News Column

Countrywide Settlement Deadline Approaching

March 28, 2013

Mary Ellen Podmolik

Hispanic and African-American mortgage borrowers who may be entitled to compensation under a Justice Department settlement with Countrywide Financial must submit their claim forms by Friday, the Illinois Attorney General's office said Wednesday.

The $335 million national settlement, announced in December 2011 by federal and state authorities, resolved allegations that Countrywide, which has since been absorbed by Bank of America, charged higher interest rates and fees to African-American and Latino mortgage customers than white applicants who had similar income levels and credit scores.

When the settlement was announced, Illinois estimated that about 15,000 African-American and Latino borrowers in Illinois were entitled to compensation. Nationwide, the settlement affected 200,000 customers.

Eligible borrowers have already been notified but those who need assistance or new claim forms can contact the settlement administrator at 1-800-843-5148 or or can contact the attorney general's homeowner helpline at 1-866-544-7151.

Source: (c)2013 the Chicago Tribune Distributed by MCT Information Services

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