $228,000 Civil Penalty
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered a California mortgage bank, Guarantee Mortgage Corporation, to pay a civil penalty of $228,000 for paying its branch managers based, in part, on the interest rates of the loans they closed. The Loan Originator Compensation Rule, which the Bureau has enforced since July 21, 2011, protects consumers from being steered into costlier loans by prohibiting loan originators from receiving compensation based on the interest rates of the loans they close.
Guarantee, which is no longer in business, was a mortgage banking firm that operated 10 branches in the San Francisco Bay Area. The CFPB’s investigation found that Guarantee violated the Loan Originator Compensation Rule by paying loan originators in part based on the interest rates charged on loans they had originated. The compensation was funded by payments Guarantee made to marketing services entities owned in part by the company’s branch managers and other Guarantee loan originators; the originator-owners drew a portion of those fees as compensation. As a result, branch managers received compensation based on the interest rates of the loans they originated in violation of the Loan Originator Compensation Rule during that period.
Today’s consent order requires Guarantee, which is in the process of dissolving, to pay $228,000 to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.