On Wednesday, Bank of America Corp’s Countrywide Financial unit agreed o pay a record $335 million to settle civil charges that it discriminated against minority homebuyers, which is an historic settlement for the Obama administration in the wake of the subprime mortgage morass.
The settlement covers conduct between 2004 and 2008 and involved a range of alleged wrongdoing, including charging African-Americans and Hispanics higher interest rates and fees than non-minorities.
“The victims had no idea they were being victimized. They were thrilled to have gotten a loan and realize the American dream,” Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, told reporters. “This is discrimination with a smile.”
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