Countrywide accused of discriminatory lending practices

Countrywide accused of discrimatory lending practices
Countrywide accused of discrimatory lending practices

The Illinois Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Countrywide, now a mortgage lending subsidiary of Bank of America, for allegedly discriminating against African American and Latino homeowners.

The charges, which allege violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Illinois Fairness in Lending Act, were filled against Countrywide Financial Corporation; Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.; and Full Spectrum Lending, Inc.

The attorney general's office conducted a two-year investigation into the company's 83,000 mortgages issued in Illinois between 2005-2007 before Bank of America purchased the company in 2008. In addition to statistical analysis, the attorney general's office interviewed former Countrywide employees and borrowers. Interviews found that employees were given the ability to sell loans with higher interest rates than those outlined on the rate sheets.