Mortgage Company Accused of Defrauding Katrina Victims
Angry homeowners hit hard by Hurricane Katrina are accusing Countrywide Home Loans of reneging on a promise to help them by temporarily suspending their mortgage payments.
According to a class-action lawsuit filed in Louisiana today, homeowners say the mortgage giant is now demanding any deferred payments be paid up immediately, often with interest and penalties attached. Plaintiffs' attorneys say that as a result, many struggling homeowners have been sent into foreclosure.
In a goodwill gesture after Katrina hit two years ago, Countrywide announced it would suspend mortgage payments for hurricane victims for up to 90 days. Homeowners say they were told by Countrywide agents that any deferred payments would be added to the back end of the loan term, and that no lump sum, interest or penalties would be imposed.
According to the lawsuit, however, homeowners have been notified by Countrywide that they have to either pay the entire deferred amount immediately or restructure their loan in a way that would cost them thousands of additional dollars.
My oh my those people have such warm hearts.
Via The Blotter.