The Federal Housing Administration served subpoenas Tuesday on 15 mortgage companies with high default rates for FHA-backed loans.

The agency has previously taken action against several lenders with questionable records, including Lend America and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Co.

Department of Housing and Urban Development's Inspector General, Kenneth Donohue said he plans to determine why these 15 lenders had so many loans that defaulted shortly after they closed.

Troubled lenders include: First Tennessee Bank N.A, of Memphis, Tenn.; Alethese LLC, of Lakeway, Texas; Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., of Edison, N.J.; Pine State Mortgage Corp., of Atlanta; Birmingham Bancorp Mortgage Corp., of West Bloomfield, Mich.; Alacrity Financial Services LLC, of Southlake, Texas; Assurity Financial Services LLC, of Englewood, Colo.; D and R Mortgage Corp., of Farmington, Mich.; Webster Bank, of Cheshire, Conn.; Mac-Clair Mortgage Corp., of Flint, Mich.; Americare Investment Group Inc., of Arlington, Texas; 1st Advantage Mortgage, of Lombard, Ill.; American Sterling Bank, of Independence, Mo.; Sterling National Mortgage Co., Inc., of Great Neck, N.Y.; and Dell Franklin Financial LLC, of Columbia, Md.

John Courson, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, applauded the crackdown. We're concerned about the viability of the program and we want to make sure that the bad apples and the bad players, frankly, are eliminated, he said.

Source: The Associated Press, Alan Zibel (01/12/2010)