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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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One of Many Lawsuits Against Ameriquest Mortgage Co.

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Dated as far back as April 2005, there have been several lawsuits filed against Ameriquest Mortgage Co. One such lawsuit against Ameriquest Mortgage Co. includes five residents of Pinellas County who went to Ameriquest Mortgage Corp. for home loans, allege the company’s Tampa office inflated appraisals, lied about interest rates and fees and falsified documents to drum up more business.

They aren’t the only disgruntled customers making claims. The Los Angeles Times reported that lawsuits were being sought in at least 20 other states also claiming that Ameriquest used fraud, false documents and bait-and-switch tactics. Florida, along with twenty-four other states raised questions about the firms business practices. Fast forward to recent months and 49 states are now included in claims and lawsuits filed against Ameriquest.

“It’s not in the company’s best interests to have inflated appraisals, misrepresentation of interest rates and fees or income,” a spokesman said. He said the company ended relationships with some vendors and fired an unspecified number of employees when problems were discovered in Tampa last spring. In addition, he said the company is “working with federal law enforcement to address problems facing the industry.”

Many of the practices mentioned in the complaints would boost business and thus income for employees and the company. But in the long run, they could cost the company if borrowers default because they don’t have enough income to make payments and the property is worth less than the loan.

The lawsuits filed in Tampa, claim Ameriquest promoted false services to current and would-be homeowners by promising low interest rates with no loan costs or application fees, with cash back offers at closing.

The lawsuit claims “When the paperwork is presented to the homebuyer for signing at closing, the terms are different than the ones promised or they are concealed all together.”

The suit says Ameriquest and other companies involved in the transactions (i.e. appraisers, title company etc) worked together to benefit Ameriquest and its employees at the borrower’s expense.