16 sue Countrywide in identity theft case
Class action lawsuit alleges that Countrywide employees stole and sold "tens of thousands, or millions" of customers' personal financial information, invading their privacy and exposing them to identity theft.
A lawsuit filed in in Ventura County Court, California by sixteen plaintiffs alleges that Countrywide Financial, Countrywide Home Loans, and Bank of America, which bought Countrywide, knew that the “financial information of potentially millions of customers had been stolen by certain Countrywide agents, employees or other individuals." According to the plaintiffs, their identities have been stolen or compromised, their credit histories have been "shattered," and they've been unable to obtain loans, lines of credit or real estate financing.
"Countrywide delayed several months before informing their customers," the complaint states. "Finally, Countrywide informed only certain of their customers by letter and offered in settlement to refer their customers for financial to counseling, when it was Countrywide that needed to review and repair its internal procedures and it was Countrywide that needed to repair damages done to the credit of its customers."
The lawsuit seeks to obtain at least $20 million in damages for invasion of privacy, as well as punitive damages.