Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, praised the U.S. Department of Justice's decision Wednesday to sue Bank of America over alleged reckless mortgage lending practices.
The government claims that loose mortgage lending standards by Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America bought in 2008, ended up costing taxpayers at least $1 billion.
"I welcome this announcement and strongly commend the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice, and the Inspectors General for their diligence in seeking accountability and justice on behalf of the American taxpayers and homeowners," Cummings said in a statement.
In the U.S. complaint, filed in New York federal court, the DOJ alleges that Countrywide sold bad mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, institutions that were subsequently bailed out by the government.
"These egregious allegations of reckless and outright fraudulent mortgage practices, which fueled the foreclosure crisis and continue to affect families and communities across the country, are a clear reminder that we must not return to the days of a deregulated, casino-style Wall Street, as the Republicans in Congress seek to do," said Cummings, whose district includes portions of Baltimore, Baltimore County and Howard County.
As the highest ranking Democrat on the House oversight and reform committee, Cummings has been an outspoken advocate of housing policy reforms that are intended to reduce mortgage fraud and foreclosure abuse.
Have a real estate news tip or experience to share? Email me at email@example.com.