HARRISBURG – As part of the second-largest federal consumer protection settlement in history, approximately 15,000 Pennsylvania consumers, who obtained loans from Ameriquest from January 1999 through December 2005, will be eligible for nearly $10 million in restitution.
Attorney General Tom Corbett explained that the restitution from Ameriquest Mortgage Company and its related companies is part of a $325 million national settlement of a predatory lending lawsuit against the company. The settlement resolves allegations in 49 states and the District of Columbia that the company misrepresented and did not adequately disclose the terms of home loans.
Corbett said that letters and claim forms began to be sent to Pennsylvania consumers during the week of July 9. To participate in the settlement and receive restitution, consumers must mail completed and signed forms by Sept. 10.
The forms, mailed to each consumer, will indicate the minimum payment consumers can expect to receive. However, the exact amount could be larger, depending on how many eligible Pennsylvania consumers decide to participate in the settlement.
Corbett encouraged consumers to study the claim forms and information and reply as soon as possible.
In January 2006, Corbett and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking announced the multi-state agreement with Ameriquest after they jointly conducted a two-year investigation into complaints from more than 200 Pennsylvania consumers.
As part of the settlement, over 481,000 borrowers nationwide, who were customers of Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Town and Country Credit Corporation and AMC Mortgage Services, Inc. (formerly known as Bedford Home Loans) between Jan. 1, 1999 and Dec. 31, 2005, are eligible to receive over $300 million in restitution payments.
“Many consumers initially suffered financial hardships and were forced to pay interest rates and monthly payments that were much higher than they were led to believe,” Corbett said. “I am pleased that Pennsylvanians and consumers nationwide are finally getting restitution.”
Pennsylvania consumers, who received Ameriquest loans from Jan. 1, 1999 to April 1, 2003, will be receiving an average payment of $735. Additional restitution covers almost 49 percent of the loans from April 2, 2003 to Dec. 31, 2005, resulting in an average payment of $382.
Consumers, who opt to receive the restitution payments, relinquish their right to file lawsuits against Ameriquest related to the loans covered by the settlement.
Corbett encouraged all eligible consumers to carefully review the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ pamphlet that was mailed with the claim form. Consumers can also obtain detailed information about the settlement and their eligibility for restitution by going to the Settlement Administrator’s Web site at or by calling 800-420-5875.