Countrywide Settlement Pays $16.9 Million to Florida Homeowners

18 02 2010

More than 2,700 people will receive checks from a 2008 settlement Florida negotiated with Countrywide Financial Corporation. As part of the settlement, Countrywide is offering foreclosure relief payments to eligible borrowers who returned valid and timely claim forms and releases under a program administered by the Countrywide settlement administrator.

More than $16.9 million will be distributed this week, and each check will be written for just over $6,000.

In July 2008, Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit against Countrywide, one of the nation’s largest mortgage companies, for allegedly engaging in deceptive and unfair trade practices. The lawsuit claimed Countrywide put borrowers into mortgages they couldn’t afford or loans with rates and penalties that were misleading. That lawsuit was resolved in October 2008, and the settlement agreement included a foreclosure relief payment program for Florida homeowners with qualifying Countrywide mortgages.

Eligible homeowners should consider the following:

• Important information: The checks must be cashed on or before May 13, 2010.

• A payment under this settlement may be taxable, and recipients should consult a tax advisor if they have any questions concerning possible tax liabilities.

• Recipients with any questions should contact the settlement administrator, Rust Consulting, toll free at (866) 411‐6987, or http://www.countrywidesettlementinfo.com.

The settlement also includes $4 million to fund a foreclosure defense assistance program. The money will be provided to organizations over the course of two years, and the first funds were distributed in late 2009. The organizations that receive the grants agree to provide free legal assistance to eligible homeowners who face foreclosure but cannot afford an attorney to review their case.

“These resources, both the checks to homeowners and the grants to fund pro bono foreclosure defense assistance, are substantial assets to Floridians,” says Heather Rodriguez of Holland & Knight law firm and president of the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, one of the organizations that received grant funding and has an attorney dedicated to foreclosure defense assistance. “Orange and Osceola counties are both high in foreclosures, and homeowners are struggling.”

Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo was also named in the Countrywide lawsuit and the civil case against him is still pending in Broward County Circuit Court. McCollum has also called on Bank of America, the company that acquired Countrywide after the lawsuit was filed, to be more responsive to consumers trying to modify loans and save their home from foreclosure.

Source: Florida Realtors


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13 10 2014
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