I don't believe that every homeowner who took out a loan in the last decade that he or she was later not able to repay "had a bunch of junk done to them." On the other hand, I'm convinced that a large number of them did, in fact, have a bunch of junk done to them. Yet another good (or bad, actually) example of a junk dispenser was just jacked, sliced, diced, and julienned in Colorado last week by the Attorney General of that state. A Denver District Court judge has barred a Centennial mortgage broker from issuing loans in Colorado and fined him and his companies almost $1 million in civil penalties. Leo Shifrin, and his companies Mortgage Planning & Lending Specialists, Ltd., Jupiter Lending, Mile High Mortgage, Shifrin Inc. and Wholesale Mortgage Lending, had engaged in deceptive advertising and fraudulent loan-origination practices, according to a news release from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office. […] Suthers' office reached a consent decree with Jerry Johnson, who was also involved with the business, shortly before trial that also forced him to pay $1 million in fines and stops him from issuing loans. The complaint, filed in February of 2008, alleged the men defrauded customers from 2004 to 2007 by not telling them about important details during the loan-origination process. Through the use of what the complaint said were deceptive ads, the men steered the customers to risky "option-adjusted rate mortgage" loans "which are considerably riskier than traditional adjustable rate mortgages," according to a news release from Suthers' office. "The court found that defendants lured borrowers into their offices with hundreds of advertisements printed in The Denver Post and The Rocky Mountain News that featured low teaser rates," the release states. "The court found that defendants misrepresented and failed to disclose that these low teaser rates only lasted for a few months and then would quickly escalate upwards thereafter." Whitney also ordered the men to pay fees and court costs the AG incurred prosecuting the case. Interestingly for proponents of the provisions of Dodd-Frank that created that soon-to-be juggernaut of national imperial power, the CFPB, in Colorado, malfeasors in the consumer loan business seem perfectly capable of being reigned in and spanked by existing state laws enforced by existing state law enforcement authorities. Then again, as Rahm Emmanuel once cackled, you never let a good crisis go to waste in adding another rung to the federal nanny state ladder andf continuing to render the Tenth Amendment to the dust bin of history. Plus, Liz Warren will get to test out her academic theories, concocted in the laboratory of her very own cerebrum, operating in the practical vacuum of a university law professor's cranium, on real banks and other financial providers in the real world. That opportunity to have fun and wreak havoc, alone, will be worth any cost the country ultimately might pay in unintended consequences that seem to frequently flow from the efforts of the federal government to fine-tune the intersection between private enterprise and social justice. From a purely narrow, selfish perspective, we can't wait to see the well-intended results. From a broader perspective, we could wait indefinitely and never lose a night's sleep.
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