Defunct mortgage lender, Home America Mortgage and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker can’t duck fraud claims

ATLANTA (CN) – The owner of a now-defunct mortgage lender cannot duck claims that he defrauded the United States of millions of dollars by falsifying loan applications, a federal judge ruled.
Home America Mortgage, a former private lender based in Atlanta, and Ocala, Fla.-based Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., which acted as the underwriter for Home America’s mortgage loans, faced claims that they induced the United States to insure dozens of bad mortgage loans.
Two whistleblowers brought a false claims action against the two companies in December 2006, alleging they had caused the government to lose more than $131 million.
Greg Hicks, who owned 90 percent of Home America, and Carl Wright, an Atlanta-based closing attorney, were also named as defendants.
According to the complaint, Home America originated mortgage loans and immediately sold them to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, which applied for federal mortgage insurance for the loans. The whistleblowers claimed that Hicks and Home America changed borrower and property information on loan applications, fabricated documents and overrode safeguards on rejected applications, causing the government to insure high-risk loans.

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