Saturday, December 31, 2011

Federal Appeals Court: Case against Countrywide (Bank of America) can proceed

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a lawsuit against the Countrywide unit of Bank of America Corporation could proceed to trial. As reported by Reuters, the plaintiffs filed suit against the home loan giant alleging violation of the federal Truth In Lending Act as well as claiming that that the lender refused to cancel the loan after they made a request to do so shortly after signing the papers.

The Hispanic plaintiffs claimed that a loan officer refused to leave their home until they agreed to sign documents they did not understand, refusing to reschedule to allow a relative who was more proficient in English to review the documents. Reuters also reports that Countrywide agreed to pay $335 million in penalties earlier this month based on U.S. Justice Department claims that it had discriminated against minorities by steering them toward more expensive loan products. According to the Washington Post, US Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez noted that “If you were African American or Latino, and you went to Countrywide for a loan, and you were qualified, you likely paid more simply because of the color of your skin.”

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