2008-10-16 — nwsource.com
Countrywide Financial blackballed home appraisers who refused to make valuations meet agreed selling prices, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
Countrywide, the nation's largest home mortgage lender, doesn't accept reviews from appraisers on the Field Review List unless they're accompanied by a second review from someone else, which means mortgage brokers will not use such appraisers for Countrywide loans, the lawsuit says. Furthermore, since Countrywide is such a major player and brokers do not necessarily know which lender they will use when they order an appraisal, they won't use Field Review List appraisers for any loans at all, the lawsuit alleges.
"Countrywide is in position to force out of the business honest appraisers," said Steve Berman, the lead lawyer in the case and managing partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, in Seattle. "They can use their market power to basically blackball these people."
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