Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release - Wednesday, October 18, 2006.

Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699.

Ameriquest Settlement Web Site
and Toll-Free Number Available

Consumers can obtain information at 1-800-420-5875, or at www.ameriquestmultistatesettlement.com

   A new web site and toll-free telephone number are now available with information for consumers about a settlement between 49 states and Ameriquest Mortgage Company. The web site and toll-free number offer detailed information about the settlement and general information about who may be eligible to receive restitution payments from a fund of $295 million.

The web site is www.ameriquestmultistatesettlement.com. The toll-free number is 1-800-420-5875. Hearing-impaired may call1-866-494-8274.

The settlement was reached between the states and Ameriquest in January 2006. States and the settlement administrator are now determining and identifying consumers who will be eligible for restitution payments. Consumers who are eligible will receive a "Notice letter" early in 2007 that will tell them the minimum dollar restitution they may receive. Attorney General Tom Miller's Office estimates that about 3,000 to 5,000 Iowa consumers will be eligible for restitution.

The web site provides general terms regarding what groups of consumers are expected to be eligible. Settlement funds totaling $295 million will be distributed to certain eligible borrowers who obtained mortgage or home equity loans directly from Ameriquest during the period from January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2005.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller led the multi-state investigation and negotiations. The investigation considered various complaints, including that Ameriquest used a variety of unlawful lending practices, such as giving borrowers inaccurate information about interest rates, discount points and other mortgage loan terms, inflating property appraisals, and persuading borrowers to refinance, even when refinancing didn't offer any real advantage to the borrowers.

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Background - Information from the Ameriquest Settlement web site

The following information is provided from selected FAQs found at www.ameriquestmultistatesettlement.com:

FAQ number 2: What does the Settlement require Ameriquest to do?

A total of $295 million will be paid into a Settlement Fund [by Ameriquest], with the final payment due in March 2007. . . .

Ameriquest has also agreed to significantly change many of its lending practices, and give borrowers complete and true information about interest rates, discount points, prepayment penalties, and other refinancing terms. . . .

FAQ number 4: Am I eligible for a restitution payment?

The $295 million Settlement Fund will be divided into two separate funds of $175 million and $120 million. You could be eligible for a restitution payment from one or both funds.

You are eligible for a restitution payment from the $175 million fund if:

* You obtained at least one mortgage loan or home equity loan directly from Ameriquest between January 1, 1999, and April 1, 2003, and

* The loan meets requirements that the States will set.

The vast majority of borrowers who closed a loan between January 1, 1999, and April 1, 2003, will be eligible for a restitution payment under the requirements the States will set.

You are eligible for a restitution payment from the $120 million fund if:

* You obtained at least one mortgage loan or home equity loan directly from Ameriquest between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2005, and

* The loan meets requirements that the States will set.

Each individual State will determine its own requirements for distributing its share of the $120 million fund to its residents, based on the type of loan and other loan characteristics. Each State's requirements have not yet been finally determined.

Important Reminder: When "Ameriquest" is referred to in this Web site, it includes the other companies involved in the Settlement. Therefore, if your loan meets the States' requirements and it was obtained directly from Ameriquest Mortgage, Town and Country Credit Corp. or Bedford Home Loans during the applicable time period, you are eligible for a restitution payment.

FAQ number 9: How will I know if I'm eligible for a restitution payment?

If you're eligible, you'll receive a Notice letter in the mail from your state Attorney General and/or state financial regulator. The Notice letter will tell you that your participation in the Settlement is voluntary, and tell you the minimum amount you'll receive if you decide to participate. It will also include a Release Form that you must sign and return to the Settlement Administrator in order to participate and receive your restitution payment.

FAQ number 10: When will Notice letters and Release Forms be sent?

We expect to mail Notice letters and Release Forms in early 2007. It is possible that it could be later than that, so please be patient. If you haven't received a Notice letter by the end of March 2007 and you think you may be eligible, please contact the Settlement Administrator by calling 1-800-420-5875, or by sending an e-mail to Ameriquest@rustconsulting.com. Please do not contact the Administrator about your eligibility before that date.

FAQ number 11: How can I find out if the Notice letters have been sent out?

Information about the mailing of Notice letters will be posted on this Web site, so please check back periodically. We will also include a message on the toll-free Settlement information line when the Notice letters are mailed. The number for this line is 1-800-420-5875 (hearing impaired, call 1-866-494-8274).

FAQ number 12: I no longer live at the property where I obtained my loan. How can I make sure I receive a Notice letter?

If you have moved, or if you live at an address different than the address of the property on which your loan was obtained, please send an e-mail to the Settlement Administrator. Your e-mail should provide: (a) your name, (b) your current phone number, (c) the address of the property that is the subject of the loan, and (d) your current address. You can e-mail the Administrator by clicking here.

FAQ number 13: How much will I be paid if I'm eligible?

The Notice letter you receive will specify the minimum payment you'll receive if you sign and return the Release Form. You could receive more. Restitution payment amounts will likely vary from borrower to borrower, depending on the terms of each loan and the requirements set by the borrower's home State.

FAQ number 15: When will I receive my restitution payment?

Because this Settlement involves hundreds of thousands of consumers across the country, it will take some time to process all Release Forms. If everything goes as planned, restitution checks will be mailed in Spring 2007. Please check this Web site periodically for updates on when the checks will be mailed.

FAQ number 40: I still have some questions. Who can I contact?

If you have additional questions about the Settlement, you can contact the Settlement Administrator by:

* Calling toll-free 1-800-420-5875 (hearing impaired call 1-866-494-8274);

* Sending an e-mail to Ameriquest@rustconsulting.com; or

* Writing to: Ameriquest Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 1855, Faribault, MN 55021-7110

If you call, you will reach a voice mail system that will ask you to leave your name, your number, your home state, and your question. Calls will be returned as quickly as possible, but you may have to wait for some time. The Administrator will begin staffing the phone line with live operators shortly before Notice letters are mailed. . . . .

[Please see the web site -- www.Ameriquestmultistatesettlement.com -- or call the toll-free telephone numbers for many more Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.]