Money starts flowing from Ameriquest

Hands framing house made of money

More than 481,000 borrowers are eligible for a share of the $325 million Ameriquest Mortgage Co. It has agreed to pay to settle accusations of predatory lending.

Attorneys general and banking regulators from every state except Virginia investigated the lender and concluded it used deceptive, high-pressure sales pitches to saddle consumers with home loans they had no hope of repaying just to collect excessive orgination fees.

The settlement money covers loans made by Ameriquest and its affiliates -- ACC Capital Holdings Corp., Town and Country Credit Corp., and AMC Mortgage Services, Inc., which was formerly known as Bedford Home Loans.

The average payment, about $600, won't be enough to save anyone teetering on the brink of foreclosure or bankruptcy.

But postcards have been mailed to customers who took out mortgages or home equity loans between Jan. 1, 1999 and April 1, 2003, and may be eligible for restitution.

For more information go to www.ameriquestmultistatesettlement.com or call the settlement administrator at 800-420-5875. Hearing-impaired customers may call 866-494-8274.

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