Countrywide Class Action Suit: Hurricane Victims Feel Betrayed

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TAMPA, Fla., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to Countrywide Home Loans refusal to fulfill promises made to Gulf Coast hurricane victims, the James Hoyer Law Firm announced today the filing of a new class action lawsuit against the mortgage company. The suit was filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Mississippi.

The suit alleges Countrywide took advantage of these disaster victims by offering them mortgage deferrals with no penalties attached and then reneging on that promise. The company turned its disaster relief assistance into a twisted, money making venture. Countrywide subjected these victims to the threat of foreclosure if they did not agree to harmful forbearance agreements and loan modifications that end up costing them more money. These plans made more profit for Countrywide on the backs of hurricane victims.

Mississippi Plaintiff Shermanda Brumfield calls Countrywide's refusal to live up to its promise an outrage. "It hurts to see this company turn its back on us, after we've been through so much. We've been suffering for more than two years. It's time for them to do the right thing and help us out of the hardship they created," she said.

Background: After Hurricanes Rita & Katrina, Countrywide offered 90-day mortgage payment deferrals to homeowners affected by the devastation and in many cases 6-month deferrals. Countrywide represented this as a good deed to help people in their time of suffering and even issued a press release to promote its actions.

Homeowners were told by agents over the phone their deferred payments could be tacked onto the end of their mortgages. They were assured they would not face penalties like late fees, interest and reports to the credit bureaus.

Countrywide went so far as to tell homeowners who wanted to pay, not to do it. In some cases, they even returned checks. Struggling hurricane victims accepted the offer of help, some reluctantly, when assured they would not be economically penalized by late fees, penalties or credit reporting.

When homeowners followed up later to resume payments, they discovered Countrywide was reneging on its promise. The company said it could not add the payments to the end of the loan, without penalty, after all. Instead, Countrywide told homeowners they would either have to pay the lump sum owed immediately or face a loan restructuring which would cause them to pay thousands of dollars more over the life of their loan.

The suit, filed on behalf of victims in Mississippi, is in addition to two suits already pending in Louisiana and Texas. The James Hoyer Law Firm is seeking reasonable loan terms for these victims so they can remain in their homes and restitution for those who've already lost their homes.

Video of Texas hurricane victims evicted by Countrywide: Runs 6 minutes.

This video documents the hardship faced by Texas hurricane victims Ron and Andrea Rogers and their three children. Countrywide evicted the family five days before Thanksgiving.

The Rogers' case crystallizes the reality that mortgage companies, like Countrywide, are trying to make it appear they're helping families avoid foreclosure, while in reality driving them out of their homes. This senseless eviction has left another vacant home in a neighborhood, driving down property values and hurting our communities. As Ron Rogers said the night he moved his family into the Super 8 Motel: "Here's your mortgage meltdown right here. It's self-inflicted by the mortgage companies."

James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smiljanich, PA is an investigative, law firm that represents individuals, organizations and governments.

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This is happening to me right now. I am in shock! I never knew countrywide did this BEFORE. Oh, MY GOD, I don't know what to do. I am a victim of hurriance Ike. Can you provide any other information to me. on the link to the law firm in this blog entry and contact them.

Your very welcome...sorry to hear you are going through this. Please let me know how things work out... keep me posted!

Thank you so much for this information an Countrywide , My mother is 79 y/o still working 40 hrs a week just to make ends meet. This happened to her also after Hurricane Katrina and now her interest rate is going up 1.5 % every 6 mths . She has lived in this house for 37 years . We don't know how much more we can take ... So again thank you for the information .

I just found out about this today!!!! I had no idea about the class action suit in TX. Does anyone know whether I can still file a suit or make a claim. I lost my entire savings because of this...and it sooooo unfair!

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