Consumers who receive notification must mail completed and signed forms to the settlement administrator by September 10, 2007.
(Lincoln, Neb.) Attorney General Jon Bruning and the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance announced (July 12, 2007) that 2,403 Nebraska consumers are eligible for $1.88 million in restitution from Ameriquest Mortgage Company and its related companies. The payments result from a $325 million national predatory lending settlement reached in 2006.
The settlement resolves allegations by the District of Columbia and 49 other states that Ameriquest: did not adequately disclose the terms of home loans, such as whether a loan carried a fixed or an adjustable interest rate; charged excessive loan origination fees and prepayment penalties; refinanced borrowers into improper or inappropriate loans; and improperly inflated appraisals used to qualify borrowers for loans. Borrowers who were customers of Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Town and Country Credit Corporation, and AMC Mortgage Services, Inc. (formerly known as Bedford Home Loans) between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2005, are eligible for restitution.
“These Nebraskans won’t get back the time and energy they spent worrying about how to make their next house payment,” Bruning said, “but the settlement can restore their faith in the system. Predatory lending is not tolerated in Nebraska.”
“This restitution was made possible through exceptional nationwide cooperation among states attorneys general and mortgage regulators,” said John Munn, Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance.
The Attorney General’s Office and Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance began sending letters and claim forms to eligible Nebraska consumers on July 9. To participate in the settlement and receive restitution, consumers who receive notification must mail completed and signed forms to the settlement administrator by September 10, 2007.
The forms mailed to each consumer indicate the minimum payment the consumer can expect. However, the exact amount could be larger, depending on how many eligible Nebraskans decide to participate in the settlement.
Consumers who opt to receive the restitution payments relinquish their right to file lawsuits against Ameriquest related to the loans covered by the settlement. Consumers are encouraged to consult with a private attorney before deciding whether to participate. However, consumers who participate in the settlement do not give up any claim they may otherwise raise if their home goes into foreclosure.
Consumers can request more information about the settlement and their eligibility for restitution by visiting the Settlement Administrator’s Web site: www.ameriquestmultistatesettlement.com.
Consumers also may contact the Settlement Administrator at 800‑420‑5875. (Hearing-impaired persons may call 866‑494‑8274.)