Part on Ocwen buried within the story:
Regulator: Mortgage company owner lied
But owner denies charge, requests hearing
Citing falsified information on license applications, state officials have suspended the licenses of Superior Mortgage Group LLC of Tampa Bay, Fla.
‘‘I found this emergency action necessary to promote the public welfare and protect Maryland consumers,” she said.
Gloria Freifeld, owner of Superior Mortgage, denied she lied about her background and said this week she has requested a hearing. She said one of her competitors gave the state office some misleading information about her company.
‘‘There is a lot more to this than what is being said,” Freifeld said.
Freifeld had applied for and received 11 licenses between May 2006 and October 2007, according to a state news release. State investigators alleged that Freifeld knowingly falsified information on the license applications related to her experience and qualifications, and Raskin determined that Superior Mortgage violated the state’s mortgage lending law.
The suspension requires that Superior cease doing business in Maryland. Freifeld said that her company has already stopped doing business in the state.
The financial regulation division has also opened an examination into the lending practices of Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, said Rhonda Wardlaw, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which oversees the division. Ocwen is based in West Palm Beach, Fla.
State sets new regulations
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) this week unveiled emergency regulations making Maryland the second state, after California, to require loan servicers to report data detailing their efforts to help homeowners facing foreclosures.
The state will require servicers to provide lists of homeowners whose mortgages are about to reset to higher interest rates so that the state can provide those homeowners with information on resources to help them.
Foreclosures in Maryland in the fourth quarter of 2007 rose to 9,722, up from 7,001 in the third quarter, according to state figures.
Prince George’s County saw the most foreclosures in the fourth quarter with 2,732, followed by Montgomery at 1,310, according to data company RealtyTrac.
The number of home foreclosures in Maryland in all of 2007 leaped by 455 percent from 2006, much higher than the national rate increase of 75 percent, according to RealtyTrac.
Mortgage companies have had a tough past year, with several closing offices and many laying off employees, amid the skyrocketing home foreclosures and a credit crunch blamed largely on problems in the subprime market.
Staff Writer Sean R. Sedam contributed to this report.