TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 1) - Countrywide Financial Corp., the
nation's largest mortgage lender, was sued Monday by Florida
Attorney General Bill McCollum for misleading and unfair trade
The 12-page suit also named Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo
R. Mozilo as a defendant. The California-based lender did not
immediately return a call for comment on the suit.
"It appears to us Countrywide did no due diligence and accepted
applications which were patently fraudulent and reflected no
ability on the part of the borrowers to make the required
payments," said Marc Taps with Legal Services of North Florida.
"The most financially unsophisticated segment of the population
was targeted by the brokers who knew Countrywide would write these
The complaint, filed in the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward
County, claims Countrywide hid the potential negative effects of
its so-called "teaser" loans, including increased interest rates
and prepayment penalties.
"It is unthinkable a company would try to take advantage of
someone's dream of home ownership," said McCollum, who plans a
Tuesday news conference to detail the allegations against the
California-based lending giant.
Illinois and California sued Countrywide last week, also
accusing the company of persuading homeowners to apply for risky
mortgages far beyond their means. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire
has accused Countrywide of cheating the state out of $5 million by
Countrywide is in the process of being sold to Bank of America.
The Charlotte-based bank expects to close the deal this week,
having received the go-ahead from Countrywide shareholders last
Attorney General's Fraud Outline: 1-866-966-7226
On the Net:www.myfloridalegal.com