Former Countrywide borrowers finally getting paid
Over three years ago, it was found that Countrywide Financial overcharged more than 450,000 borrowers, all of whom have been waiting reimbursement ever since. The Federal Trade Commission said that as a result of a settlement reached with Countrywide over a year ago, checks will soon be cut and sent to nearly half a million borrowers totaling nearly $108 million.
The borrowers that were overcharged had borrowed from Countrywide Financial prior to its collapse and prior to being acquired to Bank of America three years ago.
Unfair and deceptive practices
The Federal Trade Commission sued Countrywide for unfair and deceptive practices in servicing the mortgages of homeowners in default or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
According to the FTC, Countrywide used unlawful practices in servicing homeowners’ mortgages. Countrywide allegedly charged excessive fees for default-related services like property inspections, made claims about amounts owed by homeowners in bankruptcy that were false or couldn’t be backed up and didn’t tell people going through bankruptcy when new fees or charges were being added to their loans.
“It’s astonishing that a single company could be responsible for overcharging more than 450,000 homeowners,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. “Countrywide’s unconscionable behavior harmed American consumers on a massive scale and we are proud to be getting every single dollar back to hundreds of thousands of struggling consumers who can least afford to lose the money.”
There were two categories of overcharges, according to FTC spokesperson Frank Dorman that were tied to inspections, home maintenance, lawn mowing and other services that Countrywide provided to homes of borrowers in default.
Checks now being cut
The checks will begin going out to overcharged borrowers on July 21st with no word as to how long until all borrowers will be reimbursed. Gilardi & Co. is charged with this program and are administering the settlement for the FTC. Borrowers with questions can reach them at 888-230-3196 or email@example.com.