Fired Worker Sues KB Home, Countrywide

The federal lawsuit was brought by Mark Zachary, a regional vice president and manager of the Countrywide KB Home Loans division in Houston.

He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against the joint venture of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. and builder KB Home.

The lending practices of Countrywide Financial and other mortgage companies have come under scrutiny amid a surge in home loan defaults among borrowers with poor credit histories. On Tuesday, Countrywide reported a fourth-quarter loss of $422 million after losing $1.2 billion in 2007’s third quarter.

In the suit, Zachary contended he was given an excellent performance review last February then fired three months later after he blew the whistle on fellow employees and outlined instances in which appraisers were “being strongly encouraged to inflate homes’ appraised value by as much as 6 percent.”

That resulted in buyers owing more than their home was worth, Zachary claimed in the lawsuit filed Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

3 comments on “Fired Worker Sues KB Home, Countrywide

  1. Piedmont says:

    [blockquote]Among other allegations, Zachary claims Countrywide loan officers would advise applicants who were denied a prime-rate loan about what income level they should report so they could be approved for [b]no-documentation or stated-income subprime loans[/b] .[/blockquote]These are also called [b]Liar Loans[/b].

  2. Jeff Thimsen says:

    Otherwise known in the trade as “liar loans”.

  3. Bill Matz says:

    Not mentioned is the insidious practice of builders requiring buyers to use a preferred lender (in which the builder may have a financial interest) or face some financial detriment. Of course the builder and lender ensure sufficient markup on the loan products to make up for any “free” closing cost coverage or upgrades.