Charges filed against mortgage payment firm

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The Department of Financial Institutions said today that it is filing charges against Nationwide Biweekly Administration Inc., a company that accepts and transmits mortgage payments on behalf of Washington homeowners.

DFI said Nationwide is not licensed as a money transmitter and the company has made misleading statements leading consumers to believe they would save money by having Nationwide repay their mortgage for them. DFI seeks a $150,000 fine against Nationwide as well as restitution of all fees the company collected from Washington consumers.

DFI said it received a number of complaints stating that they believed Nationwide was affiliated with lenders or with government agencies, when in fact it was not. Consumers also complained that they did not understand the fees charged for the payment program, or the frequency with which their mortgage payments would be transmitted.