The former Countrywide Financial Corp., whose subprime loans helped start the nation's foreclosure crisis, made hundreds of discount loans to buy influence with members of Congress, congressional staff, top government officials and executives of troubled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, according to a House report.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said that the discounts
-- from January 1996 to June 2008, were not only aimed at gaining
influence for the company but to help mortgage giant Fannie Mae.
Countrywide's business depended largely on Fannie, which at the time was
trying to fend off more government regulation but eventually had to
come under government control.
Fannie was responsible for purchasing a large volume of Countrywide's
Countrywide was taken over by Bank of America in
January 2008, relieving the financial services industry and regulators
from the messy task of cleaning up the bankruptcy of a company that was
servicing 9 million U.S. home loans worth $1.5 trillion at a time when
the nation faced a widening credit crisis, massive foreclosures and an