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Was There a Loan It Didnt Like?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, November 2, 2008
Posted: November 7th, 2008

As a senior mortgage underwriter, Keysha Cooper was proud of her ability to spot fraud and other problems in a loan application. But as a senior mortgage underwriter at Washington Mutual during the late, great mortgage boom, Ms. Cooper says she found herself in a vise. Brokers squeezed her from one side, her superiors from the other, she says, and both pressured her to approve loans, no matter what. At WaMu it wasnt about the quality of the loans; it was about the numbers, Ms. Cooper says. They didnt care if we were giving loans to people that didnt qualify. Instead, it was how many loans did you guys close and fund? When underwriters refused to approve dubious loans, they were punished, she says. In February 2007 ... the pressure became intense. WaMu executives told employees they were not making enough loans and had to get their numbers up, she says. They started giving loan officers free trips if they closed so many loans, fly them to Hawaii for a month, Ms. Cooper recalls. One of my account reps went to Jamaica for a month because he closed $3.5 million in loans that month. If a loan came from a top loan officer, they didnt care what the situation was, you had to make that loan work, she says. One loan file was filled with so many discrepancies that she felt certain it involved mortgage fraud. She turned the loan down, she says, only to be scolded by her supervisor. Ms. Cooper says that her bosses placed her on probation for 30 days for refusing to approve the loan and that her team manager signed off on the loan.

Note: For lots more on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.

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