MiamiHerald.com | 02/05/2006 | Lawsuit forces ethics minimum on entire mortgage industry
Ameriquest has reached a settlement over alleged abuses that constitute a virtual how-to manual for mistreating customers.
BY KENNETH HARNEY
Did your loan officer sit you down and walk you through all the key operational details of your most recent mortgage before you signed on the dotted line?
Did you see a copy of the appraisal and have a chance to review it carefully?
Did you understand when — if ever — a prepayment penalty might take effect to discourage you from refinancing? Or was that whole subject left a little fuzzy?
Did you receive a copy of your loan and settlement cost good faith estimates (GFEs) within three business days of application?
These may sound like the most basic of questions, and you may well answer: Duh! Of course I understood everything I needed to, and yes, my loan officer was an absolute font of useful information.
But the recent $325 million multistate legal settlement involving Ameriquest Mortgage Co. suggests that not all is well on the home loan front, and that even experienced buyers and refinancers need to question more, review more, probe more before committing to what is often the biggest debt burdens of their lives.
Good questions to ask.