Reverse lender accused of bilking FHA

The Missouri lender is accused of using unqualified underwriters and forging certifications to approve HECM loans

Reverse lender accused of bilking FHA

The Department of Justice is going after a Missouri reverse mortgage lender it says forged certifications and used unqualified underwriters to approve Federal Housing Administration-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages.

Justice has filed a complaint against Nutter Home Loans (formerly known as James B. Nutter & Co.) under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989. The case was investigated by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the HUD inspector general.

The Justice Department alleged that “in order to significantly increase its loan production,” Nutter hired unqualified underwriters who lacked the requirements established by HUD to review and approve HECMs that the company ultimately insured with the FHA.

“Moreover, on other loans, Nutter forged the signatures of qualified underwriters to make it appear that a qualified underwriter had reviewed and approved the loan,” the department said.

“The HECM program benefits America’s seniors and our communities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department is committed to holding accountable those who violate the bedrock requirements of this important program.”

“Companies participating in federal programs must operate with honor and integrity,” said Acting US Attorney Michael R. Sherwin. “This action sends a clear message that we will not tolerate fraud against programs designed to financially help our nation’s seniors.”

“Lenders who willfully disregard FHA requirements for HECM loans expose the program to significant financial losses that threated the future availability of this important program to seniors,” said Rae Oliver Davis, HUD inspector general. “This complaint is evidence that we will tirelessly investigate allegations of abuses of the HECM program by FHA lenders.”