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BofA Reaches $335M Settlement in Countrywide Lending Discrimination Lawsuit
By Matt O'Donnell
Bank of America has agreed to pay a historic $335 million to resolve a discrimination lawsuit that accuses its Countrywide unit of engaging in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers.
The Countrywide lending discrimination settlement is largest settlement ever reached over residential fair lending practices, the Justice Department announced. The settlement amount will be used to compensate victims of Countrywide's discriminatory mortgage loans from 2004 through 2007.
The Countrywide lending discrimination lawsuit was originally filed in 2010 by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office, which accused Countrywide of consistently selling African-American and Hispanic borrowers riskier loans at a higher cost than it sold to white borrowers with similar credit.
Madigan said in a statement that the settlement upholds American principals of justice and fairness, and that people's access to credit, and the terms of their credit, should be determined on an equal basis, not on the basis of the color of their skin.
The Countrywide lending discrimination settlement is still subject to court approval.
Updated December 23rd, 2011
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