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States settle over Countrywide lending

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California's attorney general today announced a multibillion-dollar settlement over alleged unfair and deceptive lending practices by Countrywide Financial Corp. -- the company was acquired by Bank of America earlier this year. The settlement is expected to allow hundreds of thousands of eligible borrowers to obtain more affordable loans and avoid foreclosure. "The Countrywide settlement will likely become the largest predatory lending settlement in history, dwarfing the nationwide $484 million settlement with Household Finance Corp. in 2002, under which California received approximately $91 million," according to a statement today by the office of California Attorney General Jerry Brown . The settlement, with Countrywide Home Loans, Countrywide Financial Corp. and Full Spectrum Lending, is expected to provide up to $8.68 billion worth of relief, including $3.5 billion to California borrowers. California was among a group of several states that had filed lawsuits...