Industry NewsMortgage

BofA settles Countrywide discrimination charges for $335M

Agreement with DOJ also addresses treatment of married borrowers

Don't miss the real estate event of the summer
Join 4,000 real estate pros at Connect SF, Aug 7‑11, 2017

Bank of America has agreed to pay $335 million to settle charges that Countrywide Financial Corp. and its subsidiary discriminated against more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers by charging them higher fees and interest rates on mortgage loans made from 2004 through 2008.In a complaint filed Wednesday in conjunction with the proposed settlement, the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that Countrywide allowed its loan officers and mortgage brokers to vary a loan's interest rate and other fees.This "subjective and unguided pricing discretion" resulted in minority borrowers paying more, the Justice Department said in announcing the settlement agreement -- its largest ever involving fair lending.In 2007, for example, a qualified African-American borrower in Los Angeles taking out a $200,000 mortgage paid an average of roughly $1,200 more in fees than a similarly qualified white borrower, Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference.Countrywide was aw...