Fed listens to community input and announces public meeting on Countrywide acquisition

March 27, 2008 - 4:44pm

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday March 27, that it
will hold public meetings on the acquisition of Countrywide Financial by Bank
of America and extend the public comment period by 30 days.

Members of the Chicago CRA Coalition, as well as other organization throughout the country had contacted the Federal Reserve requesting these public meetings, which are the first meetings held on a major acquisition since 2004.

Woodstock Institute had strongly advocated for a public meeting and an extension of the comment period to give interested parties the chance to critically assess the impact of this acquisition on the customers and communities served by both financial institutions.   Extending the public comment period will also give interested parties the opportunity to review both Bank of America’s and Countrywide Financial’s 2007 lending data, which is available from the financial institution upon request beginning April 1. 

These hearings will also help shed light on the lending practices that pushed Countrywide Financial to the brink of bankruptcy and resulted in several ongoing investigations into Countrywide’s lending practices initiated by a number of states’ Attorneys General.

The meetings will be held in Los Angeles on Monday, April 28, 2008, and Tuesday, April 29, 2008 and in Chicago on Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

Community organizations or individuals wishing to present testimony at the public meeting to be held in Chicago must submit a written request to Alicia Williams, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604 (or by fax to 312/913-2626) no later than April 8, 2008 5:00 p.m. CDT.

For more information visit the Federal Reserve Board announcement at:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/orders/20080327a.htm

or contact Woodstock Institute.