MA Attorney General Settlement with James Moniz, Daniel Matthews, and Direct Finance Corp.

MA Attorney General Settlement with
James Moniz, Daniel Matthews, and Direct Finance Corp.

 

We care about seniors.  Please check the facts.

Direct Finance Corp. was shocked and disappointed with the MA Attorney General’s disingenuous press release regarding its settlement with a third-party unassociated financial planner named James Moniz and Direct Finance’s loan officer Daniel Matthews.

Mr. Moniz had referred several of his clients to Direct Finance.  Over the past three years, Direct Finance has vigorously refuted the purported allegations by the AG’s office of alleged improper actions regarding a financial advisor and reverse mortgages.

Borrower Affidavits,  At no time did the AG’s office offer a shred of substantiated evidence of any wrongdoing.  Quite the contrary, Direct Finance provided executed affidavits from reverse mortgage borrowers referred by Moniz specifically stating that:

  • They voluntarily applied for a reverse mortgage
  • Were fully informed about the pros & cons as well as the costs of a reverse mortgage
  • They never felt any pressure from Direct Finance to obtain a reverse mortgage;
  • Direct Finance never was part of any investment decisions the borrowers contemplated;
  • None of the borrowers had filed a complaint with the Attorney General

You are encouraged to review the facts and read the official public documents.  Borrower Affidavits

No Settlement Payment from Direct Finance

The AG’s press release also falsely gives the impression that Direct Finance contributed to the $137,000 settlement between the AG and the financial planner.  Quite the contrary.  Direct Finance made no financial settlement and views this as a victory over the AG’s unsubstantiated allegations.  The cost and time to try a case is substantial.  The AG’s office and the financial planner chose to mitigate their potential loses and settle for $137,000 whereas Direct Finance never wavered in its position of no wrongdoing.

You are encouraged to review the facts and read the public court document that Direct Finance and its loan officer Daniel Matthews made no financial settlement with the AG’s office.

See: No Settlement Payment by Direct Finance

Financial Planning Disclosure

Direct Finance does agree with the AG’s office that reverse mortgages are a complicated loan program, that there are costs associated with obtaining a reverse mortgage, and that there are dangers of borrowers using loan proceeds for investment purposes. The AG’s press release gives a different impression.  In fact, during discussions with the AG’s office, Direct Finance strongly advocated for an additional disclosure for all reverse mortgage borrowers to ensure that they understood the risks of working with a financial planner as well as better delineate the fact that a reverse mortgage company is not part of any investment decision process.  You are encouraged to review the facts and read the “Financial Planning & Investment Activities Disclosure” created by Direct Finance.

see: Financial Planning & Investment Activities Disclosure

Lesson learned

Direct Finance is a local company that has served over 5,000 borrowers over the past 20 years.  Our business comes almost exclusively from referrals from former borrowers, real estate agents, and trusted advisors.  Regarding reverse mortgages, we have more designated Certified Reverse Mortgage Professionals than any company in the Commonwealth and have always been an advocate of fully educating people about the risks and benefits of reverse mortgages.

We were more than saddened that the AG’s office lumped us into their legal action against a financial planner for alleged improper investments.  The settlement is a hollow victory because it tarnished our company, our experienced trustworthy employees, and continues the myth that reverse mortgages are bad.

The lesson learned is a borrower and financial planner may be considering using the loan proceeds from a reverse mortgage for investment purposes without the knowledge of Direct Finance and its loan officers.  We have implemented training and borrower disclosures that are well above industry standards to ensure that borrowers who are referred from financial planners must disclose to us their intentions.  Though not prohibited by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Direct Finance frowns upon the use of reverse mortgage proceeds for investment purposes and requires all borrowers to acknowledge that they fully understand the risks of using any loan proceeds for investment purposes.

Next step

This has been a painful experience of successfully defending unwarranted allegations.  We fully understand how the rumor mill can be perceived as fact.  You are encouraged to review the facts or contact me at av@dfcmortgage.com or my direct line at 781-724-6221 with any questions and suggestions.  We value and appreciate our thousands of relationships and will continue to serve all of your referrals at the highest professional and ethical level.

Thank you.

It’s a good life.

Alain Valles
President