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    U.S. Sues Major Mortgage Broker Over Lending Fraud

    In a lawsuit filed against one of the largest private mortgage brokers in the country, the United States alleges fraudulent lending practices by Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. cost the government $834 million in insurance claims paid by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    "Allied has profited for years as one of the nation's largest FHA lenders by engaging in reckless mortgage lending, flouting the requirements of the FHA mortgage insurance program, and repeatedly lying about its compliance," the U.S. said in the complaint, according to Bloomberg. "In the past decade, Allied has originated loans out of hundreds of branches it never disclosed to HUD."

    As the AP explains it, what the government alleges was going on here is that Allied had a number of unauthorized branches that worked with little to no quality control and which the government claims circumvented rules put in place to protect HUD, which resulted in a higher-than-usual number of homeowners falling behind on their mortgages. From 2006 to 2007, the default rate on mortgages the company sold was 55 percent.

    The AP reports:

    The government said Allied made substantial profits through the loans while it violated rules meant to protect HUD's insurance fund and deceived the agency by originating loans for years out of hundreds of "shadow" branches that were not approved by HUD.

    The deceitful practice was continued under Hodge's direction even after several senior managers voiced concerns, the lawsuit said.

    "Allied operated with impunity for many years due a culture of corruption created by Hodge, who eliminated the position of chief financial officer and other senior management positions, intimidated employees by spontaneous terminations and aggressive email monitoring, and silenced former employees by actual and threatened litigation against them," the lawsuit said. "As a result, Allied was able to conceal its dysfunctional operations and maintain its profitable position in the mortgage industry."

    Allied has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

    Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

    NPR

    No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

    Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
    NPR

    #FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

    A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
    WAMU 88.5

    The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

    Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

    NPR

    The Big Internet Brands Of The '90s — Where Are They Now?

    Verizon's purchase of Yahoo will close the book on one of the oldest Internet companies. What happened to the other famous 90s brands, like GeoCities, Netscape and CompuServe? A nerdy remembrance.

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