Serving Clients Throughout Orange County and Los Angeles County
When the nation’s fairly recent housing crisis entered the scene and affected the lives of millions of Americans, it was revealed that large banks and sub prime lenders had regularly engaged in predatory lending schemes, exploiting vulnerable home buyers and homeowners in struggling communities and steeping them in impossible debt. Today, predatory lenders, brokers, appraisers, and other individuals in the industry are being scrutinized and held accountable for their actions. If you have fallen victim to predatory lending schemes, get in touch with an experienced southern California real estate lawyer right away. Now is the best time to get the justice you seek.
McFarlin LLP is a renowned real estate litigation law firm with a highly knowledgeable and resourceful legal staff. We have helped countless homeowners in Orange County assert their rights against predatory lenders and other parties. While we possess the exceptional legal skill that is required of any quality firm, we also value personal relations with clients, always making sure to maintain open communication and honesty in any case. If you want an attorney who will always let you know where you stand, look no further and call us today at (888) 728-0044.
What is Considered Predatory Lending in California?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) states that predatory lending typically consists of unfair and abusive loan terms, aggressive sales tactics, exploitation of the borrower’s ignorance of complex transactions, and sometimes even blatant deception. In short, predatory lending is when the lender knowingly enforces unreasonable loan terms to maximize his or her potential earning capacity with complete disregard for the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. In many cases, the lender targets households based on race, ethnicity, age, and/or gender, which is discriminatory, and ultimately, illegal.
The Two Most Common Predatory Lending Schemes
While a predatory lending scheme can take on many variations, incorporating deception at many different levels, exploitative lenders generally turn to the following common illegal practices:
- Discriminatory Targeted Marketing: This is when predatory lenders use public information to identify vulnerable individuals who would be more likely to fall victim to their schemes. Popular targets include the uneducated and the elderly. Although marketing in itself is not illegal, it becomes so when utilized in an exploitative manner. After successfully engaging their targets, predatory lenders usually omit important information regarding the terms of the loan and lead borrowers away from more viable options and towards more lucrative ones (for the lender, of course).
- Abusive Loan Terms: These include terms which are conducive to excessively high interest rates and/or fees, such as unnecessary balloon payments, large prepayment penalties, unwarranted loan approvals, and large upfront fees in general. Such terms almost guarantee foreclosure proceedings, during which the borrower can be further abused through foreclosure fraud.
If you believe you have been the victim of any of the above, consult with an attorney immediately to determine whether you have a viable predatory lending scheme lawsuit.
Finding Justice for Victimized Homeowners in Orange County
Predatory lending does not just merit civil litigation but also criminal action. It is an extremely wrongful practice that should be snuffed out completely. With the attorneys at McFarlin LLP at your side, do your part in bringing predatory lenders down. Contact our offices today for more information.