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BofA settles Countrywide discrimination charges for $335M

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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...