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Florida Countrywide Settlement Means Checks To Homeowners

Posted on February 17 By Justin McHood

Here is the first thing like this I have seen - but possibly not the last:

Approximately 2,700 homeowners who had a loan with Countrywide are getting a check for just over$6,000 and total almost $17 million as a result of a settlement with the Florida Attorney Generals office.

According to the Florida Attorney Generals announcement:

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that more than 2,700 people will receive checks from a 2008 settlement his office obtained with Countrywide Financial Corporation. As part of the settlement, Countrywide is offering foreclosure relief payments to eligible borrowers who returned valid and timely Claim Forms and Releases under a program administered by the Countrywide settlement administrator. More than $16.9 million will be distributed this week, and each check will be written for just over $6,000.

“These checks will make a significant difference for Floridians who are trying to save their homes,” said Attorney General McCollum. “This will provide real relief to struggling homeowners and families.”

In July 2008, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Countrywide, one of the nation’s largest mortgage companies, for allegedly engaging in deceptive and unfair trade practices. The Attorney General’s lawsuit claimed Countrywide put borrowers into mortgages they couldn't afford or loans with rates and penalties that were misleading. That lawsuit was resolved in October 2008, and the settlement agreement included a foreclosure relief payment program for Florida homeowners with qualifying Countrywide mortgages.

Also, according to the announcement, some very important information for people who are receiving checks and may have questions:

Important information for check recipients:

  • The checks must be cashed on or before May 13, 2010
  • The payment under this settlement may be taxable, and recipients should consult a tax advisor if they have any questions concerning their possible tax liabilities as a result of this payment.
  • Recipients with any questions about their checks or other matters relating to the settlement should contact the settlement administrator, Rust Consulting, toll free at 1-866-411-6987, or visit http://www.countrywidesettlementinfo.com

This settlement is probably one of many that you will hear about as a result of many lending practices in the early 2000's. While it seems like a large amount at first glance, when you look at how much revenue was probably generated for Countrywide by doing whatever-it-was-that-was-wrong, it is probably a drop in the bucket.

But something is better than nothing I guess.

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