Countrywide Financial Corp. engaged in "unfair and deceptive" practices to get homeowners to apply for risky mortgages far beyond their means, according to a civil lawsuit Illinois' attorney general planned to file today.
The lawsuit against the nation's biggest mortgage lender -- planned for the same day shareholders were scheduled to vote on Countrywide's takeover by Bank of America Corp. -- stems from information from documents subpoenaed by Illinois beginning last fall, as the number of foreclosures nationwide began to skyrocket.
A draft of the lawsuit was provided by Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan's office.
A spokeswoman for the Calabasas company declined to comment on the litigation.