San Diego official accuses Washington Mutual of predatory lending

By Chris Rizo | Oct 10, 2008

Michael Aguirre

SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline)-San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre on Friday sued Washington Mutual, alleging the bank engaged in predatory lending practices.

Aguirre, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of all Californians, sued the Seattle-based bank on his own, not in concert with state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

Earlier this week, Brown announced an $8.68 billion agreement he and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reached with Bank of America, which owns Countrywide Financial Corp.

"We are asking a court to prevent WaMu from initiating or advancing any foreclosure on any residential sub-prime mortgages involving properties which are owner-occupied in the State of California," Aguirre said. "Countrywide has seen the light and now it is WaMu's turn to demonstrate that they are a good corporate citizen."

The lawsuit was filed by the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit of the San Diego City Attorney's Office.

Aguirre accused Washington Mutual of engaging in a "pattern of unlawful, unfair or fraudulent predatory real estate lending practices" that has caused some California residents to lapse into foreclosure.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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