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Two states filed lawsuits -- and a third announced regulatory actions -- accusing Countrywide Financial Corp. yesterday of predatory lending practices.
Following the announcement of lawsuits filed by California and Illinois, Washington's governor said her state also will go after the nation's largest mortgage lender, claiming borrowers were misled into taking on risky home loans.
The lawsuits came as Countrywide's shareholders cleared the way for a takeover of the distressed lender by Bank of America.
The timing of the lawsuits as Countrywide prepared to close the books after nearly 40 years underscored the company's dramatic shift over the past 12 months as the mortgage and housing markets soured, inducing its slide from the nation's largest originator and servicer of home loans to easy pickings for a takeover.