Cook County, Illinois Files Lawsuit Against HSBC, Bank of America, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch for Predatory and

Cook County, Illinois Files Lawsuit Against HSBC, Bank of America, Countrywide
and Merrill Lynch for Predatory and Discriminatory Mortgage Lending Practices

  PR Newswire

  CHICAGO, May 1, 2014

-- Cook County Minority Communities Devastated by Foreclosures

CHICAGO, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --On March 31, 2014, Cook County Board
President Toni Preckwinkle and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez filed lawsuits
on behalf of Cook County against HSBC, Bank of America and Bank of America
subsidiaries including, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, alleging that their
predatory and discriminatory mortgage lending and loan servicing activities
violated the Fair Housing Act.

The complaints assert that these financial institutions' activities, in part,
led to the foreclosure crisis throughout Cook County. The County is seeking
injunctive relief from these financial institutions' predatory lending
practices and monetary damages for the resulting decline of the County's tax
base, the loss of property tax and other revenue, and costs relating to
abandoned or vacant properties.

"This predatory lending crisis caused tremendous tangible and intangible
damage, particularly to African American and Latino communities in Cook
County," President Preckwinkle said. "These practices led to the erosion of
the tax base, the loss of property tax revenue, out-of-pocket costs relating
to abandoned or vacant properties, and other damages to the fabric of the
communities and residents arising from the resulting urban blight."

"Defendants' activities adversely impact all of Cook County, but they have had
a particularly devastating effect on minority communities because predatory
mortgage loans were concentrated in minority communities," said Special
Assistant State's Attorney, Jim Evangelista, a partner with the law firm of
Harris Penn Lowry, LLP which represents Cook County. Special Assistant State's
Attorney James Montgomery, of James D. Montgomery & Associates, Ltd., who also
represents Cook County, stated that "the financial institutions that stripped
equity from minority homeowners will be held accountable for their actions."

Contact: +1-312-603-2821, press@cookcountyil.gov
 
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