Bank of America’s Countrywide to Pay $108M Settlement
Countrywide Financial Corp., the mortgage company bought by Bank of America Corp., will pay $108 million to settle U.S. claims it charged excessive fees to struggling home buyers.
The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement today at a news conference, describing the penalty as one of the largest in the agency’s history.
“Life is hard enough for homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “To have a major loan servicer like Countrywide piling on illegal and excessive fees is indefensible.”
Homeowners who were behind on mortgage payments were duped into paying inflated fees that could add thousands of dollars to their costs, the FTC said in a complaint. Countrywide, before it was acquired by Bank of America in 2008, was the top mortgage servicer in the U.S. with more than $1.4 trillion in its portfolio, the FTC said.