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Mortgage lender fined $20M, Arizona homebuyers could get refund

ALAMO, Calif. — A California-based mortgage lender and its CEO
have been fined $20 million for illegally paying bonuses and higher commissions
to loan agents who steered consumers to loans with higher interest rates.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said RPM Mortgage CEO Rob Hirt paid
his employees bonuses to place clients in more expensive loans, earning tens of
millions of dollars in payments from 2011 to 2013.

According to its website, RPM has more than 70 branches, including one in Tempe, Arizona, and others in California,
Oregon, Washington, Texas and Colorado.

The Oakland Tribune reported Monday $18 million
from the fine will be used to refund consumers affected by the scheme.

Eligible
mortgage holders will be notified by the bureau and receive refund checks in the
mail.

The agency said that the other $2 million will go into the bureau’s civil
penalty fund.