Housing News

Countrywide Pays Back

No one would have thought that the mortgage giant would soon relent to the demands of the public

In 2008, Sen. Charles Shumer and Rep. Barney Frank demanded that Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo to think about paying back the thousands of its mortgage holders who have fallen into the lender’s dubious scheme. They were calling on Mozilo to even donate his multi-million severance pay to owners of foreclosed homes. It took two years for their demands to get heard, well, not fully.

Countrywide is fulfilling its obligations to payback homeowners as part of its nationwide settlement worth $113 million. And states are already rejoicing.

The Charlotte Business Journal brings the good news when it reported that Countrywide started sending checks for more than $6,000 to homeowners in Florida. It states, “(It is) part of a $20.9 million settlement with the state’s attorney general. The majority of the settlement, $16.9 million, will be distributed among more than 2,700 borrowers. The payments could make a ‘significant difference’ for residents trying to save their homes, Attorney General Bill McCollum says. McCollum’s office also obtained $4 million to finance programs to assist with foreclosure defense. The funds will go to organizations that agree to provide free legal assistance to eligible homeowners facing foreclosure.”

And it doesn’t end there. Connecticut is also receiving payments from the now Bank of America-owned company. The Bristol Press reports, “Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Monday the company will pay $1.27 million to former homeowners as part of a nationwide settlement of $113 million. Each eligible Connecticut resident will receive a check this week for $3,452.54 under an agreement Blumenthal’s office helped negotiate. The attorney general charged the company with luring home buyers into mortgages they couldn’t afford, forcing foreclosure and bankruptcy.”

If you want to know how Countrywide arrived at the settlement, here’s a clear explanation from Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna:

Let this be a lesson for the hardheaded vultures of Wall Street.

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