Countrywide investigated over mortgage practices

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 11:04 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 11:04 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's attorney general is investigating Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest mortgage lender, for possible unfair and deceptive business practices related to its home loans.

Attorney General Bill McCollum's office is focusing on the company's advertising and marketing, according to a subpoena dated Jan. 17.

The subpoena directs Countrywide to provide documents describing procedures used to determine whether borrowers qualify for subprime loans, those for people with shaky credit.

The state also wants information on how Countrywide credited borrowers' payments any time after January 2005. It also asks for documents that track applications of borrowers' payments to bankruptcy debt and a description of fees charged to mortgage holders during the same period.

Countrywide officials did not immediately return a phone call Thursday.

Attorneys general in Illinois and California are conducting similar investigations.

Countrywide, like many in the mortgage industry, has suffered under the weight of the subprime fallout as thousands of customers default on home loans.

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