Bank of America expected to settle discriminatory lending claims

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The Justice Department is expected to announce Wednesday a settlement with Bank of America Corp. that resolves accusations that its Countrywide Financial unit engaged in discriminatory mortgage-lending practices, according to a person familiar with the matter.

BofA, which acquired Countrywide during the financial crisis, is expected to pay a sizable cash penalty as part of the deal, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly. The government began to look into Countrywide’s lending practices to minorities in 2004, well before BofA’s acquisition four years later.

The investigation centered on allegations that Countrywide charged excessive interest rates, fees and other mortgage-related costs to African American and Latino home buyers, the person said.

The announcement is expected to come at noon Pacific time.

The Justice Department did not immediately comment. A spokesman for BofA also declined to comment about the settlement.


-- Walter Hamilton