Borrowers get settlement money from subprime lender

Published 6:19 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hundreds of Mississippians are receiving checks this month as part of a lawsuit settlement with the nation’s largest subprime lender.

Attorney General Jim Hood and state Banking Commissioner John S. Allison said Tuesday that claim checks from the settlement with Ameriquest Mortgage Co. were mailed to eligible borrowers on Dec. 13 and 14.

Officials in 49 states and the District of Columbia reached a $325 million settlement with Ameriquest earlier this year, with $295 million allocated for restitution claims to eligible borrowers. Mississippians claimed $952,401, with a check average of $642.

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Refunds were available to people who, from 1999 through 2005, were customers of Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Town and Country Credit Corporation and AMC Mortgage Services. AMC previously was known as Bedford Home Loans.

The settlement resolved allegations that the companies did not adequately disclose the terms of home loans, among other things.

Hood said the companies would misrepresent consumers’ incomes to get them loans for which the consumers were not qualified. He said many mortgage holders didn’t understand they were being mistreated.