Have Consumers been damaged by Castle & Cooke?

Castle & Cooke Mortgage has been accused of paying illegal bonuses in a recently filed lawsuit. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who filed the suit, claims Castle & Cooke issued these illegal bonuses to employees for swaying home buyers into signing mortgages with higher than normal interest rates. If such allegations are true, it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid seeking loans from Castle & Cooke.

These practices have been banned to reduce consumers’ concern over the motives of their loan agents, but clearly there are still some reasons to be uneasy when accepting loans on a house. Obviously it’s important to be fully informed before agreeing to any contract, but when deceit and betrayal are involved, how can you protect yourself?

The CFPB stated in the suit that two of Castle & Cooke’s highest executives – president Matthew Pineda and senior Vice President Buck Hawkins – were responsible for organizing and distributing these bonuses, which ranged anywhere from $6,100 to $8,700 for persuading customers to accept these steep mortgages.

With 45 branches across 22 different states, including California, tens of thousands of customers have been impacted by these incentives, which have helped Castle & Cooke accumulate $1.3 billion from mortgages last year alone.

Since 2010, these types of incentives have been banned by the Federal Reserve, as they lead to major breach in trust between the company and its consumers. Similar practices were also part of what prompted the financial crisis of 2008. By continuing these practices, Castle & Cooke are not only be steering customers into higher interest rates, they could be steering our nation into another financial crisis as well.

Have you or a client ever had an experience like this with Castle & Cooke? What are your thoughts?

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