loanDepot top 25 originator surrenders California MLO license over allegations of mortgage misconduct

Brian Decker sits in the top 1% of the top 1% of mortgage loan production

Two years ago, Brian Decker made a big move over to loanDepot. Decker, who is one of the top 25 mortgage originators in the country and serves as a vice president of mortgage lending at loanDepot, even took part in a promotional YouTube video explaining why he was joining loanDepot.

“After my very first meeting with [loanDepot CEO] Anthony Hsieh. I called my assistant and I told him, ‘I just spoke to the most intelligent mind I’ve ever met.’” Decker said in the video.

loanDepot returns the praise in Decker’s online bio: “Brian Decker was recognized as the #1 Mortgage Originator in the United States for Volume Gain out of over 300,000 licensed mortgage originators by Scotsman Guide. For the last six years Brian Decker has been ranked as one the Top 25 Mortgage Originators in the U.S. by Scotsman Guide and Mortgage Executive Magazine.”

Decker impressively sits in the top 1% of the top 1% of mortgage loan production records, but his career is now hitting a speed bump as Decker must give up his California MLO license in a settlement with the California Department of Business Oversight, which accused Decker of failing to disclose that he'd previously run into trouble for allegedly taking borrowers' loan files with him from one job to another.

Decker was also accused of directly providing loan funds to a borrower without properly disclosing where the money came from.

Upon reviewing Calif. OAH CASE NO.: 2018050414, (.pdf here), it appears Decker will surrender his MLO license and will not be allowed to re-apply for another two years. Via email, Decker downplayed the case.

“This just relates to CA DBO MLO License I can still operate under the CA DRE MLO License," Decker told HousingWire. "The surrender was something I requested during settlement negotiations since it only affects the DBO license and not my MLO license in other jurisdictions,” Decker added, later saying that he is very pleased with the results of the settlement.

The pleading stems from an earlier case where Decker and his co-worker Benjamin Anderson left Mount Olympus Mortgage, which does business as TRU Mortgage, to go to Guaranteed Rate. In that case, a California jury found that Anderson and other former Mount Olympus employees illegally transferred hundreds of private consumer loan files from Mount Olympus Mortgage’s computer systems to Guaranteed Rate.

In total, Anderson allegedly stole early 200 active loan files, as well as the confidential information of approximately 900 Mount Olympus Mortgage clients.

Guaranteed Rate was ordered to pay $25 million in damages over the affair. Decker was later dismissed as a defendant.

The California Commissioner writes that Decker was required to disclose the fact that there was a pending financial-services related lawsuit in which Decker was a named party, but did not.

From the pleading:

“Decker failed to obtain consent from many of his former employer’s customers before sharing their confidential financial information with his new employer and made a personal gift/loan to a borrower without identifying to third parties the precise origin of the funds for the gift/loan.”

“Decker did not demonstrate the character, or that he could “command the confidence of the community,” or that he could “operate honestly, fairly, and efficiently,” necessary with respect to his job as an MLO operating in California.”

As the pleading notes, Decker also landed in some hot water over making a "personal gift" to a client in order to originate a loan, although these actions allegedly took place while Decker was working at Guaranteed Rate.

According to one of the previous documents in Decker's case, Decker allegedly used his wife to lend $15,000 to a borrower in order to secure a mortgage for the borrower, but took steps to hide the true nature of the situation.

From the charging document:

On or about March 2017, Decker processed a loan application for the purchase of a primary residence on behalf of a borrower while he was employed at Guaranteed. In order to qualify the borrower for a mortgage, Decker had his wife lend $15,000.00 to the borrower and her husband, but disguised it as a gift. Decker’s wife used her maiden name on the gift letter and withdrew funds from a bank account separate from Decker to fund the personal loan. The gift letter also falsely stated that Decker’s wife was a “cousin” of the borrower.

After the incident was brought to Guaranteed’s attention, Guaranteed reviewed Decker’s loan files during the time he was employed with Guaranteed. Guaranteed discovered that Decker’s wife had offered or made “gifts” to borrowers in two other loan transactions processed by Decker.

Decker neither admits nor denies the fact allegations against him and instead agreed to surrender his license to reach an “expeditious resolution that is in the best interests of all parties, and to avoid a costly trial that would be unnecessarily disruptive to the consumer services Decker provides and to his family life,” the pleading states.

Decker remains licensed in three other states, according to his loanDepot profile.

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