On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in New York took aim at Bank of America. They accused it of carrying out a scheme, started by its Countrywide Financial unit, that defrauded government-backed mortgage agencies by churning out loans at a rapid pace without proper controls. In a civil suit, prosecutors seek to collect at least $1 billion in penalties from the bank as compensation for the behavior that they say forced taxpayers to guarantee billions in bad loans….
In the lawsuit on Wednesday, the Justice Department attacked a home loan program known as the “hustle,” which the bank inherited from Countrywide in 2008 and kept alive through 2009.
Prosecutors say the venture was a symbol of Wall Street’s slipshod standards during the mortgage bubble. According to the lawsuit, Countrywide rubber-stamped mortgage loans to risky borrowers and passed them on to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-controlled mortgage financial giants that guaranteed the loans. The two entities were ultimately stuck with heavy losses and a glut of foreclosed properties.
“The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope,” Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement. “This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated.”
Mortgage refinancing and mortgage financing nightmares courtesy of Bank of America. Does it get more appalling? I live in San Diego, but do not own a home here. I wanted to purchase a home in Tennessee. I …