The Whistleblower Institute announces that PHH Corporation reached a $74 million settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit.
San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/20/2017 -- The Whistleblower Institute announces that PHH Corporation reached a $74 million settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee over knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA), guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and purchased by the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") that did not meet applicable requirements.
Those who have a similar case or experienced a similar situation or any other wrongdoing within a corporation have certain options and should contact the Whistleblower Institute at email@example.com or call: 619-452–1218. There are no costs or obligations to you.
A settlement has been reached to resolve False Claims Act allegations against PHH Corp, PHH Mortgage Corp, and PHH Home Loans.
The allegations arose from a lawsuit that claimed PHH Corp, PHH Mortgage Corp, and PHH Home Loans knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA), guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and purchased by the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") that did not meet applicable requirements.
According to the government, as part of the settlement, PHH admitted that between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011, it certified for FHA insurance mortgage loans that did not meet HUD underwriting requirements and did not adhere to FHA's self-reporting requirements. Examples of loan defects that PHH admitted resulted in loans being ineligible for FHA mortgage insurance included: 1) Failing to document the borrowers' creditworthiness, including paystubs, verification of employment, proper credit reports, and verification of the borrowers' earnest money deposit and funds to close. 2) Failing to document the borrower's claimed net equity in a prior residence or obtain documentation showing that the borrower had paid off significant debts. Including these debts in the borrower's liabilities resulted in the borrower exceeding HUD's debt-to-income ratio requirements for FHA-insured loans. 3) Insuring a loan for FHA mortgage insurance even though the borrower did not meet HUD's minimum statutory investment for the loan.
Allegedly, in 2007, PHH audited a targeted sample of government loans for closing or pre-insuring requirements and found that its "percent accurate" did not exceed 50 percent during 2007. Since at least 2006, HUD has required self-reporting of material violations of FHA requirements. However, between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011, PHH Home Loans did not self-report any loans to HUD; rather, PHH Home Loans did not self-report any loans to HUD until 2013, after the United States commenced its investigation resulting in this settlement.
Allegedly, as a result of PHH's conduct and omissions, PHH admitted, HUD insured loans endorsed by PHH that were not eligible for FHA mortgage insurance under the DEL program, and that HUD would not otherwise have insured. It admitted that HUD subsequently incurred substantial losses when it paid insurance claims on those loans.
Additionally, from at least 2005 to 2012, PHH was a VA approved lender, originating and underwriting mortgage loans and obtaining VA loan guarantees. VA home loans are provided by certain pre-approved private lenders, including banks and mortgage companies. By guaranteeing a portion of the loan, the VA enables the lender to provide Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses with loan terms that are more favorable than would otherwise be available in the marketplace. In order to qualify for a VA guarantee, borrowers must comply with VA loan requirements. The settlement resolves the United States' claims and potential claims that PHH originated loans that it submitted for guarantee by the VA that did not meet the VA's requirements.
Reportedly, from at least 2009 to 2013, PHH also sold mortgage loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congress created the two entities to provide stability and liquidity in the secondary housing market and established the Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA") to supervise, regulate, and oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Since 2008, in response to the substantial deterioration in the housing markets that severely damaged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's financial condition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been operating under a government conservatorship. The settlement resolves the United States' contentions that PHH originated and sold loans to the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that did not meet their requirements. The settlement represents the first resolution of False Claims Acts claims based on false certifications to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The whistleblower, a former employee of PHH, Mary Bozzelli will receive $9,067,377.33 from the settlements.
PHH has agreed to pay $65 million to resolve the FHA allegations and $9.45 million to resolve the VA and FHFA allegations.
Based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, PHH Corporation provides mortgage services to some of the world's largest financial services firms.
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Those who have a similar case or experienced a similar situation or any other wrongdoing within a corporation have certain options and should contact the Whistleblower Institute.
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