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Ear to the Ground

BofA Takes $335M Hit in Countrywide Settlement

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Posted on Dec 21, 2011
Flickr / Michael Gray (CC-BY-SA)

Since Bank of America absorbed the imploding mortgage-market megafirm that was Countrywide Financial in 2008, BofA must now pay for Countrywide’s ignominious past of pushing sketchy subprime deals on vulnerable would-be homeowners. And Wednesday, the Justice Department sealed a settlement deal that ensures BofA will pay dearly indeed.  —KA

The New York Times:

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom.

A department investigation concluded that Countrywide loan officers and brokers charged higher fees and rates to more than 200,000 minority borrowers across the country than to white borrowers who posed the same credit risk. Countrywide also steered more than 10,000 minority borrowers into costly subprime mortgages when white borrowers with similar credit profiles received regular loans, it found.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the settlement showed that the Justice Department would “vigorously pursue those who would take advantage of certain Americans because of their race, national origin, gender or disability,” adding: “Such conduct undercuts the notion of a level playing field for all consumers.  It betrays the promise of equal opportunity that is enshrined in our Constitution and our legal framework.”

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

For B of A it is just a drop in the bucket (of you now what!)
This is part of what Occupy Wall Street is all about and it is
my hope they turn their attention to completely exposing this
financial debacle.

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By berniem, December 24, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Replacing a Gonzales with a Holder is like getting rid of the Shah for the Ayatollah! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!!

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By litlpeep, December 24, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

What do we call it when we turn something upside down?

Has criminal justice in the United States of America not been turned upside down by the United States Government?

Who, pray tell, has overturned justice in these United States of America?

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By litlpeep, December 24, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

One has no doubt ‘Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. said the settlement showed that the Justice Department would “vigorously pursue those who would take advantage of certain Americans because of their race, national origin, gender or disability,”’  One also wonders: how does 335 million dollars stack up against the money the criminals were paid for, in effect, having committed the crime in the first place?

How does that stack up against all the degradation of the US Government’s character, having once again demonstrated the US Government rubber stamps token “justice” against the world’s most heinous criminals, while simultaneously condoning the most bizarre and outlandishly “cruel and unusual punishments” against a hungry man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving children?  Or against a hormone-stricken teen for puffing on a joint?

Anybody home in the US Criminal Justice culture?

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By gerard, December 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

And will people who were cheated out of their homes get one single penny out of this?  Naturally, that’s not even mentioned. So now what?

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By truedigger3, December 22, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Again, not admitting any wrong doing! Not a single day in jail! A fine which is a small fraction of the fraudlently obtained profits! What a fu*king farce!

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, December 22, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

If the two tiered Justice system worked for everyone like it works for political and economic elites:

“Yes your Honor, I was driving against traffic, on the sidewalk, throwing my empty whiskey bottles out the window while doing 50 m.p.h. in a school zone. I admit to no wrong-doing.  I have an endorsement from Pres. Obama saying what I did was unethical, but not illegal, and we must look forward and not backward.  Here is a dime to cover my fine, where do I pick up my change?”

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, December 22, 2011 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

@ kimsarah

I guess you said it all (most eloquently).

But I just wanted to add a bit of insult to injury…

Bank of America merges with Countrywide (in order to save us from the next “great depression”) and takes on its financial liability. The question of criminal liability for Countrywide’s widespread fraud has apparently been settled long ago by fining Mozila (its CEO) something like 60 million which is closer to a kiss on the patootie then a slap on the wrist.

To all you subprime mortgage holders who aren’t getting doodely-squat from this latest bold justice department action…

Sorry suckers!!!!

That is just the way the “free market” works.

Haahahahaha!!!

You Lose!!!

Glub glub glub (underwater chuckling).

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By kimsarah, December 22, 2011 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

I’m real glad that once again no wrongdoing has been admitted, and that no criminal charges will be brought forward. The system’s sure working like a well-oiled machine.

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