Attorney General Lockyer Unveils Details on Consumer Refunds in Household Finance Case

$484 Million National Settlement Provides $91 Million for Californians

Monday, August 4, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released details on how eligible California consumers can obtain restitution from Household Finance under a $484 million national settlement of a predatory lending lawsuit against the company.

"Many hard-working California families went to Household to realize the American dream of owning a home, only to be caught in a nightmare of exorbitant fees, deceptive sales practices and overpriced insurance," said Lockyer. "This settlement provides them at least some of the restitution they deserve. I urge all Household customers to learn whether they are eligible for restitution and what they must do to receive their payment."

The $484 million settlement with all 50 states' Attorneys General and/or banking and finance regulators provides $91 million for eligible California customers of Household and its affiliates.

Consumers can obtain detailed information about the settlement, eligibility for restitution and the claims process in Frequently Asked Questions at the Attorney General's web site. They also can contact the Household-Beneficial Settlement Administrator or by calling 888-780-2156.

The state Department of Justice and Department of Corporations will send letters and claims forms to eligible California consumers on August 15, 2003. To participate in the settlement and receive restitution, consumers must mail completed and signed forms to the Settlement Administrator by October 14, 2003.

Each consumer's mailed form will indicate the minimum payment the consumer can expect to receive. The indicated amount will be based on a percentage of the costs charged to the consumer for credit insurance, loan origination fees and prepayment penalties. But the exact payment could be larger, depending on how many eligible Californians decide to participate in the settlement. Consumers who participate relinquish their right to file lawsuits against Household related to the loans covered by the settlement.

The settlement resolves the states' allegations that Household and its affiliates misrepresented home loan terms, deceived consumers about credit insurance, and charged excessive loan origination fees and prepayment penalties.

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