Countrywide Financial Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation
Berger & Montague served on the Executive Committee of this multidistrict litigation. In 2008, a senior financial advisor formerly employed by Countrywide stole confidential information of millions of consumers from Countrywide’s records and sold it to a third party for marketing purposes. The stolen records included names, Social Security numbers, home and office addresses, telephone numbers, credit and bank account information, employment history information, and other information provided on mortgage applications or other mortgage documents. The lawsuit alleged that Countrywide did not adequately protect Class Members’ confidential personal and financial information.
The parties agreed to settle the case. The Court granted final approval of the settlement in 2010. All Class Members were eligible to receive reimbursement for identity theft of up to $50,000 per incident. Class Members who were sent a letter from Countrywide regarding the breach and did not accept Countrywide’s prior offer of two years of free credit monitoring were eligible for two years of free credit monitoring. Class Members who accepted Countrywide’s prior credit monitoring offer received a $1 million guarantee in addition to the $25,000 identity theft insurance coverage they were already receiving. Also, Class Members who were sent a letter from Countrywide were eligible for reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket expenses including costs for new checks, credit monitoring services, telephone usage, postage, driver’s license replacements, and lost time spent responding to the breach.
The Class included all individuals in the United States who: (1) received a letter from Countrywide from August 2, 2008 to November 2, 2008 notifying them that their personal information was involved in an alleged theft committed by a Countrywide employee (approximately 2 million people); or (2) obtained a mortgage from Countrywide (or whose mortgage was serviced by Countrywide) prior to July 1, 2008. In total, the Class included 17 million individuals.
The following documents are available for review: