A group of 11 former employees are accusing AmeriSave Mortgage Corp. in a new lawsuit of failing to pay the wages, bonuses and commissions that were agreed to when they were hired by the company. The group also alleges that the company conducted a defamatory campaign against them after their layoffs in July 2022.
According to the class-action-seeking lawsuit, filed in California, AmeriSave hired 200 loan officers to focus on the West Coast region in early 2022. It was part of the Atlanta-based mortgage lender’s strategy for developing a retail mortgage sales division.
During job interviews, executives at AmeriSave allegedly said the company had a $1.5 billion war chest to navigate the challenging market, according to the lawsuit.
“They said the upcoming ‘rough times’ would eliminate the competition and leave AmeriSave in a dominant position,” attorneys for the plaintiffs wrote.
However, the employees say they spent between one to three months at AmeriSave before the company imposed layoffs. In total, about 140 employees separated from the company between July 15, 2022 and August 15, 2022, the attorneys estimate.
According to the former employees, AmeriSave did not pay the wages, bonuses and commissions guaranteed by their offer of employment.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges that after the layoffs, executives at the lender communicated with some of the top industry recruiters to say the former employees had not met performance goals and also made “derogatory entries” on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).
According to a spokesperson, “As a policy, AmeriSave Mortgage does not comment publicly on pending litigation.” National Mortgage News first reported on the case.
The lawsuit also alleges that the LOs’ NMLS records showed a termination “for cause,” which gives regulators cause to investigate the former employees.
According to the lawsuit, “this sort of notation gives rise to speculations that the true cause might have been rape, or sexual harassment, workplace violence, theft or other serious, or even criminal issues.”
The lawsuit includes allegations of fraud, breach of contract, negligence, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, violations of the Warn Act and defamation, among others. Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate that the total amount owed is at least $43.5 million when considering all 140 potential class members.
AmeriSave is ranked No. 38 among the top U.S. mortgage lenders. The company originated $12 billion in 2022, down 62.2% year over year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance estimates.
In September, HousingWire reported that AmeriSave exited the wholesale channel. This decision came after the mortgage lender imposed numerous layoffs across the company, according to former employees and business partners.