Minnesota AG sues Meredian Financial Group in refinancing scheme
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed suit against lender and loan broker Meredian Financial Corp. over an alleged mortgage refinancing scheme targeting troubled borrowers Friday. Swanson's office released a statement, saying it filed a complaint, accusing Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Meredian Financial of charging Minnesota homeowners thousands of dollars to refinance mortgages and then reneging on their duty to carry out the refinancings. Attempts to reach a Meredian representative through the company's listed number were unsuccessful. The Minnesota AG alleges that Meredian first passed itself off as the homeowners' current mortgage lender and then offered refinancings with the alleged perks of low fixed-rates, limited out-of-pocket expenses and no appraisal requirements. The AG suit contends Meredian got clients to pay upfront fees to lock their refinancing arrangement, saying it would be refunded at closing. "Once Meredian obtained the upfront fees from a given homeowner, it would cease work on the loan file, creating excuses such as asking for documents the homeowner had already provided or that were irrelevant to the refinance, or changing the terms of the refinance with higher rates and fees," the AG's office said Friday. "Homeowners who attempted to cancel and requested that Meredian return their up-front fees were denied refunds," Swanson's office added. Write to Kerri Panchuk.