“Feds to local mortgage originator Shawn Portmann: We want our money”

From the Seattle PI:

Alleging a long-running fraud involving a cash-packed safe and a garbage bag stuffed with money, federal prosecutors have asked that a mortgage broker be forced to hand over $102,000 to the government…
Since June 2009, Lord argued, investigators came to believe “that Portmann and two other principals at (Pierce Commercial Bank) Home Loans had devised a scheme involving … materially false representations to induce financial institutions to fund and/or purchase loans.”

Portmann was the loan officer on 5,253 loans, amounting to nearly $1 billion in lent money and about 46 percent of the home loans issued by the bank, the federal prosecutor told the court. Federal investigators contend about half of those loans were obtained through fraud.

In addition allegations that he falsified application information, Portmann is accused of drawing cashier’s checks from his personal bank accounts to show that would-be loan recipients could pay their debts. The checks were printed, but the funds were quickly returned to Portmann’s accounts, Lord told the court.

Federal investigators claim 85 checks totaling about $899,000 were cut from the account between 2006 and 2009, according to the July 30 court filing. For securing the loans, Portmann was paid at least $813,000 in premiums from 2006 to 2008.

Speaking with IRS and FBI agents earlier this year, Portmann’s personal assistant said she withdrew about $500,000 from Portmann’s savings account and deposited the cash in a safe at his home, according to the civil complaint. Another person allegedly involved in the scheme turned over a large garbage bag filled with $102,000 in cash, telling investigators that Portmann had given him a backpack in late January or early February containing $100,000 in bundled $100 bills.”

An avid Rain City Guide reader tipped me off to this story. Thanks also to the PI for the update. My students in the south end ask me about this case every week.

67 thoughts on ““Feds to local mortgage originator Shawn Portmann: We want our money”

  1. Jillayne,
    So after he pays the gov $102k…is he free to continue to originate? Is there a court date? The PI article says that he and two others at PC Bank are suspected of falsifying thousands of loan applications!

    Shawn was constantly on “top originator” list in the nation on magazines like Mortgage Originator Magazine. He’s #6 (page 12) for dollar volume in the nation in 2008: http://atlanticresidential.net/news/2008top200.pdf …even on this list, his title is “banker” not broker.

    I wish I could find an article that Mortgage Originator Magazine did years ago about how Mr Portmann was so successful at working with builders…it was an interesting read.

    I’ve only had one dealing with him… one of my clients decided that he had lower rates than me, after we had locked and were well into the transaction. My client called me at closing from their signing and wanted to know if they could come back–turned out their mortgage with the lower rate they were chasing had a prepayment penalty…these clients were not subprime. My clients returned to me and I closed their loan 4 days later (pre-MDIA, 2010 GFE, HVCC days!).

    If there was so much fraud–he had to be known by the local RE agents & builders as a LO who could “get any loan done”.

    PS: thanks for correcting your title–the press incorrectly uses the title “mortgage broker” all the time…typically when a mortgage originator in unsavory. It looks like he recently became a mortgage broker when he tried creating a company under Absolute Mortgage in Bellevue.

    I’m technically not a mortgage broker and I’ve never called myself a mortgage banker either… why they don’t just say “mortgage originator” beats the heck out of me.

  2. Normally, if you take money, and Feds want it back, if you give it back — things just don’t go on as if nothing happened. Duh. If you rob a bank, and give the money back, they still throw you in jail. What do you think? When fraud has been verified it has occurred, of course people go to jail. And of course others knew what he was up to. He was just good at it.

  3. @Rhonda:

    We had a few of those in my market that were known to be able to “get deals done”. I always find it funny that many Realtors bitch and moan about LOs but will quickly turn a blind eye to fraud as long as it gets their deal done.

    The funny thing is that these LOs almost always were with banks and tied directly to working with developers. I don’t know why HUD simply will not rule that Real Estate offices and developers absolutely cannot double dip with affiliated business arrangements of any kind. It is an absolute conflict of interest.

    What is also interesting is that many of these LOs are making a ton of money legally, but allow themselves to get sucked into stooping to outright fraud. A $200 million dollar producer should easily be clearing $1 million-$2 million a year in income. Even if he did half that business by ignoring the dead deals that couldn’t get done, he would be living large.

  4. Russ, I believe Jillayne will confirm this–when there’s mortgage fraud, it typically involves more than one person.

    David, just like a real estate agent, there is no limit to what a loan originator can make.

  5. For all these mortgage brokers…. it was only recently where you had to become licensed. And you notice how when all these loans go bad, there is no clawback to the mortgage broker, it goes to the bank or investor. Admit it, when you have big money (like a million a year) you’re going to be making fraudulent loans, and who cares…… if it goes bad, you already got your commission and you’re long gone. As in the case of Portmann and his crew, the bank will take HUGE losses, and will the mortgage brokers, loan officers who took huge commissions take a hit? NOPE. The reason our economy is upside down is due to mortgage brokers / mortgage loan officers like Portmann and his ilk.

    • No it’s not. It all “originated” in the house when the government started telling bankers “no new banks” unless you start lending more money to loosers. That’s where it began. This story is just one example of the many problems associated with the system – not the cause of the collapse.

    • Mortgage brokers have always been held to a higher standard than banks. In fact, the FDIC insured banks went all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid having to follow state banking laws as it relates to mortgages under federal preemption.

      With that said, the brokerage industry is very young and the industry has a culture of low barriers to entry. As a result, you do get a lot of used car salesmen. However, with the current licensing that is going on, large numbers are being washed out.

      As it stands right now, banks are the haven for the bad credit, wet behind the ears, LOs. Quality LOs have never really worked at banks for a variety of reasons. In fact, if you look at the top 200 list, the vast majority of those LOs do not work for Banks, but independent mortgage lenders (correspondents/brokers).

      Further, brokers DO NOT UNDERWRITE mortgage loans. If a loan goes bad, unless fraud was committed, that is on the bank as the broker does not approve the loans. We merely follow the guidelines setforth by the lenders. If fraud was committed, that is one thing. However, brokers cannot control how a loan performs if it fully meets the credit risk guidelines.

    • Norm, when a loan goes bad that’s originated with a correspondent lender/CLA then it often winds up back with the correspondent. They have more “skin in the game” than a broker. Investors/banks are finding ANY reason–legit or not–to force it down the correspondent’s throat…doesn’t even matter if the correspondent used the banks AMC and that’s where the bank found the fault…it’s buy back time for the correspondent or a terminated relationship with that bank.

  6. Honestly, I really don’t mind seeing some of these two-bit fake punks go to jail.

    During a signing today I talked with a client who works in law enforcement div. of Seattle office of the US Treasury. Good to see the real faces of the people doing the real work fighting fraud, money laundering and in keeping our communities and officials safer on a daily basis.

    Players in real estate and lending have earned their reputation in the public eye and that includes those in my line of work too that commit crimes.

  7. The mortgage industry needs a “broker check” much like financial advisors have. You make a bad loan, it goes on your record, you are held to account, brought before arbitration, and you may need to be assessed a fine / penalty. Also, they need to be put on salary, not commission. Also, only the big banks, etc. have the supervisory systems in place to catch fraud. Smaller shops could care less, just get the commission, and move along.

  8. Norm “For all these mortgage brokers…. it was only recently where you had to become licensed”

    Shawn Portmann was a mortgage banker a majority of his career and when he was recently discovered operating his new mortgage brokerage, DFI slapped him.

    Yes, mortgage brokers in Washington State have been licensed since 2007. With the SAFE Act mortgage brokers and correspondent lenders/CLAs are now required to be licensed nationwide. Guess what MORTGAGE BANKERS (those who work for banks, credit unions, etc) ARE NOT LICENSED and are not held to the same standards.

    Shawn Portmann is an example of why ALL mortgage originators (i.e. anyone who is taking a loan application for a residential property) should be held to the same standards. Consumers should not have to wonder what type of LO they’re working with and who regulates them (or who doesn’t).

    I don’t known if you caught my comment above–the Seattle PI changed the title of their article that Jillayne is referencing from “mortgage broker” to “mortgage banker”.

  9. He is already banned from originating in the state. Now it will be sorting out fines/penalties and jail time. I don’t think he will be getting out of this one (I hope for real jail time).

    Rhonda, you do know that the Mortgage Bankers out there as soon as they are registered (which I completely agree with) will be held to what I feel is same standard as a Mortgage Broker. Bankers have to takes courses and tests each year for a slightly broader range than the Brokers do. I believe the CE equivalent that the Bankers do in both course and testing each quarter is about 11hrs on a yearly basis.

    If I remember properly, the Mortgage Brokers take one test, then CE credits for 8hrs a year under SAFE Act.

    The standard seems pretty close to me, except the Bankers don’t get to pick what the CE courses are, they are determined the Feds.

    I do agree that many Originators that work in bank branches are not high quality. I think this is the nature of being “fed” business and not having to originate on their own.

  10. David:

    IIRC I believe I read somewhere that the #1 originator on that list is making like $10 million a year. LOs are paid to bring in business. Very few LOs can generate the kind of business that you see on that list, so high producing LOs, just like high producing Realtors are paid commensurate with the amount of business they bring in.

    Unfortunately, these numbers are why so many people are attracted to the industry along with the low barriers to entry. However, the reality is that LOs with these kind of numbers represent probably the top 1/10 of a percent of LOs. It is not an easy gig and the vast majority of LOs will washout, however, if you are good at it, you can earn a very decent living.

  11. Hi Chris,

    Nobel Prize winning economist Dr. Paul Krugman gives us some nice data about the Community Reinvestment Act and how CRA is not to blame for the meltdown. All you have to do is google or bing this: community reinvestment act harvard
    and it will come up at the top of the search engines.

    We need to continue to put this to bed. CRA has been around for decades. If CRA was going to crash the system, it would have done so in the 1970s.

  12. Hey Rhonda,

    Yes, it IS confusing: Registered v. Licensed.

    However, many, many, many mortgage bankers definitely ARE licensed.

    This is because their company holds a non-depository lender license. This type of license is called different things in different states but is generally refered to in this state as a Consumer Loan License. Consumer loan company loan originators DEFINITELY MUST all be licensed sometime this year, depending on the state, and in WA State that deadline was June 30, 2010.

    So we should refer to bank loan officers as “registered loan originators” and everyone else should be called a “licensed loan originator.”

    Shawn Portmann originated as a bank loan officer and also as a mortgage broker. I would definitely NOT call him a mortgage banker. But that’s just my opinion.

    Confusing for the consumer? Absolutely.

    Consumers just see “loan originator” and assume we are all alike.

    Mortgage Bankers: Licensed!
    Mortgage Brokers: Licensed!

    Bank loan officers: Registered.

  13. Jillayne, I think it’s confusing to call mortgage originators who work for correspondent lenders/CLAs a “mortgage banker”. I’ve never considered myself a mortgage banker…I’m a mortgage originator who is employed by a correspondent lender.

  14. Hi Rhonda,

    I interact with hundreds, probably thousands of loan originators every year. The vast majority of originators who work for a mortgage company licensed under the consumer loan act call themselves “mortgage bankers.”

    There should be a rule that would prohibit a non-depository lender from calling itself a “bank” but until we get the fed government to rule on that, hell will freeze over first.

    Respa does speak to this issue but it’s a very, very thin line.

    • Most of my clients know me as a mortgage broker, but technically we are a mortgage banker since we are a correspondent. We actually do both – broker and correspondent. When I worked at a FDIC insured bank, we also acted as a broker.

      The market (as in consumers) really don’t distinguish between the different channels of origination which is why it is important that all originators are treated the same.

      Most non-FDIC “bankers” call themselves that because mortgage brokers might as well call themselves child molesters at this point. However, most correspondents are nothing more than glorified mortgage brokers except for the fact they have access to a warehouse line and take a little more risk with buy backs.

      There are a couple of direct lenders/correspondents who run radio ads bashing brokers in my market. I always find it hilarious being an industry insider because I know there is ZERO difference, but they know that the market wants to work with “bankers”.

      To me, it is like when banks were calling Negative Amortization loans Pay Option ARMs or deferred interest loans simply because the Neg Am sounded so much more nefarious.

      • I meant to add that when we were part of an FDIC bank, we really brokered more than anything and marketed ourselves as brokers. It was actually quite nice to be able to lend in all states without individual licensing BS. It was really the only advantage to the FDIC designation.

        Of course, the big bank bureaucracy eventually drove all the top producing entrepreneurial minded LOs away from the company so they were only left with the scrub LOs and the company eventually folded.

        The hot shot Ivy League MBAs in corporate couldn’t figure out that the highly paid originators at the company were there for a reason – we brought in the loans. One LO got so pissed, he took his entire branch with him that represented like $1.5 billion in loans. They thought they were going to turn guys making $200k+ plus into Phone Officers. That didn’t work out so well.

  15. Jillayne, correspondents have had an identity crisis in past years IMO since we’re not a broker and we’re not a bank (depository). LOs may “call themselves” what ever they want…it’s funny. It doesn’t matter to me how many thousands of correspondent lender/CLA LOs want to calll themselves that. They do not work for a bank–the work for a mortgage company that can process, underwrite, fund mortgages and that sells the loans after closing.

    Personally, I think the term mortgage “banker” has a bad connotation…thanks to WaMUs funny commercials.

    The other day, I surprised my client when he asked what my “title” is and I said, I’m a “mortgage originator” that’s what I do, I originate mortgages for my clients. I’m there for advice and help where I can–but I’m paid to originate. It’s pretty simple.

    However…maybe I’ll change my title to “Certified Specialized Senior Mortgage Banker Planning Licensed Originator Loan Officer”…what do ya think? 😉

  16. The cunard that well, if you don’t put them on commission instead of salary, they all the good ones will leave and you will have idiots running the program. Bunk! Everyone is replaceable. There is no accountability in your profession. It needs to be overhauled, and sooner or later, enough will be enough. This isn’t brain surgery, and you aren’t the only one who knows how to make a loan.

  17. Jim, are you in the industry? Have you originated a loan lately? Do you keep up with underwriting guidelines?

    I used to have great disdain for most mortgage originators when I was a title rep… 10+ years ago. I have to say actually doing the job is far different than what it appears. And right now, the being a mortgage originator is more challenging than ever–and I’m thankful for that…many have left the industry…and many more will.

    If you want an experienced button pusher to help you with your mortgage, you can…it’s your choice.

    If you want someone who’s more experienced to help you with your mortgage, you can find that person too.

  18. I am going to step aside from the entire Mortage Broker and Mortgage Banker issue and add just a few simple comments. Shawn Portmann certainly over stepped the bounds of Integrity, Morality and the Law. He should and I firmly believe will be justly held accountable for it. There is no doubt that the FBI will do everything within their power to bring justice to the table. Do not be so quick to underestimate them.
    However in the midst of our current economic crisis with mortage loans lets not be so quick to condemn only the loan originators. Titles are truly of little importance in the larger scheme of things! Our industry is in this state today due to everyone invloved. Starting with our government and its vague range of rules for mortgage lending, to the lenders (including all varieties), the real estate agents, the appraisers, the title and escrow companies and all the way down to the sellers and borrowers. There is not one single party to all of this that is not responsible for the down grade of our industry.
    Pointing the finger and labeling others for the blame does not solve our situation. It is not as if Shawn Portmann was the only person in our industry breaking or bending the rules. We should all take responsibilty and begin to move forward towards improvement. Those improvements begin right here with ourselves. Setting ourselves to better standards and better educating all consumers is a giant step in setting our industry on the right path. Learning not to take short cuts to line our pockets for the short term and realizing if we set tighter boundaries now then our future will be more secure.
    Lets spend out time focused on making Positve changes and improving the Lives we all Live.

  19. Everybody is talking about the LO’s and brokers, what about the clients such as my self that recieve these bad loans and or stuck with them. I tell you this if i known i was dealing with a crook, bad loan or good loan i would have tuck tail and ran away. Shawn Portmann talk me and my wife into a horrible loan with the promise of refinacing it a year later, when i called mr portmann approximatly a year later to talk about the refinancing of my loan his response was “your f****d man”. Every dog has there day.

  20. Hey James,
    Thanks for stopping by RCG. I’m sorry to hear that you ended up with a bad mortgage loan. Have you tried talking with another loan originator about refinancing out of that loan or talking with your loan servicer about whether or not you might qualify for better terms?

    What kind of loan do you have now?

  21. so i am like james only i just found out that my loan was fixed so that my escrow just went up by 250 per month because of how low he had the numbers in at. i am a single mom of three and that 250 per month is gonna hurt. and i just have a condo. what really sucks is that i know shawn and thought he would do right by me, never knowing that 1 year ago last week he was working without a license. now boa owns my loan – as they do most here in my complex and we are all getting jacked now. what can i do??? i dont have the money to go refinance to get this down back to where i was…. can someone help with info?

  22. I worked for Shawn Portmann at the tail end of his career. Even I did not know ALL of his unsavory business pratices. Bottom line, everything comes back to bite you in the ass, if you cause injury to someone else. Greed filterated through the end of this Mortgage Originator’s (that is the overall default career name) career. He not only hurt borrowers, but his own employees & local community. SO he will get what is due to him!!!!

    • Hi Shannon, thanks for coming foward, it’s sad that he put consumers, colleagues, and the community in such a bad situation. Ive been knowing Shawn for a long time and received a few loans from him, I trusted him and admired him. I have a long currently from Mr Portmann that no other banks would even consider refinancing it’s that bad. I think he should be punished for the way he did business and the trouble he caused.

  23. Hi James, I am sorry to hear about your experience with Portmann. There are no words to explain the short amount of time I worked for him. All I can tell you is, that I have worked with some shameless mortgage bankers/brokers in the So CAl market… BUT Portmann took the cake. Across the board. He was just not such a nice guy AT ALL!!!! I have a good friend whose parents have a loan with Chase that was sold from Pierce Commercial. And they walked away just recently. I will admit, after Portmann left & started Benchmark Mortgage… I was asked by the Loan Originator he pawned me off on to tolerate & work with him there. I did for about two weeks. At that point, NO amount of money would be worth being in that office. With Shawn or his “buddy” Whitney Dixon. I filed a complaint with DFI about how the branch was set up & their lack of licensing as originators.
    You know, if you want some justification… You can call FBI Tacoma & talk about your situation. They have red flagged loans from Pierce Commerical Bank. So homeowners who go into default are being contacted, if possible.

    • i have a loan we got through shawn in 2007 it is a first and a second very shady and we are about to default who can we call to help ?

      • Hi Michelle I to recieved a loan through p c bank from Mr Portmann. My loan was a second with a 10.3% interest rate. My home is underwater as well, the second is a interest only loan I am seeking help with this situation. Michelle of any news comes my way I will forwarded to you and you to me as well. Thank you for your post.

        • thanks james i will let you know … it sad so far i have been told its to late and to default let the house foreclose and then file bankruptcy … i cant believe i have a first interest only and a second interest only with a balloon payment due 2019 or so for full amount … he told us the same thing about refinancing in a few yrs no problem after all was settled with our other house sell … which never happened because it dropped from 369000 to 195000 now and we owe 220000…. then the other house is worth 160000 and we owe with both loans 235000… Wow its so sad when i think about it 🙁 im sorry for you and i understand. i hope i can figure this all out . is there a group that is together here that has more info of what we can do?

      • Michele, you need to more importantly.. Contact the OCC on your current mortgage servicer & you can do that by filing a complaint online. It would also be a suggestion to contact the AG’s office. )Rob McKenna)
        Look at your Deed of Trust, do you by chance have MERS on your documents? It is going into court this month as to whether the company can assist in “legally” foreclosing on homeowners.
        Gather all of your papework & even an article on Portmann & send it into your servicer.
        Kindly allow them to understand you know your mortgage is hot, however you want to save your home.
        If your loan is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can refinance your terms despite your current terms. If not, you want to modify your mortgage. If you cannot do any of that, call an Attorney.

        http://www.dicksonsteinacker.com This is the only Attorney I feel is worth his weight in gold. Jill Smith of Seattle, does “Quiet Title” suits. However, you have to be in foreclosure so that she can challenge all of the lienholders.

        These banks are starting to give in & try to keep you in your home. It has now become cheaper. I have people that have not paid their mortgages for quite some time.. Still in their home. It is a huge level of uncertainty, but better than just packing up & giving in.

        • what is occ ? im so confused lol… i have all the paperwork i will check for the mers but what is that? my loans were almost immediatley sold by pcb first mort is through indymac one west bank and second was countrywide now boa serviced through green tree which is horrible and i have had to deal with them a few times and very bad experiences with them. thanks for info !

          • Michele: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. They oversee the banks.. There is a committee that is supposed to protect the interests of comsumers when it comes to bank dealings.
            However, I tell you to do that so you will have a complaint on file only.
            The Attorney General will be your best bet to add your loan(s) to the bunch. And as I mentioned, go to the attorney I suggested. Tom Dickson. He is a good attorney & has been litigating for 25+ years. All of the other attorneys I have contacted & paid consultation fees are a joke. Scared to challenge the system & call out fraud when they see it. Taking the safe route & money from desperate homeowners.
            It is never too late, if you go the AG (Rob McKenna) website they have information for you to send in your information.
            If you by chance utilize Facebook, you can go to the DFI (Department of Financial Institutions) website & turn in your loans to them. They know Shawn Portmann all too well over there.

        • hi again shannon i found the deed of trust and ED ANd EXISTING UNDER THE it does say MERS IS ORGANIZED under the laws of delaware gives their address and telephone # then says PIERCE COUNTY COMMERCIAL BANK A WA CORP THIS IS FOR THE SECOND MORT 1/80 FMMA/FHLMC UNIFORM WITH MERS IM LOOKING AT THE FIRST NOW…. DOES THIS MEAN SOMTHING?

          • Yes, it means that for now.. Sit tight. For on March 15th there will be a Superior Court ruling that will ultimately kick MERS out of WA state. And make their “beneficiary” rights extinguish. So that the “true” owner of your mortgage will have to be the one that “attempts” to foreclose on you & your homes.
            I know this is making your head spin, however.. There is hope yet.
            You will not get anywhere with Bank of America or One West Bank. Sad to tell you.
            One West Bank was seized by the FDIC. Which means the Government owns that garbage & as you know, Bank of America is two days away from sinking. (Not literally, but everyday I hear of more loss for that bank.) Cracks me up!!!!
            Even though Portmann is a douche, he is not going to see the light of day for the damage he has created. So think about that & know the only thing that matters now, is saving your home. If that is what you want to do. Put positive thoughts into the universe & take the disgust out of your heart for Portmann. It will only hold you back from receiving the results you want for you & your family.
            Watch for the MERS ruling, at least call my suggested Attorney. And if you really want to challenge the system, this is your best path to take.

  24. Shannon, thanks for coming forward with your information regarding Shawn. I’ve known about him for years, as I’m a Realtor in Puyallup, where he did the bulk of his business. I never referred any business to him, as I heard early on in my real estate career that he had a “reputation”, that goes back to 1995 when I first heard that! He did a ton of loans for many of the local builders, who liked working with him because he was known as someone “who got the job done, no matter what”. I know a few people who worked for and with him, and there are some who are still defending him! Their response is that “no charges have actually been filed, and he’s innocent and can prove it!” Also, that what he did wasn’t that bad, and that he’s only had one loan go into default! It’s hard for me to believe that people can still believe that to this day when so much has been printed in the papers. However, until the FBI actually files an indictment and moves forward to prosecute, many people are confused about the case. I feel very sorry for people who got into bad loans with him, I know a few, and feel their pain. There certainly were a lot of people who turned their heads and looked the other way when this was all going down, as they were getting paid, and didn’t care how. It makes me sick that some of them were, and still are, Realtors, as they set a bad example for our industry too. I sincerely hope there will be a deeper investigation into this entire debacle and all of the stones overturned to find the “bad actors”, for the sake of the public’s interest. People that have been burned need to come forward to the FBI with their stories, so they can make their best case.

    • Hi Rhonda…. I totally agree with you. But to update, if it is not apparent yet. Shawn Portmann is officially charged with 2500 counts of mortgage fraud. He is currently drinking himself into a stupor in his empty house.

  25. Readers, consumers who received a loan originated by Shawnn Portman, if you are in default on your loan, I highly recommend contacting an attorney to receive legal advice on your situation. Get all your loan documents together, including the Good Faith Estimate received at the beginning of the transaction and the HUD 1 Settlement statement received at closing and anything else you can find…correspondence, emails, and so forth. (Homeowners who are in financial dire straits can contact the Wa State Bar Assoc and see if you’d qualify for free legal aid.)

    Homeowners who were taken advantage of deserve all the help they can get. Maybe a local attorney will be able to get your information into the hands of the proper authorities.

  26. Although my horrible loan from pc bank is not in default I would still love to get rid of it. I would also like to thank Mr. Portmann in person. (sarcasm).

    • James, I totally know where you are coming from. And I would not blame you one bit… He is getting himself back for you & many others. I know that may not make you feel better. In my opinion, I am not one to judge or one to condemn. This time I had to take matters into my own hands. That is why I did finally whistleblow for once in my life. (For I am not usually like that.) I would just move on from the company. You are strong James, it takes more power of self control not to seek out vengence on someone that has done you harm.

  27. …wrong is wrong….however is vengance right ?
    …Forgive Shawn Portmann and the likes…God says if you forgive others He will forgive you…

    …..america is so quick to give vengance…can you imagine if we were that quick to forgive ??
    ……..where is Forgiveness in the 74% Christian United States of America….God bless all who are suffering !!!

  28. Hi smiths,

    When I think of the word “vengance” I think of physical punishment or “an eye-for-an-eye” type of justice. Looking back through history humans use to use public forms of physical punishment for moral crimes.

    It’s entirely possible that the home buyers, home sellers, lender, investors, and so forth who were financially (or otherwise) harmed by the actions of people like Shawn could decide to forgive and let go.

    In my opinion forgiveness (by a victim of a crime) is a separate decision and a separate process from our system of justice here in the United States.

    When I think of justice I think of the duties Shawn had to his customers, his employer, to disclose all material facts and to originate loans in good faith with a duty of honesty owed to all parties. When I think of justice I think about maximizing good consequences for the most number of people in tandem with minimizing bad consequences for the most number of people.

    If the only consequences of committing mortgage fraud was to ask for forgiveness, unfortunately the entire system would collapse.

    Finally, when I think about justice I think about treating like cases in like fashion. Mortgage Fraud is a class B felony in Washington State. The sentencing guidelines are there for all to view. Shawn had choices.

    When I was a very small kid, probably 8 years old I broke into a neighbors home and stole some food because there was very little food at my house due to my schizophrenic mother being who she was. When I was caught, my mom asked me to ask Jesus to forgive me. That was my only punishment. At age 8 I learned absolutely nothing about consequences and morality through the Christian system. I would have been much better off had there been a more realistic, meaningful way of teaching me why it was wrong to steal. At that point, asking some invisible sky friend to forgive me was, quite frankly, horrifying. Why? Because I had no tangible boundaries of right and wrong. When it came time to make more choices, with no boundaries, the “id” wants what it wants.

    Shawn’s “id” was on overdrive with no boundaries.

  29. I will add.. I say my comments with deep intent & thought. The likes of someone that decided to have NO regard for any one single person in his (Portmann’s) path, should be feeling pretty lucky. Considering the circumstances.
    The sort of dealings that had been going on at the bank, were come to find out.. Even more than I imagined.
    And that has hit home for me personally. My mortgage though not through Portmann, may as well have been. I have been fighting with the servicer for 2 years. SO, I WILL NOT FORGIVE!!! Christian that I am. I am true to my sin & conviction.
    Portmann type of people have affected many people’s lives. You cannot put a price of: $forgiveness on that tag baby, sorry.
    It is straight up chaos, I am pretty sure, GOD did not intend for the Wall Street/Goldman Sachs meltdown.. Fueled & peddled by the greed seeping soul-less life draining Loan Officers, such as.. You said it, “Shawn Portmann & Co.”
    AND.. If I may add, it is all the way to the top too. Does not stop with the street peddlers. The middle man was loving the money all the way. I worked at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in midst of the hottest part of the mortgage meltdown in Riverside Co. CA
    Off my Soapbox.
    I hope he get what he deserves.

  30. I will repost this for the readers who have left comments here over the weekend:

    Readers, consumers who received a loan originated by Shawnn Portman, if you are in default on your loan, I highly recommend contacting an attorney to receive legal advice on your situation. Get all your loan documents together, including the Good Faith Estimate received at the beginning of the transaction and the HUD 1 Settlement statement received at closing and anything else you can find…correspondence, emails, and so forth. (Homeowners who are in financial dire straits can contact the Wa State Bar Assoc and see if you’d qualify for free legal aid.)


    Homeowners who were taken advantage of deserve all the help they can get. Maybe a local attorney will be able to get your information into the hands of the proper authorities.

    • Why has,t anybody gone after the guy who hired him and trained him back in the 90,s for the job.timothy mellema prime lending puyallup we, portman was bad but lots more walk free and continue to carry on. Why?.s

  31. i called a lawyer today which said i am over a statue of limitations is out of time and it would be rare to have anything fixed and that forclosing and filing on the second is probably my only option BLAH!!! I will definatley try the other lawyer you suggested … the one i called today didnt even ask to see papers or anything 🙁 my loan was done in april 2007 ….shawn said we didnt need any $ down and that he would get us in a 30 yr fixed …. then it turned into 188000 first loan intrest only and second 49,000 loan 9.9 % intrest only also…. we also have another house which is what we were going to transfer from it to the one that h gave us the bad loans on . unfortunatley him and the real estate agent that worked together said we would easily sell the house were in … so heres how that went down he got us into the bad loans and we get the rambler house because we take care of my husbands bed and chair ridden mom and we have 4 kids so we needed a rambler to suit a wheel chair and have her on a main floor for a shower .

  32. well we move into the rambler house with bad loan trying to pay 3 mortgages still to this day and we have maxed all our credit out and are drowning … but back to the story we put the 2 story house with the good loan up for sale agent marked it at 369000 well we kept decreasing until we thought ok this isnt working so we tried to rent it nope still didnt work . so we moved back into the 2 story and tried renting rambler worked for awhile but we still had to come up with utilities which are horrible and rest of mortg payment which was 800$ plus utilities . it didnt last either. so now are son is trying to live there and paying utilities and we are paying 1800 $ mort. plus our house 2 story $1560 … way to much to deal with anymore…. so back to shawn portmann and the loan he gave us he said no $ down but at end we had to borrow almost 4000 on top of 1000$ cashiers check … we ended up with 2 loans that are intreast only

  33. well we move into the rambler house with bad loan trying to pay 3 mortgages still to this day and and we had a bankruptcy 2002 i said to him i really didnt want to do this it my husband wanted this and i doubted we would qualify well he looked at my husband and said ill get you into this loan dont worry about it and my husband thought he knew what he was doing and we were getting the 30 yr fixed like we had said and shawn said he could get us but as soon as we went to sign everything had changed … i cried and tried to walk out and my husband and i almost divorced over this because he trusted shawn and said i was being a baby … well today he is eating this and were in a mess …

  34. i wish i would have just walked out like my gut told me too…we are over 60000$ in cedit card debt trying to keep this house not including cash of around 20000$ that my parents and we put into the house … that he had us sign a waiver to not have inspected. …there isso much wrong with this .. now we have both houses that are not worth anything close to what we owe and i have all the original papers and it all looks confusing to me …. i want to at this point try and keep the 2 story with the decent loan so my family has somewhere to live but i can no longer keep up with the other loans or house …. i have fibromyalga and chronic pain and am about to lose my job. i am sorry for all of you involved and what this guy had no concern for others and their families well being… any info or help to get in contact with right people to get out of this loan would be greatly apprecciated.. im sorry this was so long .partly venting …this has never been aired to anyone outside my family till now. thanks for listening my spelling is bad im just so frustrated that i feel so dumb for trusting this man or my husband trusting him 🙁

    • I’m sorry gal.contact timothy MELLEMA prime lending in puyallup.he hired Shawn and trained him yet he lives the highlife opening a pub in Tacoma and puyallup.the forum.he also screwed me over

  35. Michele, thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. Wow, that’s a lot to be going through and it sounds like you’re ready to have someone listen to where you are now and give you some suggestions for ways out. I’m not sure what city you’re in, but why don’t you call Christopher Benson tomorrow and tell him I referred you.


    Sounds like you could use a second opinion.


  36. hi again shannon i found the deed of trust and ED ANd EXISTING UNDER THE it does say MERS IS ORGANIZED under the laws of delaware gives their address and telephone # then says PIERCE COUNTY COMMERCIAL BANK A WA CORP THIS IS FOR THE SECOND MORT 1/80 FMMA/FHLMC UNIFORM WITH MERS IM LOOKING AT THE FIRST NOW…. DOES THIS MEAN SOMTHING? THANKS ANYONE REPLY 🙂

  37. Michele I have the same story as you! In 2007, Shawn sold me two interest-only loans on one property: 1st mortgage of $50,000 and a 2nd mortgage for the balance, saying the $50k was “to make it look like a down payment to the bank”… When my loan was sold to Countrywide soon after, they did not show an escrow account attached to my loan, and tried to get me to start a new one (with a brand new $2000 deposit for taxes and insurance). I convinced them that they needed to “look harder” and they finally figured it out. I found out Shawn was a snake in 2008 when I tried to refi and came across the hefty prepayment penalty preventing me from doing anything. I re-financed in 2009 with another bank, and they could not find a comp in my area to prove the value was worth what I paid, but somehow they made it work… Please tell me if you’ve gotten any advice due to the age of your mortgage!

    • Talk to the guy who trained and hired Shawn port man back in the 90 ,s at city bank timothy mellema prime lending in puyallup.still in business and never investigated

  38. When Tim mellema prime lending puyallup bought the lease on the travelers rest Irish pub firmly the FORUM. HE borrowed his share of Hus $60 k from an invested he was asked to mind her moneys when her husband died.( there is a bank paper trail bank of america puyallup) I think that was very unethical to do and abuse of his power as a mortgage broker.he also signed a $60 k contract in his office at orimelending puyallup in 2013 of which this was my input share of the property in meridian in puyallup ( pub) he pages me only $30 k back in instalments and he said he is NOT GOING TO PAY ME THE REST ($30 K) TOLD me to take him to court.I was only getting back my $60 k original investment I gave to him to purchase and remodel the place,he failed and wnt pay it yet as we all know its a civil action and it would cost me that to hire a good lawyer and sue him..and stress.where is the honor and integrity of people in this business anymore? He uses a clients moneys$$$ to buy the pub and his ex wives 401 k to purchase his share of the pub because of his own greed.yet TIM MELLEMA is the broker who hire the BIGGEST FRAUD WA STATE HAS KNOWN SHAWN PORTMAN. Tim hired him and trained him back in the 90,s .in my opinion and business dealings TIMOTHY MELLEMA SHOUOD BE REPORTED TO THE MIRGAGE ASSOCIATION for abuse of power and no longer advising people in the business.he also lied on his liquor board application to the state if Washington and gets away with it because he said the head lady goes to church with his parents and laughs about it,or should I say Bragg’s.these are the reasons that I would not want to be associated with a dishonest person like Tim mellemaa.you would think a guy married 2 times with 4 beautiful kids would grow up and be honorable example to his kids..WHY ARE YOU MORGAGE PEEPS going to show your honesty and fight to put this guy where he belongs with Hus mentor Shawn Pittman?……PS I have no problem putting my name to this truth john Irish whoriskey 2532026374……ACT PEOPLE..??FOR HONOR OF THE GOOD GUYS IN THE BUSINESS AND MORGAGE

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