Lenox Financial Mortgage, one of the largest brokers in the Southeast, has agreed to pay more than $12,000 in fines for violating state mortgage laws.
The company, well-known for its numerous radio spots claiming their deals are the “biggest no-brainer in the history or earth,” conducted business with unlicensed and unregistered people and made two high-cost loans, according to the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance.
Jack Stevens, the company’s chief operating officer, downplayed the severity of the violations.
One case involved an outside company that Lenox has used for 16 years to process its loans. The manager of the unit neglected to renew its Georgia license last year, an oversight that was discovered by Lenox but not before about six weeks had elapsed.
The unit was brought in-house, the 10 or 12 employees covered by Lenox’s license, Stevens said.
The other matter involved loans made to two customers that included a provision stating that Lenox would charge a “pre-payment” penalty if the borrowers re-financed the loan within 180 days.
Lenox never made those charges, but if they had the loans would have been classified as “high-cost” under state regulations, Stevens said. Lenox no longer uses the “pre-payment” provision in its loans, he said.
By reaching an agreement with state regulators, Lenox avoided the prospect of having its state mortgage license revoked. Lenox produces an average of about $100 million a month in mortgages, about 35 percent of those in Georgia, Stevens said.
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