John Pacenti Daily Business Review
"I was trying to show her the pros and cons, and I ended up being a conned," Bennett said. "I really felt the fool then."
She sued her lender, Countrywide Home Loans, on June 26 alleging fraud in a case assigned to U.S. District Judge William Zloch in Fort Lauderdale.
Nearly all of the lawsuits involve adjustable rate subprime mortgages to high-risk customers. Ingrassia said some of his clients were offered "teaser rates" as low as 1.5 percent that adjusted up within 30 days.
The litigation alleges the lender violated Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the federal Truth in Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures acts.
McCollum's complaint alleges many of the same things cited in Bennett's suit: Countrywide told customers interest rates were fixed when they were adjustable, misrepresented the length of teaser rates and long-term higher rates.
Some noticed but were faced with losing the deal if they didn't sign on the spot.
And, of course, the appreciation stopped and values plummeted.
"I'm behind on many of my bills," she said. "I've been neglecting them trying to make my mortgage."