Former mortgage lender Countrywide Financial is mailing out checks to 2,700 borrowers as part of a settlement with Florida homeowners, according to Attorney General Bill McCollum.
In July 2008, McCollum’s office filed a lawsuit against the Calabasas, CA-based lender for what it called deceptive and unfair trade practices, namely putting borrowers into mortgages they couldn’t afford with misleading mortgage rates and penalties.
More than $16.9 million in so-called relief payments will be distributed this week, with each check written for over $6,000.
“These checks will make a significant difference for Floridians who are trying to save their homes,” said Attorney General McCollum, in a statement on his website. “This will provide real relief to struggling homeowners and families.”
The big question is how many of the affected homeowners actually still own their homes (or are at least current on the mortgage payments), given the fact they’re located in foreclosure-riddled Florida.
The AG was also awarded $4 million to fund a foreclosure defense assistance program; the first funds were distributed in late 2009.
The organizations that receive the grants over the next two years have agreed to provide free legal assistance to eligible homeowners facing foreclosure who cannot afford an attorney to review their case.
Ex-Countrywide boss Angelo Mozilo was also named in the case, and a civil case against him is still pending in Broward County Circuit Court.