Judge J. Rich Leonard recently fined Bank of America $126,000 for contempt of court after Countrywide Home Loans flagrantly violated the terms of a court order. The fines included $63,000 in punitive damages. The Kirkbride family filed for bankruptcy and signed a consent order with Countrywide Home Loans in which Countrywide would foreclose on two of their properties. In the consent order, Countrywide agreed to release the family from the mortgage debts on both properties.
Only three days after the order was entered in court, Countrywide began violating the order. The Judge found it “particularly frustrating [that Countrywide] actively negotiated the terms of the consent order with the debtors, signed the order, and later, through its agents, repeatedly acted as if the order did not exist.” Fines were levied for over 400 phone calls from Countrywide to the family, improper written demands, wrongfully causing homeowner association bills and tax problems for the family. Bank of America is responsible for these fines because it acquired Countrywide Home Loans.