Last week's circulation by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. of a list of "bad apples" in the mortgage industry has sparked the threat of a lawsuit from one of the targets.
"I'm incensed, I'm outraged, and we'll see what a federal -judge has to say about it," said Robert Potter, president of PFG Mortgage Inc., Mission Viejo, Calif.
Freddie Mac listed PFG, Mr. Potter, and a former employee on its roster of 12 companies and 32 individuals who have demonstrated "a lack of business competence or integrity."
PFG, an independent firm founded in 1981, produces about $12 million of loans a month and sells them to bigger companies, Mr. Potter said in a phone interview.
He acknowledged that one of his former employees, Khashavar Pashakhan, "ran away with a lot of money" that was supposed to go to the agency.
But Mr. Potter claimed that PFG itself uncovered the wrongdoing, successfully sued Mr. Pashakhan, and then assigned the $9 million judgment to Freddie Mac.
Mr. Pashakhan, who is named on the Freddie list, couldn't be reached for comment.
Freddie Mac's investigators, according to Mr. Potter, would have been lost without the company's help.
"They couldn't find their butts in a windstorm, I'm telling you," he said.
Freddie Mac Stands By Its List
PFG's lawyers plan to seek an injunction to halt distribution of the list on the grounds that blacklisting is illegal.
"The days of McCarthyism are over," Mr. Potter said. "Unfortunately, Freddie Mac doesn't understand that."
He also vowed to seek damages from the agency if companies that buy his loans begin to pull back.
A Freddie Mac spokeswoman said the agency stands by its list. It is based on "extensive analysis and research," she said.