Alternative Lending of Colorado, a Colorado Springs-based company, and its managing general partner, James W. Dale III , 64, Pueblo West, Colorado, and top loan originator, April A. Bigler, 29, Pueblo West, Colorado, have been sued for allegedly deceptive trade practices.
According to the complaint, filed in Fremont County District Court, Bigler regularly engaged in deceptive trade practices, including misrepresenting loans’ interest rates, quoting monthly mortgage payments to consumers that did not include taxes and insurance costs, and delaying closings to pressure consumers into signing a mortgage. The complaint also alleges that Bigler worked with appraisers to over-value homes, resulting in borrowers owing more on their homes than they were worth; failed to attend closings, which did not allow borrowers to ask questions about the terms of their loans; inflated borrowers’ incomes on their mortgage applications; and failed to provide timely, accurate or complete disclosures to borrowers.
As a result of the deceptive trade practices alleged in the complaint, nearly 44 percent of borrowers for whom Bigler originated a mortgage loan experienced some type of foreclosure action. Dale is alleged to have known about Bigler’s misconduct and not taken any disciplinary action.
The Office of the Attorney General began investigating Bigler and Alternative Lending of Colorado after receiving more than 15 complaints about the alleged misconduct, which took place between 2004 and 2008. The majority of the borrowers for whom Bigler originated mortgage loans live in Cañon City, Colorado.
As part of its lawsuit, the Office of the Attorney General is seeking restitution for the victims of Alternative Lending’s business practices, civil penalties, disgorgement of unjust proceeds, and an injunction, barring the defendants from engaging in false and deceptive lending practices.