A Royal Bank of Canada home mortgage unit will pay $11 million to resolve U.S. government claims it gave false information about borrowers' creditworthiness to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
RBC Mortgage Co.'s accord avoids litigation in the case, said Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. The government alleged that from 2001 to 2004, RBC Mortgage, formerly known as Prism Mortgage, made 219 loans based on false statements, all resulting in foreclosure.
"Mortgage lenders should know that they must maintain the integrity of the lending process so that federally insured mortgages will be available to worthy borrowers," Mr. Fitzgerald said in a press release issued Tuesday. The questionable loans were made in the Rockford and Freeport, Ill., areas, he said.
Royal Bank of Canada, the biggest Canadian bank, has denied liability, Mr. Fitzgerald said. The Toronto company acquired Prism in April 2000 and renamed it. RBC Mortgage stopped originating loans in September 2005, the prosecutor said.
RBC spokesman Kevin Foster did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Twenty-five people, including three RBC Mortgage loan officers, have been convicted on criminal charges related to the government's civil case, Mr. Fitzgerald said.