A New Jersey trial judge has found a mortgage lender liable under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act for providing a home refinance loan to a 70-year-old borrower it should have known would be unable to make the payments.

Freedom Mortgage Corp. was entitled to foreclose in the face of the homeowner’s predictable default, but it has to pay treble damages and legal fees for the consumer fraud violation and forfeit fees and interest, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Gerald Escala said in an opinion made public Tuesday in Freedom Mortgage Corp. v. Major.

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