Meredian Financial Corporation/Services / Mortgage Refinance Fraud
My wife and I made the mistake of trying to refinance with this company! Around December 3, 2009, we began refinancing our house with Meredian Financial Corporation of Costa Mesa, CA. They were going to get us a fixed 30-year mortgage at 5.125% interest rate. We paid already close to $3000.00 in a lock, down that was supposed to go towards closing costs, and an appraisal, which occurred on December 20th.
The loan still hadn't closed after the new year and they said it couldn't because they needed more financial proof that we wouldn't default on the loan. When they required complete tax returns from 2007 and 2008, we began doing come investigating (talking with friends that are mortgage brokers, this is not an uncommon practice but one that we had never experienced with a refinance).
Through the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI - a division of the Attorney General in Washington State), we discovered that they are neither licensed in Washington state to broker mortgages, nor do they have a surety bond. I immediately filed a complaint with the DFI and filed a fraud alert with the Social Security Administration. That week I wrote no less than three e-mails ending the transaction and demanding a total refund. The replies avoided the refund, justified their position and requested a return telephone call to discuss the matter, of which I refused - I requested to only correspond via e-mail. Below is a list of people who initially handled the account, followed by those up the chain of command who contacted me:
Broker: Michael Iriarte(firstname.lastname@example.org); Loan Processor: Jennifer Mitchell(email@example.com); Russell Howerton (firstname.lastname@example.org); John Huizar (email@example.com); j (j@Meredian.com) - I would assume that's James Assali, but can't confirm for certain.
This is a breakdown of the expenses: $1707.13 payment that was to be applied to closing costs $12.99 wire transfer reimbursal $750.00 lock in fee $450.00 appraisal. To keep from going into default on our mortgage with our current mortgage lender, Bank of America, we had to pull money from our adoption fund that we've been saving up for the past year. We are right on the cusp of adopting - all of the paperwork/classes are done and we are just waiting for the child. We live on one single-teacher's income, as my wife stays at home with our 4-yr-old daughter.
After a week of waiting for a reponse, I then filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Southland, Inc - Southern California. Note this - when we originally started the loan, they had the BBB symbol on their website; they even had the logo on their e-mails, rating them an "A-." They are not members of the BBB and the BBB logo is now absent from their website. After two attempts to contact them with no response, the BBB has now closed the file. You can access the BBB's rating of them at
which now gives them an "F" rating.
In the meantime, I sent Meredian two more e-mails demanding a total refund. Again, no response, so I filed a complaint with the Department of Real Estate of California http://www.dre.ca.gov/ and the National Fraud Information Center. www.fraud.org
I waited a month to file this report, hoping that Meredian would make good on the refund. Seeing that they have not, I'm hoping the goverment will do their part.