Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mortgage Broker Clubbed With $342K Jury Award For Liability In Peddling 'Pick-A-Pay' Mortgage That Left Homeowner "Down In The Bottom Of The Muck!"

In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, The Baltimore Sun reports:

  • A 78-year-old Annapolis man who said he was duped into getting unsuitable mortgages — sending the home he had owned for decades into foreclosure — was awarded $342,000 by an Anne Arundel County jury this week.

  • The jury found that Dennis Hollidayoke's mortgage broker violated state and federal law when arranging a "payment option" adjustable-rate mortgage for him in 2006 and then refinancing it into another payment option loan seven months later. The mortgages are also known as negative amortization loans because the lowest payment option adds to what's owed on the mortgage rather than subtracting from it.

  • Hollidayoke said no one mentioned this aspect of the loan to him upfront, and his attorney said it never was made clear in the paperwork. "It's been a very bad experience," said Hollidayoke, who is trying to short-sell his home of more than 40 years to avoid foreclosure. "I worked hard all my life, tried to keep a pretty good reputation, and this has put me down in the bottom of the muck."

  • The trial was the latest in a long-running national argument about whom to blame after many Americans signed up for complex loans they couldn't afford — the borrowers or the financial professionals who sold them the products. Hollidayoke's broker, Brian Lynn Blonder of JBL Mortgage Network, contended in court that he did nothing wrong.

  • "That was their defense, and the jury flatly rejected it," said Hollidayoke's attorney, Phillip Robinson, who represented him on behalf of the nonprofit Civil Justice in Baltimore.
  • Real estate agent Sandy Wing, who is trying to arrange the short sale of his home, said Hollidayoke was "distraught" when he came to her for assistance. He didn't understand what had happened. She sorted through his boxes of records and — appalled by what she found — connected him with legal help.

  • "I just felt, something has to be done about this," Wing said. "This is really, really wrong."
For more, see Annapolis retiree awarded $342,000 in bad-mortgage case (Anne Arundel County jury finds mortgage broker violated laws).

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