January 25, 2010 / 10:47 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. FHA disbars 4 mortgage lenders from program

(Recasts to incorporate announcement of additional firm, adds details)

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The Federal Housing Administration on Monday said it disbarred four lenders from its loan guarantee program and suspended a fifth, as the Obama administration steps up its enforcement of mortgage irregularities.

The FHA’s Mortgagee Review Board said it was “withdrawing” Strategic Mortgage Corporation, ProMortgage Inc, Americare Investment Group Inc, and Premium Capital Funding, LLC, from its list of qualified lenders.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens said the withdrawals amount to permanent disbarment from the program.

The government also suspended Home Mortgage, Inc from the program. Stevens said HMI would be suspended for a minimum of six months.

Some of the issues that led to the withdrawals from the program included charging borrowers excessive fees, failing to comply with employee requirements, and making false certifications to the government.

The FHA said Americare Investment was withdrawn after failing to make a single monthly payment under a prior settlement that had placed the lender on suspension for six months.

Stevens said his agency takes its oversight role very seriously and will move swiftly and decisively to protect borrowers from unscrupulous lenders.

“Any lender who refuses to comply with FHA requirements will simply no longer enjoy the privilege of participating in FHA programs,” Stevens said in a statement. (Reporting by Corbett B. Daly; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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