Thursday, July 05, 2012

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts - Businessweek

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts - Businessweek
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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...Among those who received loan discounts from Countrywide, the report said, were:

-Former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.

-Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

-Mary Jane Collipriest, who was communications director for former Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, then a member of the Banking Committee. The report said Dodd referred Collipriest to Countrywide's VIP unit. Dodd, when commenting on his own loans, has said he was unaware of the discount program.

-Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

-Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., former chairman of the Oversight Committee. Towns issued the first subpoena to Bank of America for Countrywide documents, and current Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., subpoenaed more documents. The committee said that in responding to the Towns subpoena, Bank of America left out documents related to Towns' loan.

-Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.

-Top staff members of the House Financial Services Committee.

-A staff member of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, a member of the Financial Services Committee.

-Former Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif.

-Former Housing and Urban Development Secretaries Alphonso Jackson and Henry Cisneros; and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. The VIP unit processed Cisneros' loan after he joined Fannie's board of directors.

-Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, was an exception. He told the VIP unit not to give him a discount, and he did not receive one.

-Former Fannie Mae heads James Johnson, Daniel Mudd and Franklin Raines. Countrywide took a loss on Mudd's loan. Fannie employees were the most frequent recipients of VIP loans. Johnson received a discount after Mozilo waived problems with his credit rating.
No comment. Res ipsa loquitur.

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