Local mortgage company Linden Home Loans agreed to pay fines relating to allegations of illegal and unethical lending practices on Aug. 7, according to a state regulatory agency news release.
The state’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced two lenders agreed to pay fines and costs for false advertising.
Linden and its two owners — Christopher Opdyke and Mark Sullivan — were accused of bait and switch advertising. A licensed mortgage broker at Carillon Point, the company billed itself as “Home of the 1% Mortgage” last year in local TV advertising. They agreed to pay a $75,000 fine and $4,000 in costs, but admitted no wrongdoing. As part of the agreement, the company’s state business license was suspended for 30 days. Linden Home Loans voluntarily surrendered its mortgage broker license on July 7.
The other lender, Assurity Financial Services of Englewood, Colo., agreed to pay a $250,000 fine, with $125,000 paid and $125,000 suspended, plus $5,000 in costs.
Both firms immediately suspended their advertising campaigns when the charges were filed. DFI Director Scott Jarvis said his agency is focused on systematically eliminating false advertising.
“We are committed to protecting Washington consumers from deceptive lending practices,” Jarvis said. “Businesses offering mortgage loans to Washington consumers will pay the price for false and deceptive advertising.”