Top Mortgage-Meltdown Settlement So Far: Countrywide to Pay $600 Million

Countrywide Financial agreed to the highest payout of the mortgage meltdown so far -- a $600 million shareholder settlement. Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC) agreed to pay $600 million to settle shareholder lawsuits in the largest payout so far from the mortgage meltdown.

U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in Los Angeles on Monday gave preliminary approval to the agreement, in which the defendants admitted no wrongdoing.

The settlement would end several class-action lawsuits that claimed Countrywide concealed mounting risks as it loosened its standards for loans during the housing boom.

The Calabasas company was once the nation's largest mortgage lender and was acquired by Bank of America (BAC) in 2008.

Clears Executives and Underwriters

The settlement would clear former executives and financial firms that underwrote Countrywide stock and were named in the class-action suits.

Former CEO Angele Mozilo, former President David Sambol, former CFO Eric Sieracki and former board members were named in the litigation.

The company is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a lawsuit accusing Mozilo, Sambol and Sieracki of misleading investors.

Investigation Continues

The company and Mozilo are also under criminal investigation by the Justice Department and the attorneys general of California. Other states have also sued on behalf of borrowers.

"It is the largest settlement of any shareholder case to come out of the subprime crisis this far," said Joel Bernstein, attorney for the New York state and city pension funds that were the lead plaintiffs.

The settlement doesn't cover investments in mortgage-backed securities sold by Countrywide.

Countrywide's accounting firm, KPMG, which signed off on the lender's financial statements from 2005 to 2006, agreed to pay an additional $24 million as part of the settlement.

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July 28 2013 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And what happens to all those poor people who lost their homes ??? Let's face it, these banks had one goal in mind, to gather as many sub prime mortgages as they could, bundled them, and then sold them PERIOD. There are alot of people on MAIN Street, IN ANYTOWN US, that have had their lives totally destroyed by the BANKS.

August 03 2010 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply