Bank of America Agrees to Settle Fraudulent Appraisal Class Action for $250 Million

Bank of America, which purchased Countrywide Financial Corp., will pay $250 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that Countrywide participated in a fraudulent real estate appraisal scheme. If approved, the settlement will end a nearly seven-year-old case that revolves around allegations that Countrywide, which Bank of America bought in 2008, and an affiliated appraisal vendor, schemed in the years leading up to the financial crisis to generate bogus, inflated appraisals in order to close as many home loans as possible.

The settlement provides that the estimated 2.4 million class members will not have to file claims forms to receive a cut of the $250 million common fund. The proposed settlement class is defined as U.S. residents who applied for a mortgage loan at the now-defunct Countrywide and whose properties were appraised by affiliated vendor LandSafe Inc. from 2003 through 2008.

The amount paid to each borrower will represent at least 22% of the appraisal fee taken by the defendants when assessing the mortgage applications, according to the filing.

The cases are Waldrup v. Countrywide Financial Corp. et al., case number 2:13-cv-08833, and Williams et al. v. Countrywide Financial Corp. et al., case number 2:16-cv-04166, both in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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Steve Larson

An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, environmental clean-up litigation, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve’s clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.


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