MILA - Online-based Lender


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Update - 2008-09-08: The Puget Sound Business Journal today reports that former MILA CEO Layne Sapp, wife Cari, and six limited liability companies affiliated with the Sapp's have been named as defendants in a Counterclaim suit filed by the Bankruptcy Trustee for MILA. The court is seeking $6 million in damages and a jury trial, alleging Sapp "'looted' the company for personal gain for two years before it shuttered."

"The company spent millions of dollars on private aircraft and travel expenses at a time when it was losing money, and Sapp charged the company for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his personal yacht in 2004 and 2005, the complaint says."

Read the complaint in its entirety here (pdf).

Original Listing - 2007-04-20:This lender (full name: Mortgage Investment Lending Associates) was an online market-maker in residential loans. The following notice was posted on their site at the time of writing:

MILA would like to thank all of the mortgage brokers we've done business with over the years. Due to current market conditions, we do not have the resources available to continue lending. It is with great regret that we announce we are ceasing operations effective April 20th, 2007.

MILA was owned by Washington Consumer Loan Company, and based in Washington state. As of 2006, they had around 600 employees, with $4.5 billion in loan volume for 2005 and $5.5 billion projected for 2006. On this Google cache of one of their information pages, they state:

Current monthly loan fulfillment through the AccessPoint platform averages $400 million from activities in 26 states. MILA generates its revenue through fixed monthly fees charged to broker/subscribers and derives additional revenue through the sale of product to major investors.

As of 2006, that subscriber base was 5,000 companies, 10,000 offices, and 40,000 mortgage professionals. Their activities were mostly centered in the West and Mid-West, with a full list appearing in the cached page above (again, as of early 2006).

According to announcements previously sent to the Implode-O-Meter, on February 16, MILA had eliminated subprime, ratcheted Alt-A up to 620, and moved conforming up to 660. Their origination and portfolio mix up until that point is unknown.

Update: I've added two more MSM articles on MILA's shutdown, forwarded to us by a reader. The first article states that MILA's employment peaked at 700, and was about 300 when the company shut down. It also contains this telling quote:

Former employee Mary Linares of Marysville, let go last year, said she was appalled at the nature of loans MILA was funding.

"We would see things that shouldn't have been happening," she said Monday. "When we pointed it out, instead of being grateful, they'd get mad at us."


moneychanger at 12:47 2008-09-09 said:
Justice is coming at you--should have happen along time ago-

Remember your internal appraisal reviews that alway seemed to put your 1st mortgages at 75% ltv--sweet spot in secondary--the mila mini would come and cover the extra cash needed. When the trend was to inflate the appraisal--you discovered deflating was also profitable--true visionary! That is fraud too---justice is coming and all that money is going back to the people you took it from. 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.