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Countrywide Sued Again for Discriminatory Lending

Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office, Glendale, California, photo on black AP

Bank of America's mortgage unit Countrywide is being sued in Illinois for discriminating against black and Latino borrowers. According to a report in Bloomberg, Illinois's attorney general, Lisa Madigan, has filed a suit alleging that Countrywide disproportionately steered minorities into risky subprime mortgages:

"Countrywide's illegal discriminatory lending practices destroyed the wealth and dreams of thousands of African American and Latino homeowners," Madigan said in the statement. "Bank of America needs to be held accountable by taking financial responsibility for cleaning up the devastation of the predatory company that it chose to take over."

Remember that back in 2006, Eliot Spitzer, when he was still New York's attorney general, sued Countrywide for similar practices. The mortgage lender settled, compensated minority borrowers and adopted measures to prevent discriminatory pricing.

And less than a month ago, Bank of America paid $108 million to settle federal charges that Countrywide collected outsized fees from about 200,000 borrowers facing foreclosure.

And the lending unit is still mired in a massive $8-billion settlement for predatory loans in a suit filed by Madigan and involving 10 other states.