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Countrywide Sued for Overcharges

Motion seeks to have case thrown out

August 22, 2006

WASHINGTON correspondent for MortgageDaily.com

A $30 fee has landed Countrywide Home Loans in an Illinois state court fighting a case that seeks class action status. But the mortgage giant has asked the judge to throw out the lawsuit.

Todd Morgan sued Countrywide in connection with his residential mortgage loan, claiming that it misrepresents and inflates the amount it pays to third parties and keeps the extra money.

Morgan said Countrywide charged him $30 in 1999 for a courier fee for overnight delivery to the title company handling his loan. Morgan said the amount Countrywide paid the company that performed the delivery was actually much less.

Countrywide also overcharged on other fees such as the appraisal fee, the credit report fee and the recording fees, Morgan said in court papers. Countrywide's retention of the "extra money violates fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience."

But Countrywide's attorney Troy Bozarth has asked the court for judgment in its favor.

Bozarth did not return MortgageDaily.com's calls for comment.

Paul Weiss, one of the plaintiff's attorneys involved in the case, said the plaintiffs will be filing an opposition to Countrywide's request for immediate judgment.

The court has not yet ruled on Morgan's request for class action status.

The plaintiffs have asked for the return of the money they paid along with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.

A hearing on Countrywide's request is set for Oct. 18.

Weiss said the case is one of several on the issue in which he is representing homeowners.

Weiss denied published reports that a former Countrywide attorney is representing the plaintiffs in this case.

Lisa D. Burden is a legal analyst for MortgageDaily.com and holds a law degree from the University of Maryland. She is currently a freelance journalist who previously wrote for Institutional Investor publications and the Baltimore Daily Record.

e-mail Lisa at: [email protected]

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