Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
Department of Justice
Countrywide Settlement

December 23, 2011

The Department of Justice on December 21, 2011, filed its largest residential fair lending settlement in history to resolve allegations that Countrywide Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in their mortgage lending from 2004 through 2008.

The settlement provides $335 million in compensation for victims of Countrywide’s discrimination during a period when Countrywide originated millions of residential mortgage loans as one of the nation’s largest single-family mortgage lenders.

Questions about Department of Justice Settlement

The proposed settlement provides for an independent administrator to contact and distribute payments of compensation at no cost to borrowers whom the Justice Department identifies as victims of Countrywide’s discrimination. The department will make a public announcement and post contact information on its website at www.justice.gov once an administrator is chosen.

Borrowers who are eligible for compensation from the settlement will then be contacted by the administrator. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of lending discrimination by Countrywide and have questions about the settlement may email the department at countrywide.settlement@usdoj.gov

State of Washington’s 2010 Settlement with Countrywide

In December 2010, DFI settled with Countrywide refunding $650,000 to more than 100 homeowners. Information about that settlement can be found here www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/news/2010/countrywide-settlement.htm

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