Countrywide Home Loans Inc. Convicted of Unfair Lending Practices

After two years of investigating Countrywide Home Loans Inc., the U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) in Washington wrapped up litigation concerning improper conduct in servicing home loans. As part of the settlement with the USTP, Countrywide will pay customers affected by its unfair lending practices $108 million. (In 2008, Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America.)

Countrywide purportedly charged inflated fees to creditors struggling to keep their homes since at least 2005. The agreement between Countrywide and the FTC will recompense legitimately maltreated homeowners. The consent order compensates debtors and establishes internal company procedures to verify that future bills and claims filed in bankruptcy court are accurate. Countrywide must also provide adequate notice of its charges so debtors do not emerge from bankruptcy only to be required to pay previously undisclosed charges or risk foreclosure.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) worked alongside the USTP in the Countrywide investigation.

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Chelsea Hennessy

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