Contractor Banned from Advertising Reverse Mortgages by State

Diamond Industries inc., a company who isn’t licensed to originate reverse mortgages in Pennsylvania has stopped doing business in the state after the Department of Banking banned it from soliciting customers without a license.

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking initially issued a cease-and-desist order against the company in December 2009 for promoting reverse mortgages in advertisements without a license. According to documents from the department, Diamond’s Web site used to read:

#1 provider of Reverse Mortgages in order to repair your home! You can get a HUGE sum of money and NEVER had to make a monthly payment, EVER! You may also consolidate existing debts. Loans are approved based on age and equity. CREDIT AND INCOME DON’T MATTER. Live in your home for the rest of your life with NO MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.

While Diamond told the DOB it never made any reverse mortgage loans to Pennsylvania consumers because it is a home improvement contractor, it displayed testimonials from a customer on its website which read, “Diamond Industries is an incredible company! They got me a fixed rate of interest of 5% and did a magnificent job of remodeling my kitchen…..”

Melvin Sklaroff, a spokesman for Diamond Industries told the Philadelphia Inquirer the firm and its sister company – Sapphire Builders – also had stopped running advertisements in Pennsylvania for reverse mortgages and other types of loans. “I’m not going to do any more business there,” said Sklaroff.

Last week, the DOB finished a consent decree in which Diamond agreed to stop advertising for any type of mortgage.

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