SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has re-boarded the legal bandwagon against the collapsing sub-prime mortgage sector with her first two lawsuits.
Madigan announced Monday she was suing well-known mortgage broker One Source and investor Dale Ellis over claims they misled and defrauded “hundreds of Illinois customers” who took out their mortgages. Ellis operates eight separate mortgage brokerages and home repair companies operating in Illinois.
The suits accuse the defendants of “deceptive practices that leave homeowners with unaffordable mortgages stripped of their equity and often forced to sell their homes in order to avoid foreclosure,” Madigan’s release stated.
The AG first announced in March that she would pursue new laws aimed at cracking down on mortgage-brokering practices claimed to have accelerated the sector’s financial decline, LNL reported. One would force lenders to verify customers’ finances and disclose all fees while another would amend Illinois’ Foreclosure Act.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed similar suits against six sub-prime mortgage brokers several months ago over what he termed a “vast predatory lending scheme” there, LNL reported in June.
Madigan’s suit alleges that One Source misrepresented and failed to disclose key financial details of its mortgages to customers. Ellis’s companies are accused of deceiving and defrauding homeowners in a combined home repair-and-mortgage scam.
The AG is seeking fines of $50,000 per defendant, $50,000 per act committed and an extra $10,000 if against an elderly customer.