ClearPath Lending is Being Investigated: Find Out Why (2024)

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ClearPath Lending, a California mortgage lender, was recently discovered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for operating a VA loan scam that targeted military people and veterans. The CFPB issued a settlement decree and imposed a $625,000 civil penalty on ClearPath Lending. This article examines ClearPath Lending’s malicious acts and the implications of their fraudulent practices.

ClearPath Lending

On September 14, 2020, the CFPB filed a consent order against ClearPath Lending for making false, misleading, and incorrect statements about VA-guaranteed mortgages to military personnel and veterans. The company breached the CFPA, Regulation Z, and the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Rule. ClearPath Lending misrepresented the credit terms of its mortgages and failed to disclose the mandatory disclosures under Regulation Z.

The CFPB’s investigation turned up multiple examples of ClearPath Lending’s deceptive tactics, including misrepresenting APRs and lender fees, misleading fixed-rate mortgage ads, and falsely indicating involvement with the Department of Veterans Affairs. These actions resulted in a $625,000 civil penalty and extra obligations to prevent future offenses.

ClearPath Lending was not the only lender implicated in VA loan scams. Other mortgage lenders involved in similar scams included Accelerate Mortgage, LLC, Service 1st Mortgage, LLC, Hypotec, Inc., PHLoans.com, Inc., Go Direct Lenders, Inc., Prime Choice Funding, Inc., and Sovereign Lending Group, Inc. These frauds are especially heinous since they target military personnel and veterans who risk their life for the country.

ClearPath Lending’s deceptive practices

The CFPB’s inquiry revealed multiple fraudulent activities by ClearPath Lending:

  1. Misleading Credit Terms: ClearPath Lending marketed inaccurate APRs and misrepresented the terms of their mortgages. For example, they advertised a variable-rate mortgage with an erroneous APR, misinforming buyers about the true costs.
  2. False Promises of No Lender Fees: ClearPath advertised “NO Lender Fees” but required customers to pay discount points at closing, which contradicted their promises.
  3. Misleading Fixed-Rate marketing: ClearPath’s marketing implied fixed rates while they only offered variable-rate mortgages, misinforming customers about the terms of their loans.
  4. False Affiliation with the VA: ClearPath’s advertisements suggested a relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, leading clients to believe they were dealing with a VA-affiliated business.
  5. Insufficient Disclosures: ClearPath’s advertisements lacked the required facts under Regulation Z, such as repayment conditions and appropriate interest rates.

Senior Executive’s Legal Issues

ClearPath Lending’s senior executive, Said Djahanbin (aka Sean Dourdian), was convicted of making false statements to a financial institution and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 USC § 1014 and 18 USC § 2. He was compelled to pay $438,000 in reparations and sentenced to three years of supervised release. ClearPath Lending has attempted to separate itself from Dourdian, but his previous legal issues underscore the company’s questionable methods.

Attempts to bury the news

ClearPath Lending has spent significant money suppressing mentions of its VA loan scam in paid publications and phony reviews. Despite their history of deceitful methods, they have modified their web reputation to make themselves appear trustworthy.

Scholarship as Cover-Up

ClearPath Lending offers a $1,000 scholarship through an essay contest, most likely in an attempt to appear trustworthy and generous. However, this program appears to be a cover-up for their fraudulent operations rather than a real attempt to give back to society.

Customer Reviews and Complaints

ClearPath Lending boasts a near-perfect reputation on review sites such as ConsumerAffairs and Glassdoor, but these evaluations are untrustworthy owing to paid membership and manipulative practices. Many Glassdoor accusations detail issues such as employee exploitation, micromanagement, and nepotism at the organization.

CFPB Takes Action Against ClearPath Lending.

On September 14, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a content order against ClearPath Lending Inc. Why?

Because the CFPB discovered that ClearPath Lending was making false, misleading, and inaccurate statements concerning VA-guaranteed mortgages to military service members and veterans.

This violated the following regulations:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) prohibits deceptive tactics.
  • Regulation Z
  • Mortgage Acts and Practices: Advertising Rule (MAP Rule)

They discovered that ClearPath Lending sent out numerous advertising for VA-insured mortgages that misrepresented the credit parameters of the offered mortgage. Furthermore, they did not contain the information that Regulation Z requires.

Due to these major violations, the CFPB issued a consent decree requiring ClearPath to pay a $625,000 civil money penalty. Along with this punishment, the CFPB set additional conditions to ensure that ClearPath did not repeat these crimes in the future.

VA loan scams are quite risky. They target military personnel and veterans who risk their lives to defend our country.

ClearPath was not the only company implicated in the VA loan scam. Other mortgage lenders who were involved in the same fraud include:

  • Accelerate Mortgage, LLC
  • Service First Mortgage, LLC
  • Hypotec, Inc.
  • PHLoans.com, Inc.
  • Go Direct Lenders, Inc.
  • Prime Choice Funding Inc.
  • Sovereign Lending Group, Inc.

The CFPB began its inquiry after receiving reports of potentially illegal market advertising.

More information regarding the ClearPath Lending VA Loan Scam

I investigated more into the ClearPath VA loan scam and discovered a lot of information. The CFPB’s inquiry report detailed how this lender misrepresented to military professionals and veterans.

I’ve extracted the following items from the CFPB’s filings about this mortgage lender:

Lies About Credit Terms

ClearPath Lending lied about its credit terms, including interest rates, closing charges, payment amounts, and annual percentage rate (APR).

They typically advertise their VA loans and programs through direct mail. ClearPath failed to comply with federal consumer law laws prohibiting the use of deceptive and misleading information in mortgage ads.

ClearPath advertised particular credit terms while they did not actually offer them.

The Bureau discovered numerous instances when ClearPath misrepresented about the real credit parameters applicable to their provided mortgages. For example, between November and December 2017, one of their advertising featured a variable-rate mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 2.25% for the first three years and an annual percentage rate of 3.17 percent.

Unfortunately, the APR was inaccurate. When you compute the APR using Regulation Z, a suitably current index, and the requisite discount points, the minimum APR is 3.516%.

So ClearPath Lending was misrepresenting its advertised APR.

Lies About Lender Fees

In another occasion, their marketing in July 2017 stated “NO Lender Fees” in bold inside a box labeled “Closing Costs”. They mentioned a 3.17% APR in these adverts.

However, if a consumer did not pay two discount points at closing, they would be unable to obtain a loan from ClearPath with an APR of 3.17%. Hence, the “NO Lender Fees” statement was a fraud.

Lies concerning ClearPath Lending Rates.

Similarly, some ClearPath marketing mislead buyers regarding their fixed prices and payment options. They lied about giving fixed rates when they only supplied variable rates with the quoted mortgage.

ClearPath’s marketing to customers in January 2018 included a “30-year loan / 3-year fixed” beside the advertised payment. They did not use the terms “variable-rate mortgage” or “adjustable-rate mortgage” before the “fixed” term in their marketing.

Instead, they mentioned their adjustable-rate mortgage in fine print on the back page of the offer. This was an extremely dodgy strategy of tricking people into believing they supplied fixed-rate mortgages when they clearly did not.

Another of their advertising stated “30 year fixed” beside a box labeled “Payment for Next 12 Months”. However, the payment changed throughout the course of 30 years.

ClearPath understood what they were doing with such marketing. They intended to mislead people into obtaining a VA loan from them by publicizing deceptive terms and offers.

These individuals claimed false ClearPath Lending rates and focused on deceiving clients through their ads.

Misrepresented affiliation

ClearPath’s marketing made it appear that they were linked with the VA. Their advertisements were in the form of notice letters informing customers about their eligibility for various VA loan advantages.

The advertisements stated, “yet to take advantage of programs sponsored by The Department of Veterans Affairs”. This occurs when they have no contact with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It’s understandable that someone may believe they were receiving a letter from a VA-related agency.

Insufficient disclosures

Another major issue with their advertisements was that they did not provide enough information. They just stated payment amounts, repayment periods, and plain yearly interest rates, which is insufficient.

Regulation Z mandates mortgage lenders to give significantly more information in their ads.

ClearPath’s marketing also violate Regulation Z by citing interest rates other than the APR and offering unavailable credit options.

The CFPB’s examination discovered numerous false and manipulative statements in its ads. The Bureau’s investigation lasted several years, and they issued the consent order in the fourth quarter of 2020.

ClearPath Lending’s Senior Executive Faces Legal Charges

ClearPath Lending has not had a fantastic track record.

When you look at their history, you’ll notice that committing a VA loan scam wasn’t unusual for them.

One of their senior executives, Said Djahanbin alias Sean Dourdian aka Said Jahanbin aka Sean Dorodian, was found guilty of providing false statements to a financial institution, aiding and abetting, and causing an act to be done in violation of 18 USC § 1014 and 18 USC § 2.

Section 1014 of Title 18, United States Code, deals with providing false statements or intentionally overvaluing a security or property in order to influence the activities of the named organizations.

On the other hand, Section 2 of Title 18, United States Code states:

  • Anyone who commits an offense against the United States or assists, orders, procures, or counsels its commission is penalized as a principal.
  • Whoever deliberately causes an act to be committed that, if executed directly by him (or someone else), would be a crime against the United States is penalized as a principal.

Now you understand how severe Sean’s crimes are. This man made false representations and committed an infraction against the United States.

The court ordered Sean Dourodian and co-defendant John Doe to pay a total of $438,000 in restitution.

ClearPath Lending has made every effort to conceal its association with Sean Dourodian. However, you can still discern his relationship to the corporation in several places.

According to the legal document, the court also committed him to the care of the Bureau of Prisons. The court had imposed a three-year supervised release under the terms and conditions of the US Probation Office.

The victims in this case were Washington Mutual Bank and Indymac Bank, FSB.

Sean’s lawyers were successful in waiving all fines. The court had waived all fines because Sean couldn’t pay them with his reparation. This case’s verdict was filed on January 28, 2016.

It’s clear why ClearPath Lending has concealed its ties to Sean Dourdorian. When your company’s CEO is sentenced to three years on probation and must pay nearly half a million dollars, it does not bode well.

If you didn’t know anything about Sean Dourdorian, you wouldn’t learn anything about him today. The man has disappeared from the internet. ClearPath Lending does not want others to learn about him.

If you’re interested, I’ve included screenshots of the legal documents:

How ClearPath Lending Is Trying to Hide This News

The CFPB’s disciplinary actions demonstrate that ClearPath Lending misled its clients. They were conducting a VA loan scam.

This is a serious issue. And everybody who hears this news should begin to shun such a company.

However, ClearPath does not want anyone to know about it. As a result, they have begun to invest in bought articles and public relations campaigns. This allows them to bury any articles or news posts that mention their VA loan scam.

This isn’t their first time doing anything like this.

Most likely, you found this post while searching for ClearPath Lending reviews. This company has assured that you only see positive feedback about them by establishing relationships with multiple review services.

Wealthy organizations use both ethical and unethical means to market themselves. And, as evidenced by the CFPB’s consent decree, ClearPath increasingly uses unethical means to promote its products.

Not many people will read the article. However, if you search for ClearPath Lending reviews or “is ClearPath Lending legit,” you will come across articles like this one, leading you to believe they are a legitimate company rather than a scam.

ClearPath Lending is attempting to seem as a veteran-friendly organization by disseminating such propaganda.

They don’t want you to know about the CFPB’s inquiry into their misleading marketing. Clearly, if you read about their VA loan frauds, you would avoid them.

When looking for information about this company, be prepared to encounter a lot of ridiculous propaganda.

Always seek for disclosures about the author’s or website’s involvement with the firm being discussed.

I must mention that I am not linked with ClearPath Lending or anyone associated with that company. The only reason I’m writing this ClearPath Lending review is to raise awareness about this VA loan fraud and the lender’s malevolent past.

ClearPath Lending Scholarship: An Additional Attempt to Appear Honest

Many companies have recently begun offering scholarships in an attempt to look honest in the eyes of their clients.

Scholarships are used by scammers such as ClearPath and River Cohen to make themselves appear good. First, they steal money from others and then distribute a portion of it as scholarships. Do you think it’s okay?

You can receive the ClearPath Lending scholarship by winning their essay contest. The essay contest’s theme is “Do You Think Owning a Home Is Important?” Why, or why not?”

High school seniors who have been admitted to a US college, as well as undergraduate or graduate students presently enrolled in a US college or university, are eligible to enter the ClearPath Lending scholarship program.

The scholarship amount is $1,000. It is an incredible number, however keep in mind that this corporation defrauded military service men and veterans for 4-5 years. I can’t think how much money they may have gotten by defrauding our military members and veterans.

Their goal for the ClearPath Lending scholarship is not to give back to society. They merely want to keep any mentions of their VA loan scam off the internet by burying it under such information.

When individuals hear about this scholarship without learning about the deception, they believe ClearPath Lending is a trustworthy and faultless corporation.

It’s their way of swaying people’s opinions about them.

ClearPath Lending Reviews on Consumer Affairs: The Truth

My ClearPath Lending review would be incomplete until I included their association with ConsumerAffairs.com.

ClearPath has a near-perfect 4.5 out of 5 star rating on ConsumerAffairs, much like on Glassdoor.

However, their ranking on this site gets questionable when you notice the fine print over their name:

As you can see, ClearPath is an Authorized Partner of ConsumerAffairs. This indicates that they are a paid member of this review site.

Websites that offer paid memberships to businesses are untrustworthy. Because, in most cases, their paid membership entitles the business to remove all bad feedback made on their page.

ConsumerAffairs has faced criticism for its paid membership scheme. 80% of their paid program participants have 3.5 or higher star ratings. So you can imagine why they have a near-perfect rating there.

Let me clarify that I am not claiming that all good ClearPath Lending reviews are fraudulent. I’m simply saying you can’t trust their ratings on these review sites because they’re so easy to manipulate.

Furthermore, having a paid membership allows them to easily modify their ranking. Various online scams employ this strategy to market themselves. Fake good evaluations are rampant on the internet, and you must be attentive to recognize them.

ClearPath Lending Review on Glassdoor

Sean Dourodian’s complaint reveals a lot about ClearPath’s leadership. These are the same guys who duped veterans for years, netting over $500,000 for their efforts.

I noticed numerous complaints on their Glassdoor website that are worth sharing. They demonstrate that the problem with this company is not its people, but its leadership.

ClearPath Lending’s loan officers are most likely not at fault. The persons in charge of the company are corrupt, as evidenced by the following reviews:

This reviewer notes that ClearPath’s management fails to motivate its employees. In fact, they make their working circumstances so unpleasant that they may cry during their shifts. Employee exploitation is a major weakness in such corrupt economic companies.

According to this evaluation, in order to succeed at this organization, you must be a member of its inner circle. It appears that high management discriminates against employees and favors certain people.

The individual claims that they were let go alongside four other loan officers. In the “Advice to Management” section, they recommend that the company stop allowing their processors to conduct fraud in order to finish loans. They also point out that the onboarding procedure is horrible.

This complaint alleges that nepotism is widespread in this organization. The reviewer claims that ClearPath Lending’s management is unskilled and does not know how to manage staff. They lay off employees swiftly.

Micromanagement

According to this ClearPath Lending assessment, management treats its staff like machines. They micromanage the employees, disrupting their work-life balance.

In this review, the individual mentions that the management at this firm is really abusive. They complain that another employee can take the benefits of your hard work here by making a minor error.

The leadership here punishes its employees by creating an extremely hostile work environment. It also claims that they force their employees to create false positive reviews to boost their Glassdoor ratings. In fact, their employer waited at their desk until they completed the fictitious review.

In the following portion of my ClearPath Lending review, I also mentioned my concerns about their Glassdoor rating.

Here are some other ClearPath Lending reviews I saw on Glassdoor that you might find interesting.

Conclusion

ClearPath Lending is a dishonest company that has defrauded service people and veterans with misleading ads and false claims. The CFPB’s proceedings against them show the gravity of their fraudulent activity. If you know someone who is thinking about getting a ClearPath Lending VA loan, share this information with them. Awareness is crucial in preventing others from falling victim to similar schemes. ClearPath Lending’s history of dishonesty and legal issues should serve as a caution to prospective customers to avoid this mortgage provider.

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