Countrywide Gave Lawmakers, Officials Hundreds Of Discount Loans
This morning's scoop from The Associated Press:
"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 Wall Street Journal has a piece of the story as well:
"A controversial program at Countrywide Financial Corp., offering loans to 'VIPs' on favorable terms, spread to Congress in part because congressional staffers complained about their Countrywide mortgages to the company's lobbyist, according to a new report by a House committee."
The Journal adds that "the findings are part of a final report on the VIP program issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.). ... The House report, expected to be released publicly Thursday, said the VIP program was used to 'build goodwill with lawmakers and other individuals positioned to benefit the company.' "
The AP says Democrats and Republicans are among those cited in the report as having received the discounts.
The House committee's website is here. We'll update after the report appears.