The Federal Trade Commission announced last month that it is mailing out refund checks to 200,000 American homeowners who were charged excessive fees in their mortgages by Countrywide Home Loans.
The FTC sued Countrywide last year for using unfair and deceptive practices while servicing the mortgages of homeowners in default or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
According to the Countrywide lawsuit, the lender “abused” and overcharged 200,000 struggling homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments. These abuses included:
– charging excessive fees for default-related services like property inspections;
– making claims about amounts owed by homeowners in bankruptcy that were false or couldn’t be backed up; and
– not telling people going through bankruptcy when new fees or charges were being added to their loans.
The FTC Countrywide settlement will provide $108 million in refunds to homeowners who were charged inappropriate fees or were victims of false statements made in bankruptcy court.
The Countrywide refund checks began going out in late July 2011. Eligible homeowners will automatically receive a check in the mail. However, if you have moved, you can submit your change of address in writing to:
FTC v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC
P.O. Box 808054
Petaluma, CA 94975-8054
For more information on the FTC v. Countrywide Home Loans settlement, call (888) 230-3196.
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