Mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., which is under investigation for inflating certain borrowers' fees, acknowledged Tuesday that it has made errors and pledged to take steps to improve its operations, the Associated Press reports.


Steve Bailey, chief executive for loan administration at Countrywide, told a Senate panel that the company's employees have made mistakes "from time to time." He said the company will hire an outside auditor to review its actions in cases involving homeowners who have filed for bankruptcy court protection.


But he disputed accusations, made by hundreds of borrowers in Pennsylvania, Florida and other states, that the company has sought to collect inflated fees and other payments by filing inaccurate bankruptcy documents. The Justice Department is currently investigating the accusations.


"Servicers have also been accused of intentionally assessing inappropriate fees and costs to borrowers in bankruptcy," Bailey said. "With respect to Countrywide, these allegations are simply not true."


But Katherine Porter, a professor at the University of Iowa, testified that mortgage companies and servicers have improperly sought repayment for attorneys' fees and other costs without fully disclosing or documenting the fees.

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