Mortgage Master ordered to pay $475,000 in state and federal civil penalties

The Massachusetts Division of Banks is ordering Mortgage Master Inc., one of the largest mortgage lenders in the state, to pay a $50,000 administrative fine and fix data errors in reports that the company is required to file with regulators, state officials said Wednesday.

That’s on top of a $425,000 civil penalty that Mortgage Master has been ordered to pay by federal regulators.

In response, Mortgage Master said that the division’s finding was related only to administrative errors and that “no borrowers were harmed in any way.”

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A federal law called the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requires the filing of loan related data to help determine whether financial institutions are adequately serving the mortgage lending needs of their communities, state officials said in a press release

In a statement, Massachusetts Division of Banks commissioner David Cotney said: “If a company files inaccurate information, it does not provide a complete picture for regulators to assess whether or not the company is meeting fair lending requirements. These administrative actions demonstrate the seriousness of Mortgage Master repeated data oversights, which ultimately impact the integrity and usefulness of residential mortgage information for the public.”  

According to its website, Mortgage Master has its headquarters in Walpole.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal consumer protection agency, recently took similar action against Mortgage Master, state officials said.

In a press release, the bureau said that Mortgage Master will pay $425,000 in civil penalties for “inaccurate mortgage loan reporting.”

The division and the bureau are both requiring Mortgage Master to obtain an independent review of its home mortgage data program and develop a comprehensive plan to ensure accuracy and prevent future errors.

According to the most recent data released by the Federal Reserve Board, Mortgage Master is one of the state’s largest lenders with more than 12,000 in annual residential mortgage applications, the Commonwealth’s press release said.

In its statement, Mortgage Master said: “After a rigorous audit, which took over a year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau raised a matter concerning our reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Their finding was related to administrative errors in our reporting system, and the audit confirmed that no borrowers were harmed in any way, nor did any borrowers need to be refunded. We agreed to settle this matter with the CFPB and the state of Massachusetts. Mortgage Master has a strong commitment to comply flawlessly with all reporting requirements.”