by Joe Bird, Esq.
Many of us were introduced to the concept of lying and its destructive powers through the story of little Pinocchio. A wooden puppet magically animated, yet unable to lie without his wooden nose growing longer and longer with each lie. Real life often mimics classic tales. Take for example little Jim Hodge and Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation.
The favorable comparison is not in the diminutive stature of Pinocchio and Hodge, but in the visibility of their untruths. In Hodge’s case, it is often his propensity for lawsuits that gives him away, not his nose. Even before that, consider whether Allied is Allied Mortgage, Allied Home Mortgage, All Quest or Americus. At different times, they all appear to be the same. At other times, they are all different. They are, however, all operated by the puppet himself, Mr. Hodge. Choosing between them might make anyone’s nose grow.
A blog is simply not sufficient for explaining Hodge’s love of lawyers and litigation. So, I offer only one example of recent vintage. In November 2011, the US government finally took action against Allied. At that moment, many branch managers were owed tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Allied simply froze their internal accounts before they could withdraw their money.
While Allied should have had the money on hand from the loans when it first brokered and funded them, it didn’t. Allied was apparently counting on making the money to pay the branch managers when it re-sold the loans, but was not able to sell those loans to Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac because of the HUD suspension. Wells Fargo, Allied’s funding source, turned to another company to help sell the loans. Capital Mortgage stepped in and did so.
Instead of saying thank you it’s help, Jim Hodge and Allied sued Capital Mortgage, telling all the former branch managers that the money Allied owed to them was owed to Allied by Capital. Mr. Hodge then chose Allied to sue Capital to cement his lie. There is little to support the lawsuit, yet many former branch managers still believe Pinocchio, despite Pinocchio’s nose now extending all the way from Houston to Lubbock, Texas. They wait for the day when Jim Hodge will recover from Capital and pay them.
Mr. Hodge may not have a wooden nose. It may not grow longer when he does not tell the truth. But when he doesn’t, in our opinion he will reach into his own personal wallet and hire as many lawyers as it takes to cover it up. So, when Mr. Hodge and any version of Allied Mortgage lawyer up, beware. Pinocchio is nearby.
[Ed. Note: The above opinion piece was written by Joseph Bird. Joe represents the whistleblower in HUD’s $2.4 billion lawsuit against Allied Home Mortgage and Hodge and also represents several former Allied employees who are still waiting to get paid. Joe can be reached at . He represents whistleblowers and employees of lenders in false claims actions and also represents homeowners who have been abused by lenders.]