Countrywide Home Loans — illegal/unethical practices, predatory lending
First, let me say that Countrywide's criminal and unethical practices need to be stopped and all of us that have mortgages with them need to be compensated for damages. We also, have been financially damaged by them. To name a few, they did a classic bait and switch to our refinance loan; we were promised in writing a credit come back loan, yet we found out after the fact that they locked us into a sub prime 2 year hybrid libor adjustable rate loan, they falsified information on documents, did not provide us with a copy of a good faith estimate and truth in lending prior to closing, several inconsistencies between the loan application and the final documents, dragging the refinance over a 4 month period despite me providing all the documentation that they require at the first visit, pulling 4 "hard" credit reports as a result of their dragging their feet, lost payment. They also verbally promised us that we could refinance to a better loan at a fixed rate 6 months from refinancing. We received harassing phone calls several times during the day and night, even on Sunday mornings saying that we were late on payments despite me holding copies of my receipts and canceled checks written out to them. And the list goes on...
I refused to tolerate their abuse and took matters into my own hands when customer service started to give me the run around. I filed complaints and sent in all the required documents with the Office of the President (Countrywide), Federal Trade Commission, New Mexico State Attorney General Office, and the New Mexico State Licensing and Regulation for Financial Institution's departments. I also went personally to see CEO of my local credit union and also with the mortgage specialist at my local bank with all my documents to see about refinancing with them and bring my loan local.
Something that is not made public is that magical number [protected]/[protected] ext. 6441 to the office of the president. I raised hell and demanded to speak to the CEO. Of course he's always busy, so I was passed off to one of the first vice-presidents. He told me that either he would try to get help for me through the Work-Out program, or try to refinance. Because this process is taking too long to resolve, it prompted me to file complaints with the other agencies.
I have not heard back from the FTC to date. When I spoke with the NMAg, they were very interested in my complaint and stated that they have received several complaints against several lending institutions regarding predatory practices. I was dissatisfied with the response from the regulations department and was advised from the NMAg's office to send in an amended complaint to the licensing department with additional documents. I was referred to a couple of law firms in Santa Fe from a friend that is a prosecutor. Both law firms wanted to take the case, however, they required a $4500.00 retainer. I had to pass it up since I cannot provide the retainer due to financial setbacks recently.
The CEO and mortgage specialist at my credit union and bank both reviewed all my documents. They advised me that they are not lawyers and cannot give legal advise. However, they showed me several inconsistencies and evidence of predatory lending that are violations of lending laws on my documents. I am forever grateful for these two individuals that are helping me out of this mess.
If I were you, do the following:
1. Go to your bank and/or credit union and let a mortgage specialist review your documents to look for inconsistencies and violations.
2. File a complaints with the following: your state AG's office; your state regulation licensing office; Countrywide's Office of the President, Janis Allen, 6400 Legacy Drive PTX-320, Plano, TX 75024; the FTC; and other pertinent agencies.
3. If you type in the Google search engine "Countrywide complaints, lawsuits, " etc, you will see that there are several states such as California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Virginia, that their AG has filed class action lawsuits. See if there is one in your state and if so, get in contact with the law firm that is doing it.
I hope this helps.