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This Fall's Must Read: 'The Monster'

"Exposes" of the subprime mortgage industry have been done before. But Public Citizen's Consumer Law & Policy Blog posted yesterday about a new book being released in a couple of weeks that sounds particularly juicy. And nauseating.

The book is Michael W. Hudson's "The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America -- and Spawned a Global Crisis." While I think the subtitle is a bit wordy, the excerpt available on publisher Macmillan's website has me ready to order a copy.

The excerpt details the outright fraud and forgery witnessed by a former mortgage broker for Ameriquest at several of the company's offices. Selecting an excerpt from the excerpt was hard, because there are so many to choose from. Try this on:

At companywide gatherings, Ameriquest's managers and sales reps loosened up with free alcohol and swapped tips for fooling borrowers and cooking up phony paperwork. What if a customer insisted he wanted a fixed-rate loan, but you could make more money by selling him an adjustable-rate one? No problem. Many Ameriquest salespeople learned to position a few fixed-rate loan documents at the top of the stack of paperwork to be signed by the borrower. They buried the real documents—the ones indicating the loan had an adjustable rate that would rocket upward in two or three years—near the bottom of the pile. Then, after the borrower had flipped from signature line to signature line, scribbling his consent across the entire stack, and gone home, it was easy enough to peel the fixed-rate documents off the top and throw them in the trash.

And that's just from the introduction.

Read more about the book here.

Posted by Eric Lipman on October 11, 2010 at 01:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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