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Envision Lending Group Inc. - Agency, FHA/VA, Alt-A, Subprime

2009-10-29

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stories: chicagotribune.com

Update - 2009-10-29: A major geographic contraction and hundreds of layoffs first brought our attention to Envision Lending Group at the end of 2008. That was preceded by the involuntary revocation of their licensing in Illinois which, although appealed and eventually reinstated, was ultimately allowed to lapse and became inactive on 2009-08-10. It seems now that the company, which still reports nine offices and over 1,100 loan officers on its web site (view snapshot), is folding the rest of its operations. We received a copy of a 2009-10-27 memo sent out by Amy Anderson, President of Envision Lending Group, announcing that the company was being "merged to" another company. We have been told it's "the people... not the company" who will be moving:

"We know that there have been many rumors for many months about Envision Lending Group and we appreciate all of your patience as we have been trying since May of this last year to put together an alliance with either a correspondent lender or a bank, knowing the broker world will change dramatically on January 1, 2010. We have just recently secured the alliance we were hoping for and we are now ready to announce the details: Envision Lending Group, Inc. will be merging to Essex Mortgage based out of Orange, California."

Based on the wording of the memo, it appears the executive team will not be part of the shift and will remain with their staff at the company's current main office located in Jordan, UT to head up a "new non-mortgage related company" referred to elsewhere in the memo. Envision Lending Group's offices in Orem, UT and Las Vegas, NV (and their respective staffs) will join Essex Mortgage according to Anderson's letter. A fourth office in Salt Lake City, UT will reportedly remain open up until its lease expiration at the end of the year.

There is no mention regarding the disposition of five other offices currently listed on their web site (view snapshot). Of those, we were able to confirm the Stroudsburgh, PA office was being shut down. Phones for the Goodlettsville, TN office have been disconnected.

An exact date for the end of Envision Lending Group's operation was not given. In the memo Anderson tells loan officers they were "welcome to start using" Essex, but stated access to company email and the web site would continue for "at least 90 days." Anderson did not return our calls or email seeking further comment with regard to the memo.

Original Ailing Listing - 2008-12-16: Envision President Amy Anderson confirmed that they "have filed a petition for a hearing with Illinois."

"If you go to the state's website you will see that our license is active and has a pending hearing. As we have stated before we are not closing our doors, we are simply downsizing which is the smart thing in this market.

Our attorney's have asked us not to release any information beyond this since we are building our case."

The State's web site now displays Envision's licensing status as "ACTIVE -- REVOCATION - UNDER APPEAL."

Original Ailing Post - 2008-12-02: In what one LO described as a "sudden, surprise move," Envision Lending Group Inc. President Amy Anderson sent out a memo today announcing they would not renew licensing in 20 states where they were due to expire December 31, 2008.

"We have decided that to ensure further control we have to make this difficult decision. We will only remain licensed in these states for the next 30 days and then we will not allow any further loans to close in these states nor we will also not be able to continue employment for loan officers who live in these states."

In addition to an unknown number of home-based originators, six offices are affected based on the states listed. These include Birmingham, AL, Honolulu, HI, Idaho Falls, ID, Baltimore, MD, Raleigh, NC, and Goodlettsville, TN. According to their web site, Envision had 1,800 loan officers and was doing business in 47 states. Headquartered in South Jordan, UT, the company lists seven additional offices in states unaffected by the announcement.

Envision Lending Group Inc. was one of two firms whose licensing was revoked by the State of Illinois along with two loan originators resulting from a state investigation that began in October 2008. Appraiser Peter Petrovich and an unlicensed real estate broker, LMB Properties LLC, were formally charged in connection with an alleged fraud scheme as reported in the Chicago Tribune last week. The Order Revoking License focused on former Envision employee Arthur Pascu who "operated as a branch manager for Envision from an unlicensed branch office in his home." Envision has 10 days to respond.

We spoke briefly with President Amy Anderson, who indicated they intend to respond to Illinois but declined to elaborate any further. Asked how many staff were being let go due to the non-renewals, she answered "about 400."

Please contact us if you can provide additional information.


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Comments:

envisionlending at 12:36 2008-12-05 said:
I am glad to see that Brokers that don't play by the rules are finally being recognized by State Regulatory Officials and by Mortgage Implode. Not only does it appear that Envision Lending Group is in trouble (due to loosing and not renewing licensing) those of us that deal with them every day know they don't play by the rules. I have several friends that worked their and recently left that claim they allow individual loan officers to broker loans in States where they are not licenced and get paid a commision after putting the loan in another Loan Officers name who is licensed. They also claim they get paid the majority of their commission to a marketing company and submit fake invoices to avoid paying taxes and operate like independant contractors. It is nice to see company's like this leave the industry!! Permalink
Why so Serious? at 16:53 2008-12-15 said:
I don't think it's a matter of punishing those that don't play by the rules. Envision is one of the most compliant mortgage companies in existence. That is something you can verify with the DRE. I think the licensing move is a smart one, the industry is extremely volatile and the only way for a company to remain relevant is to adapt and make the necessary compliant changes that are required. That is something that a lot of brokers overlook and that is why those brokers find themselves in trouble. Envision hasn't paid loan officers through a marketing company for some time, which wasn't sketchy to begin with. Fake invoices? really? Thats laughable. Anyone that has honestly taken the time to familiarize themselves with Envision has found the experience to be a good one. It is the dishonest loan officers that move from company to company that sully the name of good brokers. Don't expect Envision to be going anywhere, they are a staple in the mortgage industry. Permalink
1 More Thing at 16:05 2008-12-16 said:
Are you sure this conversation is about Envision Lending?

When it comes to companies that are Felonious and RICO bound, I am sure you are talking about SunnyMtg.com out of Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Talking about scandalous and "Fake" Invoices... OMG... At least AMY pays people. Sumit Gadhh -steals the L.O.'s commission checks. People close Loans and he keeps their money.

He makes Envision Lending look like a Girls Scout Troop. Permalink

kimberlyspentit at 18:15 2008-12-16 said:
Who is this Macey Buker with Envision???? Is he the real owner of Envision? He refused to pay me when I left. Envision owes me over $14,000. Does Envision owe anyone else???? Permalink
Tampax at 21:04 2008-12-17 said:
Is this him? http://www.utahsright.com/charges.php?first=&last=buker&search=1 Permalink
Utah Mortgage Pro at 00:52 2008-12-20 said:
I had the unfortunate opportunity to work with Envision loan officers over the past 5 years. The owners absolutely know what is going on and help the loan officers make it happen. I have personally witnessed them offering to "fire them on the spot" in order to avoid being terminated by a lender only to see the same loan officer back in their offices the next week.

Jerry and Macey are nice as can be until you have a problem with one of their loan officers. It's like a military inquisition. And God help you if your lender is cutting them off. The gloves come off and Jerry and Macey will show up at your wholesale office ready for a fight. They truly do believe that they are above the rest of us who actually have to play by the rules. Exact quote from Jerry was "Go ahead, cut us off and see how long you last in the Utah market!". Overinflated ego much? I've heard Macey is an owner, but not legally because he's not allowed due to prior convictions!

Don't think for one moment that they decided to be honest and pay W2 wages just because it was ethical...oh no, I heard that didn't happen until they were fined several hundred thousand dollars for NOT abiding by the law!!

Be very careful who you work for - when you're one of thousands of loan officers making them rich, you mean NOTHING and if you leave, nobody will miss you because there are 100 more waiting to pay for your cubicle! Permalink

jamie at 12:24 2008-12-28 said:
for Mortgage fraud and undisclosed YSP. I would be interested to speak to anybody else out their in the same situation. Permalink
Tampax at 16:46 2009-11-04 said:
Good riddance. Permalink
1 More Thing at 11:31 2009-12-03 said:
http://dbf.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_79369762/153211831MaceyBuker_Order.pdf

Well, I guess the information about Macey Buker being a convicted felon - has finally found it's way to DBF in Georgia Permalink

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Important: This company is on our list of lending operations that have "imploded". However, please note that "imploded" is a somewhat subjective and does not necessarily mean operations are ceased permanently: it can mean bankruptcy filing, temporary but open-ended halting of major operations, or "firesale" acquisition. All information here is provisional, and may contain inaccuracies (especially newer information). If you are planning on doing business with this company or any other one listed on this site, you should inquire with them directly on whether they can still meet your needs. Many are still operating in some capacity.