HELENA – Attorney General Steve Bullock on Friday announced that, under the terms of a settlement between his office and Countrywide, 79 Montana consumers who lost their homes to the foreclosure of Countrywide home loans will receive checks for $3,129 within the next few days.
“I’m sure this has been an incredibly bitter experience for families who dreamed of owning their own homes,” Bullock said. “While $3,000 isn’t enough to make up for that, I hope it will alleviate the some of the financial pressure these families are under and give them a little breathing room.”
In 2009, Bullock’s office joined with other state attorneys general to hold Countrywide accountable for its deceptive lending practices. Last July, the negotiations with Countrywide resulted in the Foreclosure Relief Program settlement, which made $247,247 available to Montana borrowers who lost their homes because of Countrywide’s mortgage origination and servicing practices.
“It’s a story that has been replayed in communities throughout the nation,” Bullock said. “Rather than being people home buyers could trust, loan officers for Countrywide fast-talked borrowers into dubious loans they didn’t fully understand and had little or no hope of ever paying back.”
Under the terms of the settlement, only borrowers who had specific types of Countrywide loans, such as interest-only and pay-option mortgages, were eligible. In addition, participation in the settlement was optional so consumers could either opt in or, rather than making a claim under the settlement, instead choose to join a class action suit or hire their own attorney.
The checks were mailed today and must be cashed on or before May 13, 2010.
A previous news release and the Countrywide settlement are online:
Consumers with questions about the settlement should contact Rust Consulting, Inc., toll-free at 1-866-411-6987 (hearing impaired call 1-866-494-8397) or visit www.countrywidesettlementinfo.com
Source: Montana Department of Justice