(2015) Using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (and a lawsuit over an improperly denied fee waiver), CRC obtained data on Financial Freedom’s foreclosure track record on reverse mortgages- and it is ugly. Despite only servicing an estimated 14 to 17% of the reverse mortgage market, Financial Freedom was responsible for more than twice of all foreclosures against federally insured reverse mortgages from the time frame of April 2009 to April 2016. None of the corporate leaders who ran Financial Freedom’s parent bank, OneWest (including the chair, Steve Mnuchin, or the CEO, Joseph Otting, or the general counsel, Brian Brooks) have ever explained why Financial Freedom’s foreclosure rate was so high. However, CIT Group did agree to a $89 million whistleblower settlement with the US Dept. of Justice of allegations of defrauding the government in seeking reimbursements related to reverse mortgages.
CRC’s FOIA request received widespread attention, a few articles are included below: