In the largest known jury award in a Maryland mortgage fraud case in Anne Arundel County history today, Annapolis mortgage broker Brian Blonder was found to have committed unfair and deceptive practices in arranging two toxic, mortgage loans for long-time resident Dennis F. Hollidayoke, now age 78. The six-member jury of the Anne Arundel County found that Blonder violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, Maryland Finder's Fee Act, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in providing Mr. Hollidayoke with two loans within six month of each other, during the real estate boom. Mr. Hollidayoke was awarded the sum of $342,103.40 in damages, not including attorney fees and costs owed to Hollidayoke, to be awarded at a later date.
"The evidence showed that Blonder arranged two payment option arm mortgages for Mr. Hollidayoke which were not suitable for his circumstances," explained Hollidayoke's attorney, and Of Counsel to Civil Justice, Phillip Robinson. "In addition, the inflated fees charged by Blonder violated state and federal law. As a result of these loans, Mr. Hollidayoke has essentially lost his home of more than 45 years to foreclosure."
Robert Strupp, Systemic Investigations Manager at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, provided important expert testimony related to the sustainability of the payment option arm mortgages for homeowners similar to Mr. Hollidayoke. He also provided testimony related to the status of Blonder's affiliated settlement business. "If any of the other settlement service providers involved in Mr. Holllidayoke's transaction had been truly independent and neutral, these tragic transactions would not have likely occurred because no bono fide real estate professional would allow a vulnerable senior to be preyed upon like Mr. Hollidayoke was in this instance," said Strupp.
"This has been a nightmare for me," said Hollidayoke. "Hopefully, now I can move forward and get my life back. I certainly hope no one else ever has to live through what I have lived through."