A former marketing director of Residential home finance company. (RealFi), a New York-based non-bank mortgage lender, accused the company’s top male executives of creating a toxic workplace through repeated sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
Georganne Youngclaus, the former marketing director of RealFi, filed a civil lawsuit against a group of senior male executives of the lender, alleging that they had engaged in “serious and pervasive models of mentally and physically abusive conduct” of May 2016 to July 2020.
The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Morris County on September 22.
In a statement, RealFi said that while the company has not been officially notified, it “categorically denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to refuting the baseless allegations of this disgruntled former employee.” The company is also listed as a defendant in the filing of the complaint.
Executives Tom Marinaro (president from 2001 to 2020), Robert Lupi (president since 2020) and Frank Kuri (vice president of branch development) are each cited in the lawsuit. The lawsuit cites 13 cases in which male staff and executives made sexual, inappropriate and unprofessional comments towards Youngclaus.
Youngclaus alleges in the lawsuit that, on different occasions, Marinaro asked him to “dress sexy” at work to attract more clients, and also made comments about his own genitals at a business event.
The lawsuit also claims that the company’s main mortgage originator called her a “stupid bitch”, and that another LO allegedly made a sexual pass and asked Youngclaus to “put him in touch” with her ” hot friends ”.
Regarding the toxic workplace, Youngclaus said Kuri missed her 12-week maternity leave and on different occasions yelled at her directly in the face. She added that Kuri had not spoken to his male employees with such vulgarity or in the same tone.
She accused the leaders – Marinaro, Kuri and Lupi – of having “willfully and maliciously” forced her to fight for her deserved commission.
This is the second recent lawsuit against a mortgage lender who claims male senior executives fostered a toxic workplace. Tammy Richards, former chief operating officer of LoanDepot, accused loan depositmale leaders to create and enforce a “misogynistic fellowship house culture” that routinely led to harassment and demeaning of women.
In his lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in Orange County, Richards also alleged that the company had closed thousands of loans without proper documentation.
RealFi was also involved in a federal mortgage fraud case three years ago, for which it paid $ 1.67 million in settlement fees to the US Department of Justice. The company has acknowledged and accepted responsibility for the fraud. The company was accused of falsely certifying that certain loans were eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance.
As part of the settlement, Residential Home Funding also agreed to retain the services of an independent compliance consultant to ensure compliance with the LED program rules.
Residential Home Funding Corp. was renamed RealFi in August 2020.