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AG discusses settlement of mortgage lender suit

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A civil deceptive practices suit against the former Countrywide Home Loans has ended with a $2.83 million settlement, as well as other components designed to address the state and country's mortgage foreclosure crisis.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office announced the settlement on Thursday, about nine months after filing a suit against the mortgage lender in Steuben Circuit Court. The suit alleged that Countrywide and its parent company - bought out late last year and now called Bank of America Home Loans - engaged in deceptive and misleading practices that put borrowers in potentially risky and costly loans. Specifically, the AG's investigation found that homeowners were misled about some terms of their loans, including pre-payment penalties and the time period that interest rates would be recalculated.

Indiana was the fifth state to take action against the company, and brought actions under Indiana's Home Loan Practices Act in Indiana Code Section 24-9-8, and Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act in I.C. Section 24-5-0.5.

A comprehensive 38-page final judgment and consent decree was entered by Steuben Circuit Judge Allen N. Wheat on April 23, part of Bank of America's sweeping multi-state settlement announced late last year that could be worth more than $8.6 billion.

With this settlement, a National Homeownership Retention Program is created to help offer affordable mortgage payments to homeowners who financed their homes through subprime loans. Bank of America also expects to modify as many as 5,000 Indiana-based loans that could exceed $54 million in savings for Hoosier families, according to consumer protection spokeswoman Molly Butters in the Indiana AG's office.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller dedicated $50,000 of the settlement to the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network, part of a larger effort in which the Indiana Supreme Court has joined to prevent foreclosure, offer mortgage counseling, educate trial court judges about these issues, and train volunteer attorneys to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

Part of the settlement includes $200,000 to Indiana for attorney fees and costs, the decree states.

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  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

  5. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

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