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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.