Washington State DFI just came down with a huge hammer on Countrywide with a plethora of charges, based on a sample of 600 hundred examined loan files, including (but no limited to):
- Charging higher fees and interest rates to borrowers of protected ethnicity than others with similar situations.
- Inaccurate reporting of HMDA.
- Good Faith Estimates and Federal Truth in Lending not provided within 3 days of application along with violations of other disclosure forms.
The State has also charged that Countrywide has understated their loan volume from 2002 – 2007 and are requiring Countrywide to pay $5,594,785.78 in back assessments.
If DFI’s Deborah Bortner and Governor Gregoire have their way, Countrywide will have their license to provide mortgages revoked and be banned for 5 years from operating as a liscened consumer loan company in Washington State plus an additional $1 million in various fees and fines.
DFI’s STATEMENT OF CHARGES and NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ENTER AN ORDER TO REVOKE LICENSE, IMPOSE FINE, ORDER RESTITUTION, PROHIBIT FROM INDUSTRY, AND COLLECT ANNUAL ASSESSMENTS, EXAMINATION FEES, AND INVESTIGATION FEES. Whew!
Governor Gregoire’s Press Release
Last but not least, Jillayne Schlicke’s post at Rain City Guide: What do Governor Gregoire’s actions mean for local Countrywide employees and short selling homeowners?
I have to wonder with the pending merger with Bank of America, how this will be impacted? Is it still valid? (I believe that Countrywide will no longer be under the Consumer Loan Act once it becomes Bank of America). This drama is far from over.