Prime Option Financial Services, LLC (Prime Option) and Mark Belter, have been charged in a lawsuit with several violations of consumer protection laws for allegedly failing to provide required information to consumers signing home mortgage loans.
Prime Option was a mortgage broker company located in Westlake, Ohio. In October, 2007, the company stopped doing business and surrendered its mortgage broker licenses. Mark Belter was a central figure with Prime Option; he is listed as the president and owner on various documents.
An Attorney General investigation of residential mortgage loans brokered by Prime Option found that almost every loan reviewed had missing or incomplete documents. For example, the following required documents often were found to be missing or incomplete: Mortgage Loan Origination Disclosure Statements, which disclose fees paid to the broker; escrow disclosure forms, which estimate the monthly cost of a loan; and Ohio Homebuyers’ Protection Act Informational Documents, which explain consumers’ rights.
The investigation also found that Prime Option failed to store or dispose of business records containing consumer information as required by the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which is designed to protect personal financial information and prevent identity theft.
“This company failed to give consumers required documents about their mortgage loans, and in some cases, it gave them forms that were incomplete,” said Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. “Under Ohio law, mortgage brokers are required to provide specific documents and information to consumers, so that they can make educated decisions about their loans.”
The lawsuit charges Prime Option and Mark Belter with violating the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. In the suit, Attorney General Cordray asks the court to prohibit the company from committing further violations of the law, to reimburse consumers who lost money, and to pay civil penalties. Attorney General Cordray acknowledged the contributions of former Attorneys General Marc Dann and Nancy H. Rogers on this case.