Roland E. Arnall, Founder of Former Subprime Giant Ameriquest, Dies at 68

Controversial mortgage firm was accused of shady practices.

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From today's Washington Post:

Once the nation's largest subprime mortgage lender, Ameriquest was shadowed by accusations that it engaged in improper practices that included lying about borrowers' income to qualify them for loans they couldn't afford. Ameriquest advertised heavily on television, sent blimps soaring above stadiums bearing the company's name and Liberty Bell logo and sponsored a Super Bowl halftime show and a Rolling Stones tour.

Former employees said Ameriquest ran "boiler rooms" of loan agents who socked borrowers with hidden fees and higher-than-promised interest rates while steering customers into loans they couldn't afford.

Arnall blamed the problems on rogue agents and said they were fired. While he was under investigation by a task force of state attorneys general, his confirmation as ambassador was held up in the Senate until his company agreed to pay $325 million to settle with 49 states and the District.

Full article is here.

subprime mortgages

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