Moneylender trial on hold

A civil trial involving a Lake Oswego moneylender and a Washington County couple who invested in speculative mortgage loans is on hold, at least until summer, due to an attorney's illness.

In the suit, John and Sherri Harkness claim Joanne Kantor advised them to make loans - including loans to her friends and parents - without divulging the risks of the loans, her personal relationships with the borrowers or her own commissions and fees.

In legal papers, the Harknesses allege a pattern of advice in investments that drained the equity from two of their properties and gave Kantor's parents a controlling interest in one of their homes. Kantor, currently a loan officer with HomeStone Mortgage on Meadows Road, has denied any wrongdoing.

Kantor is known for civic contributions and is involved with a program at HomeStone that began donating 20 percent of its mortgage loan fees to the Lake Oswego School District Foundation in November. HomeStone has given $10,000 so far and projects a $50,000 total this year.

The suit also names several Kantor employers, including Sunset Mortgage Company and Directors Mortgage, Inc. and Fidelity National. It has been pending for more than a year.

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