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Cook County Sues Bank of America on Predatory Lending Charges

chicagobusiness.com | April 2, 2014

By Alby Gallun

About a week after suing HSBC PLC subsidiaries on predatory lending charges, Cook County has filed a similar suit against Bank of America Corp.

The county blames the residential lenders for contributing to the foreclosure crisis, demanding that they compensate it for the losses that it incurred as a result.

“This predatory lending crisis caused tremendous tangible and intangible damage, particularly to African American and Latino communities in Cook County,” Cook County President Preckwinkle said in a statement. “These practices led to the erosion of the tax base, the loss of property tax revenue, out-of-pocket costs relating to abandoned or vacant properties, and other damages to the fabric of the communities and residents arising from the resulting urban blight.”

The county sued Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, and Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co., businesses it bought in 2008, yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The suit includes much of the same language the county used in a federal lawsuit it filed March 24 against HSBC businesses.

The county alleges that the banks violated the federal Fair Housing Act by providing unaffordable loans to homeowners in minority communities in the county.

Bank of America has not analyzed the complaint, but "we believe our record will demonstrate there is no basis for the claims," a bank spokesman wrote in an email.

"We have a firm commitment and strong track record for fair lending," he wrote. "We responded with urgency to rising mortgage defaults that resulted from the country's severe economic downturn and the personal financial hardships — unemployment and underemployment, divorce, and medical disability, chief among them – that resulted for so many Americans."


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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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