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Illinois AG sues Countrywide over lending practices

CHICAGO - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan contends that thousands of Illinois homeowners paid a steep price for Countrywide Financial's "desire to dominate the marketplace."

Madigan's office filed a lawsuit in Cook County on Wednesday against the nation's biggest mortgage lender. The attorney general in California has filed a similar lawsuit.

Illinois' suit comes after the state subpoenaed documents from Countrywide last fall when the number of foreclosures nationwide began to skyrocket.

Madigan says the company promoted high-risk loans that contributed to the high number of foreclosures in Illinois. She says Countrywide put profits ahead of keeping residents in their homes.

A Countrywide spokeswoman declined to comment on the litigation, which seeks restitution for consumers.

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Related topic galleries: Lisa Madigan, Countrywide Financial Corporation

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