About a week after suing HSBC PLC subsidiaries on predatory lending charges, Cook County has filed a similar suit against Bank of America Corp.
The county blames the residential lenders for contributing to the foreclosure crisis, demanding that they compensate it for the losses that it incurred as a result.
“This predatory lending crisis caused tremendous tangible and intangible damage, particularly to African American and Latino communities in Cook County,” Cook County President Preckwinkle said in a statement. “These practices led to the erosion of the tax base, the loss of property tax revenue, out-of-pocket costs relating to abandoned or vacant properties, and other damages to the fabric of the communities and residents arising from the resulting urban blight.”
The county sued Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, and Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co., businesses it bought in 2008, yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The suit includes much of the same language the county used in a federal lawsuit it filed March 24 against HSBC businesses.
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