Carolina Mortgage Group, owner ordered to pay $110,940 for failing to refinance mortgages
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Raleigh: A mortgage broker that took money upfront to refinance mortgages but failed to deliver is permanently banned from the business and under court order to pay refunds and penalties, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“Businesses that charge upfront fees without doing the work need to be held accountable,” Cooper said. “Consumers trying to get better rates should get their money back if the company doesn’t do what it promises.”
At Cooper’s request, Superior Court Judge James Roberson ordered defendants Carolina Mortgage Group, Inc. and Jeffrey D. Cox to cancel all contracts and turn over all property to consumers. The default judgment issued by the court also permanently bans the defendants from working in the mortgage business in North Carolina, Cooper said.
The court ordered Cox and Carolina Mortgage Group to pay $20,940 in consumer refunds $90,000 in civil penalties for their unfair and deceptive business practices. This is in addition to $46,145 in consumer refunds and $90,345 in penalties Cox and his company were ordered to pay previously by the N.C. Commissioner of Banks, who revoked Cox’s license as a mortgage loan operator and Carolina Mortgage Group’s mortgage broker license on August 15, 2014.
Cox also faces criminal charges in Wake County for residential mortgage fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses.
According to a complaint Cooper filed on January 21, Carolina Mortgage Group and its president and primary owner, Jeffrey D. Cox, took thousands of dollars in upfront fees from consumers but failed to refinance mortgages as promised. Cox and his company previously had offices in Zebulon and Wilson.
Cox told consumers he could help them refinance mortgage loans and other properties for lower interest rates and close on the new loans in as little as 30 days, Cooper said in the complaint. Cox asked consumers to pay origination or lock fees of about one percent of the total amount of their mortgage and also asked them to pay for an appraisal. Once consumers paid the fees, Cox failed to close on the refinancing and claimed various reasons for the delays. In several cases, Cox ceased communicating with the consumers altogether.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division received five complaints against Cox and Carolina Mortgage Group from consumers who lost thousands of dollars each and often missed out on opportunities to get better interest rates on loans through other legitimate lenders. The N.C. Commissioner of Banks’ Office received 15 additional complaints about Cox and his company between July 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014.
To prevent problems when trying to get or refinance a mortgage, take a look at our consumer tips on mortgages and home loans.
To make sure a mortgage broker is properly licensed to help you get a mortgage, visit www.nccob.org. Consumers can file complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division toll–free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at www.ncdoj.gov.
Contact: Noelle Talley