SINGLETON CALLS COUNTRYWIDE MORTGAGE SCANDAL "SHAMEFUL MOMENT IN OUR CURRENT CRISIS"

Praises U.S. Attorney for Achieving Measure of Justice for Minorities Discriminated Against by One of Nation’s Largest Mortgage Holders

Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington/Camden) today called the news that Countrywide Financial discriminated against qualified African American and Hispanic borrowers by steering them towards higher interest rate subprime loans “a shameful moment in our current economic crisis.”

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday announced a $335 million settlement with Bank of America, which now owns Countrywide, after it determined that the lender charged roughly 200,000 minority borrowers with higher interest rates and fees and steered some to more expensive subprime mortgages during a period between 2004 and 2008.

“This is just further proof of the unscrupulous practices that helped precipitate not only the collapse of the housing market, but the recession, as well.

“More disturbing is that this practice was laced with discrimination and many innocent families, who deserved a far better mortgage rate, may have lost their homes in the process because of this predatory practice.

“This is a shameful moment in our current economic crisis.

“I’m pleased that the federal government has achieved a small measure of justice for some of the families that have been wronged by this practice. I’m sure this settlement will never truly compensate these families for the all of the emotional and financial upheaval they have endured, but at least some measure of justice has been achieved,” said Singleton.