Keith Brotemarkle, one of the people indicted with Charles Head in an alleged “equity stripping” scheme called Operation Homewrecker, was also involved in a reverse mortgage company called Reverse Mortgage Resources.
The company’s website “invites qualified brokers to become Approved Reverse Mortgage Advisors” with Reverse Mortgage Resources. It asks potential affiliated brokers ” Who did you speak with at Reverse Mortgage Resources?”
One of the brokers listed as being at Reverse Mortgage Resources is Keith Brotemarkle.
Brotemarkle was allegedly a participant in Charles Head’s “equity stripping” scheme that netted approximately $5.9 million in stolen equity from 68 homeowners in states across the nation. Targeting distressed homeowners and defrauding mortgage lenders through the use of straw buyers, Head would receive approximately 97 percent of the stolen equity, while the other defendants received either the remaining 3 percent of equity or a salary from the fraudulently-obtained funding. The defendants used referrals from mortgage brokers to identify and solicit new victim homeowners, and also sent “blast faxes” to mortgage brokers throughout the country and mass emails to potential victims. Through misrepresentations and omissions, desperate homeowners would be offered what appeared to be their last best chance to save their homes. Victims were left without their homes, equity, or credit.
The FBI has recently announced that it has begun an investigation to the misuse of reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages release the equity in a property to the homeowner in one lump sum or multiple payments. The homeowner’s obligation to repay the loan is deferred until the owner dies, the home is sold, or the owner leaves the home. In the U.S., reverse mortgages are available for people 62 years old or older. Reverse mortgages are typically used to finance retirement or pay unexpected medical bills. While reverse mortgages can make sense for seniors, the FBI is concerned about possible abusive sales practices that prey on seniors, such as aggressive and untruthful marketing and excessive fees.
Reverse Mortgage Resources is run by mortgage broker Don Marginson. Its website states that it is located in Ranch Bernardo, California, and that it is “expanding again with offices to cover the Southeast and Northeast United States.”
We have no reason to believe that Reverse Mortgage Resources is not legitimate, and we would not want to assume that it is illegitimate simply because of its association with Brotemarkle.
But we would suggest that they remove Brotemarkle’s name from its website.