The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it would begin mailing 450,177 refund checks worth up to several thousand dollars each to former customers of Countrywide Home Loans Inc.
The payments are part of a $108 million settlement reached a year ago with the company, which stood accused of charging excessive fees to struggling homeowners. The FTC claimed that Countrywide — now owned by Bank of America — overcharged homeowners in default for inspections, lawn mowing and other services to maintain their properties.
The FTC also claimed that Countrywide provided incorrect information on loan balances and charged extra fees without notifying homeowners who tried to save their houses through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Refunds will go out to people whose loans were serviced by Countrywide from Jan. 1, 2005, to July 1, 2008. That includes 8,434 Marylanders. The FTC said consumers should cash the checks by Sept. 19.