The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation says it "stands by its action" in naming a California mortgage banking firm to its "exclusionary list" even though the firm. PFG Mortgage Inc., plans a lawsuit over Freddie Mac's action.
The exclusionary list, which was publicly released last month, contains the names of a dozen companies and 32 individuals with whom Freddie Mac "will no longer do business because their past conduct demonstrates a lack of business competence or integrity."
"We recognize the possibility of litigation, but we are reasonably confident that we will prevail." said Thomas B. Goodbody, assistant general counsel for Freddie Mac.
Meanwhile, Freddie Mac's action in publishing the exclusionary list was praised as a "bold first step in the sharing of private information about who the bad boys and girls are in the mortgage servicing industry." The comment was made by D. James Croft, executive director of the Mortgage Asset Research Institute of Reston, Va. Croft, who served as executive vice president for risk management at Freddie Mac in 1988-89 and as director of examinations and supervision at the former Federal Home Loan Bank Board in 1981-83, hopes to add private information to the approximately 55,000 cases of publicly disclosed sanctions and penalties his firm has put on its electronic data base. He is seeking the cooperation of Freddie Mac, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and private players in mortgage finance.
The case law on actions like Freddie Mac's is not voluminous, said Robert Potter, president of PFG, a Mission Viejo, Calif., firm that did about $100 million of business last year. "But we think this is a clear case of blacklisting, which is illegal." He said five investors have stopped doing business with his company because of the listing by Freddie Mac.
Kenneth J. Haber, a Rockville, Md., attorney retained by Potter, said he still is researching the law and does not know when he will file suit.
According to Potter, the case involved what he called a Ponzi scheme by Khashavar M. Pashakhan, a former loan servicing officer for PFG, who cashed payoff checks on mortgages securitized by Freddie Mac, kept the money. but made the monthly mortgage payments. Pashakhan, who also is named on the exclusionary list, was last seen by Potter in March 1990. Potter said Freddie Mac would not have uncovered the scheme without PFG's assistance. He also said PFG has assigned a $9 million judgment it obtained in a civil suit against Pashakhan to Freddie Mac. whose officials declined to comment on the details of the case.
Fannie Mae has no plans to make a public release of individuals and firms with whom it won't do business, according to Robert J. Engelstad, senior vice president for mortgage and lender standards. He said the company moves aggressively to combat fraud and sanctions in the wake of such actions become public. He said Fannie Mac has been discussing information sharing with the Mortgage Asset Research Institute.