Sunday, June 3, 2012

Positive Quiddity: Honest Banker Sherry Hunt

Sherry Hunt grew up in the Michigan countryside learning to fish and find wild mushrooms. She enjoyed country music like Buck Owens and Marty Robbins. She got married at 16 and had a child at 17.

It’s a great story. The details are in a Bloomberg piece written by Bob Ivry at:
A friend helped her to find a job processing home loans in Alaska at a small bank. She moved up the ladder in the mortgage business with jobs in Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri. In 2004 she became a vice president of Citigroup in the mortgage unit. She was supervising 65 employees at CitiMortgage headquarters in O’Fallon, Missouri, west of St. Louis.

Hunt’s job in O'Fallon was to protect Citi from mortgage fraud and bad investments, inspecting the loans of outside brokers to see that they met bank standards for signed paperwork, verified borrower income and valid appraisals were met.

By 2006, mortgages were appearing with doctored tax forms, fake appraisals and missing signatures. This is a trend that has continued through 2012 – through and well after the financial crisis of 2008. Hunt notified her superiors. Nothing was done. In March of 2011 she was warned that the percentage of loans she denied was too high. So she sued Citigroup. The federal government joined the suit on her side and she won.

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