The Checkout

Ameriquest Settlement

Federal and state law-enforcement officials today announced a $325 million settlement today with Ameriquest Mortgage Co., the nation's biggest home lender to people with bad credit.

The settlement ends a two-year investigation by all 50 state attorneys general, banking regulators and local prosecutors into allegations that Ameriquest deceived consumers to sell mortgages, using high-presure sales tactics to meet employee sales quotas. In addition to paying $295 million in consumer redress and $30 million in legal fees, the company has agreed to change some of its business practices and accept outside monitors who will observe the company's operations to make sure it is living up to the agreement.

Consumers do not need to take any action at this point to pursue recoveries - they will be contacted later by their state officials in the months ahead as specific recovery terms and plans are determined.

Ameriquest did not admit any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement; but issued a statement saying "we regret those occasions when our associates have not met this ideal to our customers' expectations... This agreement is good for consumers and fair to the company. It provides a framework for new lending policies that improve and enhance our ability to serve our customers and are a model for the industry."

Thousands of homeowners around the country have sued Ameriquest, saying they incurred significant financial harm after taking out an Ameriquest mortgage. Some lost their homes and were forced into bankruptcy. Several class-action suits against Ameriquest remain pending.

The settlement is important to the Bush administration because it nominated Ameriquest's founder and principal shareholder, Roland E. Arnall, to be the ambassador to the Netherlands. Arnall has been Bush's single largest campaign contributor since 2002.

Yet, his appointment has deadlocked, since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tied 9-9 in voting on his nomination, as senators expressed concern about the Ameriquest investigation.

The setttlement may now pave the way to Arnall's confirmation. Under the settlement, Ameriquest must:

* Quickly provide borrowers with a single-page form that explains in simple language the terms of their loans, including rates, points and penalties, if any.

* Give borrowers notice before closing on their loans if any changes are made to the loan terms.

* Make sure loan agents take extra steps to give verbal disclosures as well to ensure borrowers are clear on the financial terms of their loans.

* Take steps to make sure borrowers applying for stated income loans, or loans in which borrowers don't offer proof of income, sign statements certifying they're telling the truth.

* Not engage in refinancing solicitations during the first 24 months of a loan, unless the borrower is considering refinancing.

By  |  January 23, 2006; 4:00 AM ET Legal Battles/Settlements
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I was recently an Ameriquest customer in the state of Providence, RI two years ago. Do I have to file a law suit against the company in order to get repay what had been taken away from me and my family. Or will this lawsuit automatically include customers in RI.

Tyanne McNeal

Posted by: Tyanne | January 23, 2006 10:40 AM

This settlement will likely affect the race for Governor in Massachusetts. Here's why.

Posted by: David | January 23, 2006 12:43 PM

Oops! No html in comments, I guess. Here's the link:

Posted by: David | January 23, 2006 12:44 PM

Fo rthe most part, the so-called 'reforms' that are part of the AMC settlement have already been in place for years, (and the abuse continued to flourish!) The only new reform, is the centralized appraisals.

As a former employee, I can assure you that the AEs will find a way to manipulate the new appraisal process. Lending operations has been centralized, as well, and the AEs were able to bribe funders to push bad loans through the system.

I am confident that AMC will be back under review in the future for the same bad lending practices.

Posted by: Former Employee | January 23, 2006 1:07 PM

I too was an unhappy Ameriquest customer (California) from 2002-2004. Since selling my home there, I've changed my mailing addresses a couple of times and now live in Northeast Ohio. I doubt that Ameriquest will be able to find me. What must I do to be included in this settlement?

Thank you,
Kathy Orris

Posted by: Kathy Orris | January 23, 2006 9:23 PM

My sister and her husband too were taken advantage of by Ameriquest. They over appraised her house when she refinanced with them with a ridiculous adjustable mortgage. Now they are not able to refinance with anyone else because their house isn't worth what they owe. Would like to know if anything can be done for them?

Posted by: Laurie | January 23, 2006 11:30 PM


First, were the borrowers informed of the ajustable rates. Second, if I could borrow more on my house than it is worth I would. Then invest the money into an s-corp founded by a VP who is unlisted through the state af Nevada. Then let the bank have my top ended house.

Why not burn these foolish banks. There are numerous ways around these new bankruptcy laws.

Posted by: Tom | January 25, 2006 12:25 AM

I just wanted to post a quick response to Kathy Orris--or any Ameriquest customer who has moved: You should contact your appropriate state attorney general and make sure they have the correct contact information on how to be reached when settlement day comes.

Posted by: Caroline Mayer | January 25, 2006 12:33 PM

I am currently a Ameriquest customer, and I too have been struggling with the mortgage payments set by Ameriquest. Its been very hard paying the monthly payments, my debt to income ratio is outragious, although it was much lower at the time the loan took place, I still was given the loan. Ameriquest drew a picture that was too hard to resist, and now I too am finding it very difficult to refinance because of the little equilty left after financing with Ameriquest. How could I be included in the lawsuit and would I have to provide anything in my offence?
Thank you
Donna W

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2006 12:58 PM

$325 Million isn't nearly enough to deter Ameriquest. How was this final figure determined and how much will actually make it back to consumers? I'd like to know how that figure compares with what they spent being the sponsor of last year's SuperBowl half-time show and as one of the official sponsors of Major League Baseball.

Posted by: Al P | January 25, 2006 3:26 PM

I told have issues with the AMC company. How do I get signed up with the suit?
thank you.
Matt P

Posted by: Matt Parkhill | January 25, 2006 4:12 PM

ameriquest did the same to me the said my house was worth alot and got me in there little trap and when it was time to refi they told me my house was not worth any thing how can a house go down in value now they got me in and i can not pay for my house and i do not want to lose some thing i have work so hard for tell me how to get in on this law suit
thank you chris lowe

Posted by: chris lowe | January 25, 2006 7:06 PM

I also got trapped by Ameriquest. I was promised a refinance in 6 months and was told at closing that my house was worth more than I was buying it for. Was also told that there were no penalties. After one year in find out my house is not worth what i was told at closing. Ameriquest then sold my loan to Littion Servicing LP. and this company raised my monthly payment.
Thank you
Drugged thru the mud Single mom struggling.

Posted by: cynthia sutton | January 26, 2006 3:04 PM

Well other then the 8000 we paid in closing costs, and a payment out of that money for "interest" for a monthly payment that was not due to September, 2005, and loan docs being altered and noone being able to explain where all our extra settlement money went - no problems.

Posted by: Unnamed | January 26, 2006 5:03 PM

I too have a complaint against AMC how do I go about signing up to become part of settlement? Thank you

Posted by: Pam Brito | January 30, 2006 8:03 PM

My husband and I were charged $21,000 in closing costs. I would like to be part of the settlement. Please contact me.

Posted by: Donna McCoy | February 2, 2006 1:45 PM

Everyone who is currently trapped in an ameriquest mortgage. Try another mortgage professional or call me I am with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and we may be able to help you out. 205.970.6280 - I will be glad to look at your situation free of charge!

Posted by: Todd Dille | February 7, 2006 3:40 PM

My husband and I are in a AMC mortgage since Aug. of 2005. After all the crap they put us through, we had to sign the papers the day of closing, or we would of lost the house of our dreams. We decided to look into refinancing since they said there is no fees for that, and the other mortgage company told us they would not touch our loan for atleast 2 years. It would cost more for us then it was worth. Wait 2 years and come back and see them. By then AMC could ruin us. We were told one interest rate, and at closing it was higher. We were told we were financing closing cost and that they were one amount, and the day of closing they did not finance the cost, and once they got that straight, they doubled the fees. We almost lost our house because of the problems that we had, and when they called to verify if we were happy or not, my husband let them have it. For 3 months after the loan closed, AMC was calling us asking what happened to make us so mad. Since then, we have not heard a word. NO SORRY, NO ANYTHING!! We flat out told them that we would tell everyone we know and did not know for that matter, that they were the worst company ever and to not use them. I can't wait for the settlement, I just hope that the courts don't end up eating it all in lawyer fees! That is another issue in its self....

Posted by: DeAnna Koruba | February 14, 2006 4:27 PM

I am too, also with AMC, Was told I would have a lower FIXED rate to come and find out I had a higher adjustable rate. I refinanced with them..yes dumb, but when They sugar coat a new rate (that you don't end up with) your septic is backing up in your shower and a new drain field is gonna cost 3000.00 you tend to go for it. First loan was in 1999 we refinanced in 2004 both of my interest rates ended up being 10% or higher when promised 7% both times. Interest rates being as low as they are...we should have come out with a better rate. our credit score was not excellent, but it was good. When we decided to buy the home we are living in we called up Ameriquest. We were told to proceed with the loan as a refinance saying we were leaseing to own, which was not the case. Even Our landlords were willing to sign a paper saying that we were leasing to own which was not the arrangement. Yes, I should have realized then that was a red flag, but all I cared about at the time was hey we are getting our house! Hard lesson learned

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2006 3:45 PM

My wife and I refinanced with Ameriquest in 1999 with promisses that we were getting a very good deal. We read the terms before we signed. We were told that the rates could go up but not likely and that we could refinance after 6 months with no penalty. Well after 2 years the rates started rising with no reason and found we were locked in for 5 years or pay 6 months mortgage. There was NO way I was staying with this Company and took out a loan for 4000 dollars on my 401K and paid them off. They pulled a bait and switch. We get mail from this company every week. After getting screwed by them how can they possibly think we would ever do business with them again. Dennis Hastert is from our area and I will let him know my thoughts. Now I understand the settlement will be 400 dollars per contract? What a bunch of BS!

Posted by: Howard Burkel | February 23, 2006 6:34 PM

This company gave a 77 year old African American retired woman with less than $2000 per month income a loan on her house. We had no idea until after she died, now the house in in foreclosure. does anyone know a good lawyer who might be interested in this case,

Posted by: Ron | March 1, 2006 6:48 PM

Oh and she died last year at 81, with 10% interest rates. The house was in Chicago. See above.

Posted by: Ron | March 1, 2006 6:50 PM

Ameriquest's appraisers appraised my home so high it is imppossible for me to refinance now. I have gotten several appraisals now and they are all $20,000 lower than Ameriquest's.

Posted by: Lanny Evans AR | March 9, 2006 11:38 AM

Posted by: Dublin Hotel | March 20, 2006 8:44 AM

After working in the mortgage industry for over 10 years I get very upset when I read stories about Ameriquest Mortgage. One of the most offending stories I have seen is where Ameriquest was on Dr. Phil and they had donated $ 100,000 to a family to remodel their home. The comments from Dr. Phil praising the company for the generous gift made me decide to take a stand. After the show I wrote in trying to educated the producers just what kind of company they were endorsing. (i havent heard anything from them yet!)

When I read these stories posted above I just cant wait ufor someone to stop Ameriquest from lending to others.

If I can be of assistance to anyone who has been wronged by Ameriquest please feel free to give me call. 888-382-8220

Posted by: Judy | March 23, 2006 5:41 PM

Judy - When I heard Dr Phil endorse Ameriquest as a good mortgage Co, who who cares about families I almost went berzerk. I too immediately wrote to him and did not here back from them. I now feel that my worship of Dr. Phil as a fair, wonderful humanitarian is untrue. I now see him as just another politician - supporting Ameriquest for Rolland Arnall as a support for Bush who is a friend of Arnall. I still watch Dr Phil but I now watch him with a jaded eye. He's not fooling me anymorel

Posted by: Rita | April 8, 2006 5:03 PM

Just like everyone else's stories I have read we also went through all of the above we were lied to, inflated appraisal, we thought we were getting a fixed loan @ 6.8% fixed. it turned out to be 7.5% and two years later it is no longer fixed it has been raised twice to where it is at 10.5%. that does not inclde our 2500.00 taxes and 430.00 insurance. we have been called and threatened and talked to like trash by their customer sevice people. who
told me to prove they are predatory lenders and they can call me all they want. when i threatened to call our attny generals office. i was told"OOH thats a big word" and that there was not a lawsuit against them how do i sign up for this suit or should I get my own attorney?

Posted by: samatha hamilton | April 18, 2006 3:34 PM

I forgot to add on my last comment that I also had e-mailed the website and submitted a complaint to the presidential
chatline. I informed him that I was writing from clark co ohio which was one of his main counties he needed for his campaign. we are always being told the economy is growing and housing purchases are up. but in this county we had 925 foreclosures last year and every week in the paper there are at least 25 to 50 more.
i don't expect the president himself to respond to my request that he investigate
these practices but you would think somebody could reply or is this e-mail address just another ploy to keep us happy, thinking that our government is listening to us? I would like to know now.

Posted by: samatha hamilton | April 18, 2006 4:58 PM

Posted by: Ameriquest ad's suck! 2 | April 20, 2006 7:21 AM

I was hit by ameriquest then hurricanes, still suffering from all. 2004 to 2006

No home no help no answers! it sucks

I'm looking for others hit by ameriquest and hurricanes.

My home is gone and ameriquest can't answer 1 question or give me any of the documents I have asked for many times.

renting and making mortgage payments sucks!

Posted by: My kids call me mom | April 25, 2006 8:57 AM


Posted by: Billy&Lacinda Jones | April 26, 2006 6:37 PM

We too got our home with Ameriquest. i documented every crazy thing our loan officer said and did but we were too afraid (& ignorant) to shop around more after he started being so aggressive about our figures. we thought he was the only person who would be able to make it happen for us. it wasn't until we could take a breath after the closing that we found that we had good enough credit for anyone to help us. good to find out we dont have to go searching to be a part of this. if they want my notes and the name of my loan officer, i've got them!!!

Posted by: one more family | May 3, 2006 12:08 AM

how do I get in on this settlment? I am disabled and on a fixed income. Last year Ameriquest did its number on me, now I have 1053.00 house note, and the loan was suppose to not have a early payoff fee, which it does, and I was lied to about that. etc, another horror story. If anyone that reads this can give me info, it would be appreciated. send to

Posted by: sandy in memphis | May 5, 2006 6:27 PM

AMERIQUEST and AMC DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES! I am legally blind. I can only read 24 font bold or larger. Ameriquest and AMC were notified that I require an accommodation under the American With Disabilities Act. They straight out refused to make any accommodations. The customer service director told me that if I signed the contract I can't be blind! I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commision. The response given by Ameriquest's senior corporate counsel to CO Civil Rights was that "financial institutions do not have to comply with the ADA". A member of the legal team told me that "the ADA only has to do with wheelchair access, and that they do provide TTDY access for the blind."As anyone familiar with this law knows, that is plain BS! Financial institutions must comply, ADA is not only about wheelchair access and TTDY is for hearing impaired and you have to be able to read small print to use it! Unfortunately, the CO Civil Rights Law did not encompass discrimination against persons with visual impairments. I filed a complaint with the DOJ, but their response was that they do not have enough manpower to handle the complaint, although it was valid. I have filed a complaint with HUD Civil Rights Division in March '06 and am awaiting a response. Ameriquest and AMC continue to report me as deliquent every month although I pay on-time. The company's response to this action, from a representative in the office of the president was, this is done because a complaint was made to Civil Rights. This admission was made to an Ameriquest local representative, while I was present in her office via a telephone conversation she initiated to inquire on my behalf. In addition, the company has noted that I must pay with cashier's check, they wont accept a personal check, also because I complained. This discrimination continues and has ruined my credit bureaus. My bank, which cuts the cashier's check has attempted to verify my on-time payments to the bureaus, yet the bureaus refuse to accept verification other than from the mortagage company. I am not able to re-fi because of the bad credit on my reports posted by Ameriquest and AMC. I am permenantly disabled and they keep raising my interest, now twice in 6 months, for an additional payment of $500,(which by-the-way, they never notified me of. I found out when the bank called in to get a mailing address to send in payments and the automated system stated the amount due). Obviously, they are attempting to run me out of my home by increasing the payments substantially and continuously, and yet the disability discrimination goes on... Any ADA lawyers want to help me out on this one?

Posted by: Gary R. Adler | July 5, 2006 5:54 PM

Any ADA lawyers want to help me out on the above posting of discrimination? Please contact:

Posted by: Gary R. Adler | July 5, 2006 5:58 PM

Hello there,

I got your Ad on here on your request for Loan,We can offer you a Loan suitable for you if you are interested in having it,Personal Loan,Small and Large Business Loan,Home Loan.

We will offer you a Loan with a Low interest rate and we earn your business a very good Financial backups,Do contact me as soon as possible,if you are still very much interested in having the Loan.

I await your reply.

email me @

Dr.Howard William
Finance Director

Posted by: howard williams | July 15, 2006 5:31 AM

ameriquest also apprased our home $85,000
moere then it is worth. We went to table vulnerable and humble. Our interest rate went from 63/4 whih we were told at bgining to 83/4% We we stunned. Wewanted to walk Ameiquest said they woulld sue us as the check were made to creditors already. We knew no different, after signing and getting checks they only paid majority of creditors 1/2 of what we owed them. They manipulated, lied, decieved us. We had to file BK our lives have not been the same since.Ameriquest knew they did big wrogs and sold our loan on a month later to Franklin Mortage. We found out
later we are still in home have not made payment were protected with BK yet foreclosure is soon
going to start. We are broke, had many wonderful years in our home We improved
it in better times. We have no idea where to turn to The attny General said we would
be contacted that was in Jan 06 It is now 8/06 we have heard nothing. What can we do
these guys ripped us off aqnd stole our hearts. Selfish and self centered Mr ameriquest himself is a billionaire for Gods sake, he gives Bush Millions Will the real hurting people get anything or is that going to Bush also? Who do we contact before our name is printed in news as foreclosure please contact please help innocent, decent, people who lost everything because of deception and greed. thanks God Bless you pleas reply any help will be great Patti

Posted by: patti burkhart | August 8, 2006 11:28 PM


Posted by: ROBIN | August 9, 2006 6:28 PM

Yes it is true.I know it is hard to believe
but I am another totally disatisfied and now homeless client of The wonderful Crooks
down at your local Ameriquest office.i doubt they would print what I really would like to post.I refinanced because of an injury at work.I was looking for lower payments and a little cash out.Same old Ameribust story.Low fixed,property taxes and insurance covered in payments,no pre payment penalties.Wow this looks great right up to the day the loan was supposed to close and they told me,turns out your credit is not as good as we thought it was.Therefor yep you got it higher rates almost 9k in points but dont pay any attention that money is coming from your cash out.and please dont bother to read any of the other changes while i flip through all these loan docs so fast you can barely initial them.dont worry we will make sure that all is in order.
These rotten no good crooks ruined my life.They knew i was injured and proceeded to stick the knife in the rest of the way.from a 968.00 a month to 1677.00 a month killed me.Then to find out the property taxes were not paid nor was the insurance was the final blow.I thought it was the final blow,after struggling for a year and a half of being in preforeclosure and getting told by their customer service reps. over and over again"just pay the damn bill you stupid fool,cuz we is gonna foreclose on you if you dont."And other reassuring things that the fine folks at ameribust are told to tell their sinking clients.I decided to sell before 125k in house payments went totally to waste.Yes you guessed it there was the@#%$# people from ameribust with their hands in my pocket again digging for the prepayment of the things that really kills me is that of 1677.00 a month only 48.00 of it was principle.that is an awful lot of interest that I am interested in getting back.the property is in S.L.O. county california and is now worth around 785k d it makes me want
to throw up.i have lived here for over 30 years ,i am a single father of two daughters and can no longer
get into a house around here.
Lets see they burned me for over 100k up front,then there is the 575k-600k in equity I have lost.not to mention the nice little Hell i have been living since signing those ameribust loan docs.
i am already in the class action and am wondering if any body can tell me about settlement checks. thank You
steve in atascadero calif

Posted by: Steve | August 15, 2006 12:12 PM

I also am a victim of Ameriquest Mortgage every thing i have just read from all of you people is the same exact story i have i think we should all gather and go after people why invest in a bunch of attorney fees that wont get us ant where any ways and these big civil class action suits arent nothing either all you get in Michigan is $200.00 and Granholm sued for 395,000000.00 WHATS $200.00.
If any one has any info Please contact me at Hurt and tired stacie

Posted by: Stacie Morse | August 18, 2006 10:37 AM

Asking God for help from my rooftop.

I painted God help us please on our roof and Ameriquest Sucks!

We were hit by Ameriquest then hurricanes, still suffering from all.

It's been close to 2 years Ameriquest can't or wont answer any questions about the insurance so that we can't try to get back to our land and rebuild.

Right now 1/2 of us are living in a small 12x24 shed turned in to a small home, it sucks everyday!

I have sent letter to everyone at ameriquest including the owner Roland Arnall and the PR guy Chris Orlando and their attorneys. none of them will help me get information about the insurance or help in resolving this nightmare they caused.

We want to live in a real home!

Posted by: | August 27, 2006 10:10 AM

I refiance my house in dec 2003,and ever since i have live in living hell,i was told by there representive that he was going to paid off all my debts,instead he did`nt pay y taxes that he promise,he told me that he would move my interest up and then in six month lower to all most half ,he call and had the house appaised and told me that ever thing was go ,but that the last i spoke to him . I showed a friend who was a loan officer and he told me that the guy really screw me because he mad about 10,000 dollars in his pocket. these corperation should be stripe of any kind of housing rights. i would just like to know when will be able to get are money ,in my condition before it to late

Posted by: richard beltran | September 12, 2006 3:55 PM

Can I still get in on the lawsuit?? They are scewing us over still !!

Posted by: Hsmith | September 13, 2006 9:43 PM

Recently my wife and I heard about deceitful loaning practices that Ameriquest employs. Wanting more information about this bad press on Ameriquest all I simply had to do was Google Ameriquest class action law suite and viola I ended up here with plenty to read. When we heard about their deceitful loaning practices we were in fear that we may have fallen into the same trap as many others. So we decided it would be in our best interest to leave Ameriquest and refinance with a different mortgage company. So we tried Wells Fargo. To my dismay Ameriquest apparently over appraised our value of our home by $10,000. I have settled in on the amount of $10,000 because Wells Fargo's appraisers have appraised the value of our home at $10,000 less than it appraised for 3 years ago by Ameriquest.

Ameriquest states they only loan 80% of your homes value while many other mortgage companies will go 100% of your mortgage. In fear of losing business to their competitors who do go 100% of your homes value this is what it appears to me they do. Instead of financing 100% of your homes value they figure out what 80% of your home value is then they over appraise by 20% or even more to get to a 100% or greater. Once this happens to you they own you. I am very upset to find out that my home is now worth $10,000 less than I was led to believe it was 3 years ago. Is there any thing I can do? Is there a list I should be on of people who have been scammed by Ameriquest for a class action law suite?

Please help

PS no Spamming please

Posted by: | September 19, 2006 7:14 PM

Has anyone actually received anything from Michigan yet after the settlement? It's been over a year and I still have heard nothing from the State.

Posted by: John D | September 19, 2006 10:29 PM

Just wanted everyone to know that "loan sharks" are alive and very well in northeastern Ohio. Ameriquest had done a real "number" on me. Inflating my income was one of many things that did to ruin my credit, home and my life. I am sueing them and hope alot of people do too. I think a class action suit is the way to go.

These people should be punished and sent to jail, just like the "good ole boys" from the former Enron Company.

Posted by: Jackie from Ohio | September 29, 2006 4:08 PM

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