State Attorney General sues Countrywide
Calling Countrywide Financial a “mass-production loan factory, producing ever-increasing streams of debt without regard for borrowers,” Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday seeking to stop what it alleges are the company’s deceptive practices and seeking monetary damages.
Brown said in the lawsuit that while traditionally and in the past mortgage lenders who made home loans to consumers, kept them in their own portfolio, Countrywide’s chief executive and president engaged in deceptive advertising and unfair competition by pushing homeowners into risky loans for the purpose of reselling these transactions to third parties as securities or whole loans.
The suit also accuses Countrywide of luring in unsuspecting consumers with low “teaser” interest rates that fronted complex loans. The complaint added that Countrywide employees, including loan officers, underwriters and branch mangers are said to have misrepresented or glossed over the fact that borrowers with certain kinds of these loans would see huge increases in monthly payments after a point.
These business practices produced windfall profits for Countrywide, claimed Brown.
California’s lawsuit is seeking from Countrywide a civil penalty of $2,500 for each violation of the state business code section 17500 and $2,500 for each violation of the Business and Professions Code section 17200.
It is reported that the Illinois attorney general is also expected to sue the Calabasas-based mortgage lender on the same grounds.
Once America’s largest mortgage lender, today Countrywide has reported losses of $2.5 billion over the past three quarters.
Meanwhile, Countrywide shareholders today approved a $4 million stock-swap deal for Bank of American to acquire the housing giant.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly was sued today by a former manager, who alleges the entertainer owes him more than $1 million commissions for helping him revive his career amid child pornography allegations.
Jeff Kwatinetz, through his company, Prospect Park, filed the case in Los Angeles Superior Court.
He is alleging breach of contract and fraud and also is asking for unspecified punitive damages from Kelly and his business manager, Derrel McDavid.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A Los Angeles police sergeant who claimed he was the victim of retaliation for being gay was awarded $1.16 million by a jury.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for part of Wednesday afternoon and most of Thursday before finding in favor of Sgt. Ronald Crump.
"This was not a case about Ronald Crump being gay, but about the department's retaliation against him,'' attorney Gregory Smith said on behalf of Crump.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Jury selection is under way in the trial of a lawsuit by a Los Angeles police sergeant who alleges he was discriminated against, harassed and the victim of retaliation because he is gay.
Sgt. Ronald Crump worked in the LAPD's Media Relations Section from December 2008 until July 2009. He sued the city five months later in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A $40 million breach-of-contract lawsuit filed today on behalf of five members of the "Happy Days'' cast against CBS alleges the actors are owed money for merchandise sales related to the comedy series, which ended its run 26 years ago.
Anson Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross, Erin Moran and the estate of Tom Bosley say in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that the merchandise includes comic books, T-shirts, lunch boxes, greeting cards and DVDs.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Calabasas-based Fuel Doctor, which makes a small device it claims can increase vehicle miles per gallon by 25 percent, was sued by a consumer who says it did nothing for her car.
Mlissa Drinville filed her lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging false advertising and unfair competition.
She is asking for an injunction to stop the company from claiming the device increases fuel efficiency, along with unspecified damages. She also wants to add other consumers to the suit and make it a class action.