SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with six Everett- and Seattle-based companies that concludes an investigation into alleged deceptive estate planning sales tactics that targeted senior citizens.
The Attorney General alleged that Jack Chandler and Travis Derenzo, doing business as The Centre for Living Trusts and as sales agents for Normandy Mortgage, targeted senior citizens by befriending them, then selling them living trusts, home equity conversion mortgages or reverse mortgages and other financial products that were not in the consumer’s best interest. The state also alleged that consumers were deceived when agents of the companies represented themselves as volunteers for a non-profit organization or government representatives instead of as salesmen.
Under the settlement, all agents of respondents will be required to clearly disclose the business he or she represents when giving in-home presentations to consumers. They also agree not to represent themselves as representatives of a charity or government agency.
“These agents gave consumers the impression they were representatives of a non-profit organization or government agency when they are not,” said McKenna. “Our seniors should be getting advice from those with their best interest in mind when making important estate planning decisions.”
Normandy Mortgage, Inc. will pay $40,000 in restitution and attorneys fees. The Attorney General’s Office will send a letter to eligible consumers in the next 30 days, notifying them of their entitlement to restitution.
Eligible consumers are those who either purchased an annuity or living trust with the proceeds of their reverse mortgage because they were told that the living trust purchase was necessary in order to obtain the reverse mortgage or purchased a living trust after consulting only with a reverse mortgage sales agent and not with a licensed attorney.
For more information contact:
Kristin Alexander, (206) 464-6432, KristinA1@atg.wa.gov