Industry NewsMortgage

Report: Countrywide tried to influence policymakers

Lawmakers positioned to affect GSE reform received discounted loans

Mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. gave sweetheart deals on mortgage loans to members of Congress and other influential Washington policymakers with the goal of reaping political and financial benefits, according to a Congressional committee report. The report, released earlier this month, is the result of a three-year investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. The investigation began after the news media began reporting that several lawmakers and other government officials got loans through a VIP program referred to as "Friends of Angelo." Angelo Mozilo was CEO of Countrywide. The investigation included more than 120,000 pages of documents provided to the House committee under subpoena by Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide in 2008. "The committee's investigation found Countrywide lobbyists and CEO Angelo Mozilo used discounted loans as a tool to ingratiate...