CoreLogic Inc. reached a $7.8 million settlement with New York over its role in the collapse of the housing market, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
Andrew Cuomo, now New York’s governor, sued First American Corp.’s EAppraiseIT unit while attorney general in November 2007, saying it gave into demands for higher appraisals to secure more business from Washington Mutual Inc. WaMu filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 after its banking unit was taken over by regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“Coercion of appraisers to inflate home values and the erosion of appraisal independence directly contributed to the housing crisis,” Schneiderman said in a statement today announcing the settlement. “By giving in to lender pressure, these corporations violated a principle that is vital to restoring and maintaining a healthy housing market.”
CoreLogic was created in 2010, when Santa Ana, California-based First American separated its real estate information business from its title insurance and financial-services operations.
CoreLogic and CoreLogic Valuation Services, the successor to eAppraiseIT, will pay $4 million in fines and $3.8 million in costs, fees and disbursements, according to the statement.
CoreLogic is “glad to have put this matter behind us,” Alyson Austin, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement. The closing of CoreLogic Valuation Services will be completed by the end of the month, she said. “In conjunction with that activity, it made sense to dispose of this case.”
The case is New York v. First American Corp., 406796/2007, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).