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Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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Florida AG Sues Countrywide

Following similar moves in California and Illinois, the Florida attorney general’s office on Monday filed a lawsuit against Countrywide Financial Corp. accusing the mortgage lender of unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit against Countrywide and its chief executive, Angelo Mozilo, saying the company encouraged homeowners to take out mortgages they couldn’t afford to pay back.

The attorneys general of California and Illinois filed similar lawsuits last week, and the governor of Washington said the state is seeking to revoke the company’s business license there.

The Calabasas-based mortgage lender was a leader in during the long housing boom in the issuance of subprime mortgages to homeowners with impaired credit.

The company did not immediately respond to the lawsuit, but last week Countrywide said it was “fully cooperating” with the attorneys general of California and Illinois.

The Florida lawsuit comes the day before Bank of America Corp. is set to complete its purchase of Countrywide. Mozilo plans to retire once the acquisition is complete.

Shares of Countrywide closed down nearly 4 percent Monday to $4.25.

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