Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Countrywide and Wells Fargo Return 193M to Homeowners

Some troubled homeowners got the promise of a little relief Wednesday in the form of separate settlements with Bank of America's Countrywide Home Loans and Wells Fargo & Co. Nearly $108 million in refund checks are being mailed to homeowners allegedly overcharged by Countrywide Home Loans as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

In an unrelated action against Wells Fargo, the Federal Reserve Board issued a cease-and-desist order and assessed an $85-million civil penalty over allegations that Wells Fargo Financial Inc. employees improperly pushed borrowers into more expensive subprime loans and exaggerated income information on mortgage applications from January 2004 to June 2008.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reached the settlement with Countrywide, which is now owned by Bank of America Corp., and said Wednesday that the agency was beginning to mail the checks to 450,177 defaulting homeowners from whom the company allegedly collected excessive fees.

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