For Immediate Release
January 31, 2008
Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter C. L. Roth
The Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General has filed an objection on behalf of the State's Banking Department and in coordination with officials in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, North Dakota and Washington, to a request made by Fieldstone Mortgage Company to destroy 40,000 boxes of loan records.
Fieldstone mortgage was one of the country's largest sub-prime mortgage lenders. It made loans in New Hampshire between 2003 and 2007 to hundreds of borrowers totaling over $100 million. Fieldstone filed for bankruptcy in Baltimore, Maryland late last year and is attempting to reorganize. On December 28, 2007, Fieldstone sought bankruptcy court approval to destroy 40,000 boxes of original records of loans that it made and loans that it denied claiming that the expense of storing the records was not worth the importance of the information.
State and federal law requires Fieldstone to maintain the records. Fieldstone was asking for court permission to violate these record retention laws.
The Attorney General objected because the records could be of importance to New Hampshire borrowers that may need to defend against the holder of the mortgage or to make claims against Fieldstone in its bankruptcy if federal and state lending laws had been violated when the loan was either made or denied.
"The Attorney General's Office is deeply concerned that the destruction of these records will harm the rights of consumers," said Attorney General Ayotte. "We intend to stand up for the many people who may have been harmed by sharp tactics of sub-prime lenders. Destroying records will make it difficult for consumers to hold Fieldstone accountable."
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301