Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Plan To Pay $1.64M to Qualifying Kentucky Countrywide Mortgage Borrowers
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that some Kentucky consumers who had home mortgage loans with Countrywide Mortgage Company will be able to make claims beginning this week as part of the settlement agreement with Countrywide over allegations of predatory lending practices.
As part of the settlement agreement, Countrywide Mortgage established a nationwide fund of $150 million to provide loan modifications to assist up to 395,000 borrowers. Notices are being sent to more than 1,000 Countrywide Mortgage borrowers in Kentucky notifying them of their eligibility to share in the $1.64 million designated from the fund for the state. Only Countrywide Mortgage borrowers whose homes were foreclosed upon within 12 months of entering into the mortgage are eligible for this Foreclosure Relief Program.
“I am pleased that we were able to negotiate a settlement with Countrywide that not only addresses the company’s future lending practices, but provides some restitution to Kentucky borrowers who lost their homes as a result of lending practices we believe were misleading and deceptive,” said General Conway.
The Kentucky settlement distribution plan provides for payments to eligible Countrywide borrowers who entered into mortgage loans that were clearly unaffordable at the time of origination. Under the settlement distribution plan, eligible Countrywide Mortgage borrowers who obtained a mortgage loan directly from Countrywide will be sent forms to claim payments that average $1,564.17 (assuming 100% participation). This amount will be greater if all eligible borrowers do not participate in the distribution by returning the completed claim forms to the settlement administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., by the deadline of October 6, 2009.
To qualify for the Foreclosure Relief Program:
- Borrowers must have entered into a mortgage loan with Countrywide between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007
- The loan must be secured by owner-occupied residential property
- The home was foreclosed within 12 months following origination of the loan
All Countrywide customers who are eligible to receive a foreclosure relief settlement payment should receive a mailed notice from the settlement administrator. The notices will be mailed beginning this week. Consumers who wish to participate in the settlement will have to complete and return a simple claim and release form. Borrowers who sign and return the claim release form will be agreeing to release any individual legal claims they might otherwise have against Countrywide. The actual settlement payments will then be paid directly to the consumers by check.
As part of the settlement, Countrywide also agreed to implement a series of reforms in its lending operations. An Assurance of Voluntary Compliance is in place in Franklin Circuit Court that restricts unfair and deceptive mortgage lending (predatory lending) practices by Countrywide Mortgage Corporation. In addition, Countrywide has agreed to a massive Loan Modification Program that is mandated under the terms of the settlement.
An additional 2,500 Kentucky borrowers will be eligible to remain in their homes as a result of the Loan Modification Program, which will restructure more than $262 million of Kentucky homeowners’ debt. A separate notice will be sent to those borrowers who qualify for this mandated program.
Countrywide mortgage loan customers who have questions about the settlement payment procedures or other aspects of the settlement can contact a toll-free number, 1-866-411-6987 (hearing impaired 1-866-494-8397, or visit www.countrywidesettlementinfo.com .