California Contractor State License Board Discipline
“Reverse Mortgage Fraud”
The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) takes an aggressive stand against contractors who appear to defraud elderly consumers into paying for seemingly unnecessary work using reverse mortgages. CSLB Investigators work with California District Attorney’s Offices and the Attorney General’s Office to pursue criminal and administrative action against individuals who commit Mortgage Fraud.
Reverse Mortgage Fraud is one aspect of Elder Financial Abuse. A Reverse Mortgage is only available to senior citizens. A Reverse Mortgage allows senior citizens to convert their home equity to cash, but payments on the loan are stayed until the house is sold. Thus, a Reverse Mortgage provides older homeowners with substantial capital to fund home improvement projects.
The CSLB believes that some contractors pressure elderly consumers into acquiring reverse mortgages. The reverse mortgage funds are then used for in many cases unnecessary home improvement projects. Additionally, CSLB Investigators look to see whether contractors are excessively overcharging their elderly customers, particularly those with access to substantial reverse mortgage home equity loans. Investigators also look to see whether the work has been completed to conform with accepted trade practices.
The Contractors State License Board partners with other organizations and holds seminars for senior citizens. Bank an finance center employees are also trained to spot possible instances of Reverse Mortgage Fraud and Elder Financial Abuse. These tactics have led to an increase in the number of investigations pertaining to elderly homeowners as victims.
CSLB Investigators refer Reverse Mortgage Fraud issues to both the Attorney General’s Office for the filing of an administrative Accusation against a contractors’ license through the California Office of Administrative Hearings and to criminal prosecutors. District Attorney’s Offices throughout California are actively combating Elder Financial Abuse. Reverse Mortgage Fraud is just one aspect of Elder Financial Abuse.
It is advisable that when contractors or Home Improvement Salespersons discuss reverse mortgages with elderly customers, a younger family member of the consumer be present and sign an acknowledgement. Additionally, the contractor should inquire as to whether the elderly homeowner has any medical conditions, which could impair their ability to understand reverse mortgages.
If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.
We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.