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AG Seeks Restitution for Homeowners From Countrywide

The Daily Journal - 06/26/08

By Peter B. Matuszak

Richard L. Charnley, a partner at Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley who leads the firm's recently reconstituted mortgage litigation task force, questioned the timing and potential restitution of the lawsuit.
"A lot of people made a lot of money off the securitization of mortgages," Charnley said. "What the attorney general is now doing is taking the side of people that lost a lot of money. Where was the attorney general when this was going on in 2001, 2002 or 2003? Did the business model change leading up to the lawsuit or was it the same? I think it was the same."
Charnley, a veteran of the foreclosure crisis of the late 1980s, said new regulations would be more effective than litigation in dealing with the subprime industry. That's because lawsuits are more reactive, whereas new laws could prevent these sort of financial malfeasances, he said.
"In the long run, I doubt if any California borrower will see any money themselves from this lawsuit," he said. "As well taken as Brown's position is, I doubt the suit will generate money for anyone hurt by Countrywide."