Countrywide Begins $108M Payback

Kevork Djansezian / AP Photo

An employee of Countrywide walks into the Northridge branch in Los Angeles, Calif., in this Aug. 22, 2007 file photo. The U.S. mortgage-lending business is a sprawling, varied enterprise that no one regulator oversees, making it impossible to know how many mortgages or lenders not insured by the government are in trouble. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)

Countrywide Home Loans will start to send out the $108 million it agreed to pay to more than 450,000 borrowers for charging them excessive fees, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. Bank of America, which owns Countrywide now, earlier struck a settlement with the FTC, acknowledging that the company overcharged homeowners on default-related services—for example, some homeowners going through foreclosure were charged $300 to have their lawns mowed. It’s the biggest settlement in the FTC’s history if counted by the number of consumers receiving payment.