The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has banned two lenders from operating in the state after it found that the companies were employing convicted felons, which is a violation of Georgia state law.

Alabama-based Hometown Lenders and California-based Sun West Mortgage Company have both been ordered to surrender their Georgia mortgage lending licenses and were fined by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance for the violations.

According to the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, Sun West employed nine convicted felons, which is prohibited in Georgia.

Additionally, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance rule 80-11-4-4.08 requires “that no person employed by or directing the affairs of any licensee may be a convicted felon and that it is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure compliance.”

Per the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, violation of those rules leads to the revocation of the company’s lending license and a fine of $5,000 per felon.

Consequently, Sun West was ordered to surrender its license and fined $45,500.

According to the consent order that announced Sun West’s punishment, “Sun West Mortgage Company will never apply for a Georgia mortgage broker or Georgia mortgage lender license.”

Additionally, Sun West Mortgage Company's owners, Hari Agarwal and Pavan Agarwal, were “ordered to not direct the affairs of or act as a branch manager of a Georgia mortgage broker or mortgage lender.”

Hometown Lenders was also ordered to surrender its Georgia mortgage lending license for employing two felons and transacting business with an unlicensed mortgage processing company.

The company was also fined $24,000 for its violations and its owners, William Taylor, Jr., William Taylor, Sr. and Byron Quick, were also “ordered to not direct the affairs or act as a branch manager of a Georgia mortgage broker or mortgage lender” for five years.

According to the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, Hometown Lenders will be allowed to close or complete work on all loans that were originated by Sept. 12 and received a funding commitment by Sept. 16 as long as the loans are completed or closed by Oct. 14.

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