One of the nation’s leading wholesale mortgage lenders is facing a $2 million fine from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey over charges it gave borrowers loan modifications with ballooning monthly payments they could not afford.

Under the terms of the settlement, Caliber will provide loan modification relief to Massachusetts borrowers who applied for modifications and were foreclosed upon due in part to Caliber’s conduct. Caliber will also institute a new loan modification program and review Massachusetts borrowers currently on interest-only or short-term modifications to provide them a more sustainable, affordable modification.

“Mortgage servicing companies have a duty to help Massachusetts residents avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes,” Healey said in a statement. “Our settlement with Caliber will provide relief to borrowers across the state and sends a clear message that we will protect homeowners when companies break the law.”

The AG’s Office alleged Caliber violated a 2012 state law, known as Chapter 35B, that protects certain borrowers from foreclosure. The law requires creditors to make a good faith effort to avoid foreclosure for borrowers whose mortgage loans have unfair subprime terms.

Healey’s office said Caliber predominantly offered struggling homeowners loan modifications with payments that were temporarily lower and only covered the interest due on the loan each month. After a few years, however, borrowers would see their mortgage payments balloon to an amount even higher than what they originally were paying and which they could not afford, setting borrowers up to again face foreclosure. The company also routinely gave borrowers the runaround about missing documents required for the loan modification review process, Healey’s office said.

AG Fines Caliber Home Loans $2M Over Unaffordable Loan Modifications

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min