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Justice Department, Countrywide Financial Reach $335,000 Settlement Over Allegations Company Discriminated Against Minority Homebuyers

Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:03am

The Justice Department says it’s reached the largest residential fair lending settlement in its history, over charges that Countrywide Financial engaged in widespread discrimination in the way it treated African American, and Hispanic borrowers.

The $335 million dollar deal will provide compensation to more than 200,000 of the company’s clients between 2004, and 2008.

Justice Department officials say Countrywide often charged qualified minority buyers higher fees, and interest rates than other buyers because of the victims race, or national origin.

The settlement is still subject to court approval.

Under the plan, an independent administrator would contact, and distribute compensation to victims of the discrimination.

Countrywide’s operations were based in the Calabasas and Conejo Valley areas, before the financially troubled company was later purchased by Bank of America.

Countrywide currently doesn’t originate new loans, but as a part of the deal, would have to implement new policies, and practices to prevent discrimination if it gets back into that business.

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