Local News

About 6,000 North Carolinians To Receive Ameriquest Refunds

Posted January 23, 2006 5:26 a.m. EST

— Thousands of North Carolinians will share in the multimillion-dollar settlement from the nation's largest subprime lender.

Ameriquest makes refinancing loans to homeowners, often at higher interest rates.

Under the settlement, Ameriquest will pay $295 million in refunds to thousands of consumers nationwide and make sweeping reforms to its lending process that states argue amounted to predatory lending.

Attorneys general in a number of states began investigating Ameriquest's lending practices in 2004 after getting complaints from hundreds of consumers, which included unfair disclosures of prepayment penalties; unsolicited refinancing offers that hid prepayment penalties; and being encouraged to lie about income or employment to obtain loans.

Approximately 6,000 consumers in North Carolina will receive an estimated total of $1.5 million in refunds. Those eligible will be contacted by the state Attorney General's Office.