Foreclosure Defense: Countrywide Faces Civil RICO, RESPA Charges In Washington Class Action Suit; Accused Of Using Do-Nothing Subsidiary To Inflate, Pocket Appraisal Fees

In Seattle, Washington, the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP announced last week:

  • A group of Washington homeowners this week filed a lawsuit against Countrywide, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and the nation’s largest mortgage company, claiming the mortgage giant illegally rigged the appraisal process in a scheme to boost profits at the expense of homeowners and independent appraisers.
  • Filed under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act (RICO), the suit claims that Countrywide forces homeowners to use its wholly owned subsidiary LandSafe, for appraisals. The company then turns around and subcontracts the work to independent appraisers while charging homeowners as much as 200 percent of the actual cost of the appraisal.

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  • The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, seeks to represent all homeowners who purchased or refinanced their home through Countrywide and LandSafe, and asks the court to award plaintiffs damages. […] The lawsuit cites violations of federal law under RICO and RESPA. Other counts include unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of California unfair competition law. You can learn more about this case by visiting www.hbsslaw.com/CFChomeowners.

For the press release, see Hagens Berman Files Class Action Against Lending Giant Countrywide.

For the lawsuit, see Clark v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., et al.

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