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To Retha Floyd, 95, taking out a reverse mortgage on her home seemed like a sensible way to pay for needed repairs and preserve the house for her descendants.

But a $5 million class-action lawsuit filed this month alleges that two mortgage companies conspired to defraud Floyd and thousands of other elderly clients — including hundreds in the D.C. area — by charging them for home inspections that were both illegal and unnecessary. The charges were added to their loan amounts, resulting in less equity in the house.

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