Investigation and a pending class action lawsuit filed against Countrywide Home Loans on behalf of Washingotn State homeowners.
The class action complaint alleges that Countrywide illegal rigged the appraisal process in a scheme to boost profits at the expense of homeowners and independent appraisers. The class action lawsuit, which seeks to represent all homeowners who purchased or refinanced their home through Countrywide and LandSafe, claims Countrywide forces homeowners to use its wholly owned subsidiary LandSafe for appraisals. According to the class action lawsuit, LandSafe turns the appraisal work to a third-party, demands they follow the developed fee structure and if they refuse, adds them to a field review list that identifies appraisers Countrywide will not work with.
The class action lawsuit claims LandSafe subcontracts much if its appraisal work to a network of independent appraisers, but offers them rates as low as $140 per appraisal. Countrywide then marks the costs of the appraisal back as high as $410 when invoicing homeowners.
The class action lawsuit claims the practice is damaging to homeowners who pay the inflated fee and appraisers, who are forced to work below market standards or risk losing work in the future.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Countrywide Financial Corporation
Countrywide Financial Corporation originates, services and resells home loans. It is owned by Bank of America.
LandSafe, Inc., a Countrywide Financial subsidiary, provides real estate closing including appraisal and collateral valuation services, credit reports, flood determinations, title and escrow services.
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