The Mortgage Meltdown

Fraud charges hit Minneapolis mortgage firm

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 23, 2011 - 1:18 PM

The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Friday that it charged International Mortgage Solutions and its owner, Sylvester Luellen, with multiple counts of civil mortgage fraud.

The Minneapolis-based company allegedly failed to acquire or forged signatures on loan documents relating to 10 clients. In one case, International Mortgage Solutions originated a loan for Jose Hernandez Perez to buy a residential property in St. Paul, but Perez claims he misunderstood the process and thought he was cosigning a loan for a friend.

In addition, the company failed to inform the state that Luellen had a criminal record, including drug possession and disorderly conduct.

Records show that Luellen filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in November. He could not be reached Friday for comment.

The department ordered Luellen to appear next month at a hearing before an administrative law judge. He faces suspension or the loss of his license and other civil penalties. Commerce spokesman Bill Walsh said Luellen also may face criminal charges.

The case is not related to the recent FBI crackdown on mortgage fraud, Walsh said.

Thomas Lee • 612-673-7744

  • about this series

  • This is an occasional series examining the effects of the collapse of the housing market.
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