Merit Financial - Subprime Lender
This major Washington state-based subprime lender collapsed in spring last year under the weight of buybacks of low-quality issuance and fraud complaints, as refis slowed down. The company was started in 2001 by former Huskies football player Scott Greenlaw, who apparently ran the company like a frat house (as the first article above adequately illustrates).
Merit allegedly originated around $2 bln (not sure if this was in 2005 or from 2001-2005) and reached 410 employees at its peak. I have seen claims that it was the #1 wholesale lender in Washington state as of 2005 (by what metric, I am not sure). More than 300 were laid off all at once in the May 2006 collapse, with further lawsuits created as many (most?) of them were not paid.
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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.