Press Release Date:
August 3, 2009
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that the Special Prosecutions Division has concluded a civil prosecution conducted against real estate businesses owned and operated by Oscar Soto Vasquez (DOB: 11/30/71 ), of Fillmore and his wife Delia Vasquez, along with his loan company, Quest Home Loans, Inc. (“Quest”), dba Quest Mortgage of Oxnard, and his realty company, Real Estate Vision, Inc. (“ REV ”), dba Century 21 New Vision of Oxnard, and Vasquez’s wife, Delia Vasquez (DOB: 05/25/71 ) of Fillmore, agreed to pay restitution, civil penalties, and costs of the suit. The Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction were signed this afternoon by Judge Frederick Bysshe.
An investigation of Quest was initiated by the District Attorney’s Office in 2005, after Quest was determined to be the most prolific advertiser in local Spanish-language media for home loans and refinancing services. The Office began an investigation into whether Quest was providing written Spanish translations of loan documents written in English to its Spanish-speaking customers as required by law. The investigation discovered that Quest only provided documents in English. Further investigation revealed that most of Quest’s loan officers were not licensed by the Department of Real Estate. Many borrowers complained that they could not read their loan documents and that the terms of their loans turned out to be different from those negotiated with Quest’s unlicensed loan officers. Quest and Vasquez admitted they negligently misrepresented and concealed interest rates, monthly payment amounts, whether loans were fixed or adjustable, the existence of negative amortization and prepayment penalties, that the loan was interest only, and the amount of cash back borrowers were to receive under the new loans.
The action also alleged, and Mrs. Vasquez admitted, that she unlawfully worked for Quest as an unlicensed loan officer even though she had taken and failed the California real estate licensing exam multiple times.
Oscar Vasquez’s Century 21 realty franchise, Real Estate Vision, Inc., dba Century 21 New Vision Real Estate, admitted to making false advertising statements that it should have known were false. During the height of the real estate market, REV posted advertisements on billboards, stake-signs, in newspapers, and on the internet offering “ FREE ” real estate licensing training courses. After consumers attended the courses, Vasquez and REV sued them for thousands of dollars, turned them over to collection agencies, and caused their credit to be damaged.
Under the Final Judgment, the defendants will be bound by a permanent injunction and are liable for $410,000 in restitution and civil penalties, of which $270,000 is stayed.
Miles Weiss, Senior Deputy District Attorney