Ameriquest Settles With States Over Practices

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A number of states have reached a settlement with California-based Ameriquest Mortgage Co. under which Ameriquest will pay a $325-million settlement to resolve claims it engaged in lending practices that harmed consumers nationwide. Pennsylvania, for instance, will receive about $8.7 million for thousands of residents and $310,000 for investigation costs. As part of the settlement, consumers who obtained loans from Ameriquest from January 1999 through December 2005 will be eligible for restitution. In the settlement, Ameriquest denies all allegations but agreed to change its business practices.

The settlement includes ACC Capital Holding Corporation and its subsidiaries Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Town & Country Credit Corporation, and AMC Mortgage Services Inc.

At issue were claims by investigators and authorities that between 1999 and 2005, Ameriquest employees deceived thousands of consumers by using high pressure tactics to boost their monthly quotas and commissions, of misrepresenting the actual amount of interest, inflating their home appraisals, delaying funding of consumers' loans after closing, and failing to clearly disclose fees or penalties associated with paying the loans off ahead of schedule.

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