Bank of America Settles Discrimination Suit for $335 Million

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The Bank of America  building is seen in Washington,DC on September 18, 2008. Markets were turbulent as they digested the AIG rescue amid anxiety about the state of the world financial system following the dramatic collapse on September 15 of US investment bank Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. AFP PHOTO/KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Karen Bleier/2008 AFP

The Justice Department has reached a $335 million settlement with Bank of America on charges that the bank's Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers. During the housing boom, the government claimed, Countrywide charged higher rates to more than 200,000 minorities and offered people of color more expensive subprime mortgages, while white customers were offered loans. "Such conduct undercuts the notion of a level playing field for all consumers," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "It betrays the promise of equal opportunity that is enshrined in our Constitution and our legal framework." Although they'll pick up the tab, Bank of America would like everyone to know that the allegations stemmed from a time before the bank owned Countrywide and everything now is just squeaky clean.