Suit filed against Col. loan company for deceptive trade practices

Nick Rees Oct. 29, 2009, 4:02pm


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has filed suit against a Colorado Springs-based loan company over alleged deceptive trade practices.

Alternative Lending of Colorado, its managing general partner, James W. Dale III, and its top loan originator, April A. Bigler, are alleged to have regularly engaged in deceptive trade practices that include misrepresenting interest rates on loans, quoting monthly mortgage payments to consumers that did not include taxes and insurance costs, and delaying closings to pressure consumers into signing a mortgage.

Bigler is also alleged to have worked alongside appraisers to over-value homes that resulted in borrowers owing more on their homes than they were worth. The complaint also alleges that Bigler failed to attend closings, which made it impossible for borrowers to ask questions about the terms of their loans.

Suthers' complaint also alleges that Bigler inflated borrowers' incomes on their mortgage applications and failed to provide timely, accurate or complete disclosures to borrowers.

Nearly 44-percent of borrowers for whom Bigler originated a mortgage loan, as a result of the deceptive trade practices alleged in the complaint, experienced some type of foreclosure action.

Dale is alleged to have known of Bigler's misconduct but did not taken any disciplinary action.

The investigation into Alternative Lending of Colorado and Bigler followed more than 15 complaints of alleged misconduct filed with the office of the attorney general between 2004 and 2008.

The attorney general's lawsuit seeks restitution for victims of Alternative Lending's business practices, most of whom live in Canon City, Co., as well as civil penalties, disgorgement of unjust proceeds and an injunction to bar the defendants from engaging in false and deceptive lending practices.

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