Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Trump Mortgage off to a bad start

Trump Mortgage started business this April, with alleged seasoned pro E.J. Ridings appointed to head the organization. Ridings claimed that honesty was one of the differentiators for Trump Mortgage, but it turns out he's misrepresented his experience.

He claimed to be "a top executive at one of Wall Street's most prestigious investment banks," when in fact he was a retail stock broker for Morgan Stanley's Dean Witter Reynolds subsidiary for less than three months, and was only a registered broker for six days of that period. Ridings said he was an "established leader" at a leading New York mortgage boutique, but was only "a relatively minor player" at GuardHill Financial from June 2003 to April 2005, working as an entry-level mortgage originator. Ridings also claimed 15 years of experience in the financial industry, but all that anyone can dig up besides his Dean Witter time (that began in 1998) and his GuardHill position are in documents from the NY State Banking Commission which say he was also a day trader for two years and worked for a year at subprime lender Equity Funding prior to GuardHill. That's a total of less than six years of financial experience.

Ridings claims he also had financial experience in his earlier jobs--running a company that sold nutritional supplements and health drinks, and a cleaning service.

Trump Mortgage has lost six residential mortgage professionals in the last six months, and may not reach $1 billion in residential mortgage originations, despite Ridings predicting that they would hit $3 billion in 2006.

The mortgage business is not a business I'd want to be in right now, as the U.S. housing bubble deflates.

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