5:41 pm December 21, 2011, by Christopher Seward
In July, the Federal Trade Commission announced that 19,529 former Georgia customers of Countrywide Home Loans would share in millions of dollars in refunds that the now-defunct company overcharged.
The charges included hidden escrow and other fees after customers had filed for bankruptcy because they couldn’t pay their mortgages.
Another Countrywide shoe dropped Wednesday when Bank of America, which bought out Countrywide in 2008 and eventually shut it down, agreed to pay $335 million to resolve allegations that its Countrywide unit engaged in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers on home loans.
According to a Justice Department complaint, as reported by The Associated Press,
Countrywide charged over 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher fees and interest rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers with a similar credit profile.
Because of the higher costs for loans, borrowers were at an increased risk of foreclosure, the DOJ said.
A Bank of America spokesman said the company continues to try to clean up the damage Countrywide, which did a brisk business in Georgia, left in its wake. It wasn’t clear how many former Georgia customers were victims of the discriminatory lending practices – or whether they’ve been able to recover.
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