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Lender Called On the Carpet

July 1st, 2008 by flanews

Another lender is being called on the carpet for ripping off borrowers. Florida’s Attorney General has filed suit against Countrywide Financial accusing the lender of deceptive and unfair trade practices. As Whitney Ray tells us, the state’s top legal officer says people were given loans they couldn’t afford.

Hear it Here: Lender Called On the Carpet

While thousands of Floridians continue to drown in debt, the state’s Attorney General says one cause of the foreclosure flood is a well known name in the lending business, Countrywide Financial. Attorney General Bill McCollum said Countrywide was dishing out money to people they knew couldn’t pay it back.

“They know very well that these people couldn’t qualify, many of them, or wouldn’t normally. They reduced and relaxed their regulations,” said McCollum.

The AG’s office filed suit claiming Countrywide issued loans with low interest rates that skyrocketed after a year. Many paid for their mistake with their home.

More than a hundred people complained about Countrywide to the Attorney General’s office. McCollum said they’re just seeing the tip of the ice berg.

“The reality is that everybody that they touched, made statements too that were not accurate or misleading, were affected by this,” McCollum said.

Jason Roth represents ACORN, an organization helping victims of subprime lending. Roth said he’s not surprised another lender is in hot water and he expects more mortgage companies to be called on the carpet.

“The people who were sold these loans were sold a bill of goods and they were sold them with fraudulent terms. In some incidents they were told they were getting one type of loan when they got another,” said Roth.

The suit seeks fines and some refunds for victims. Countrywide may never pay. Bank of America closed its purchase of the company this week.

Posted in Housing, McCollum, State News | 1 Comment »

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