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Hawai‘i’s Premiere Mortgage Company Settles with Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

August 22, 2013
Tricia Morris - Kihei , Maui Weekly

Much has been printed and reported in the media regarding allegations about Hawai'i's Premiere Mortgage Company by the Hawai'i State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs/Division of Financial Institutions (DCCA/DFI).

Now, I would like to set the record straight.

The statements contained in the original cease and desist order from the DCCA/DFI were based on faulty information provided to the DCCA. They were never taken into a court of law and defended by the DCCA before a judge and proven to be factual. As such, they are not proven charges. They are untrue statements with which I disagree. I also did not admit to any of these in the settlement made to resolve the issues before the DCCA.

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Tricia Morris

Hawai'i's Premiere Mortgage Company, like many businesses on Maui, suffered deeply from the Great Recession of 2008-09. Business decisions that were reasonable when the economy was strong became more difficult as the recession deepened. Disputes that in better times could have been resolved amicably became more complicated as incomes fell and profits were severely reduced. What might have resolved in a conversation over of a cup of coffee became a potential lawsuit.

At the same time, I suffered a personal blow when my husband, Duffy, had a massive heart attack requiring nearly all of my time to help with his recovery and rehabilitation program. I say this not as an excuse, but only as a partial explanation for the time when I did not pay as much attention to the business as may have been needed.

I am proud of my company's accomplishments and the opportunity they afforded me and my team members to help thousands of families enjoy the benefits of home ownership on Maui. Those accomplishments also allowed Hawai'i's Premiere Mortgage Company to donate over $250,000 in support of various nonprofit efforts locally and in East Africa. I truly believe that our staff and their extraordinary service was the essence of our success and our ability to achieve our mission.

It is not a pleasant experience when one is being investigated by a government agency. The pressure to settle is intense and has to be factored against the cost of a legal battle that could go on for years, and the fact that the resources available to the other side are virtually limitless.

Let me be clear; I worked closely with the state over many weeks to resolve any and all issues. While I strongly disagree with the statements contained in the DCCA/DFI order, I appreciate their willingness to reach an agreement in a timely manner.

Now, as I move into the next phase of the journey of my life, I am delighted to be able to put this issue behind me and to seek new opportunities for learning, growth and service. Even before the DCCA involvement I had already made the decision to move forward and had filed the paperwork to dissolve Hawai'i's Premiere Mortgage Company and to return my mortgage broker's license. Again, this was before the DCCA order.

Finally, let me add that I am deeply grateful for all of you who have responded with your overwhelming support during this difficult time. Your telephone calls, emails and messages mean more to me than I can ever express. The Maui community is truly no ka 'oi.



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