| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

House panel finds no ethics violations in Countrywide loans to legislators

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 7:58 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee has reported that it found no violations among House members whose mortgage loans went through the VIP section of the former Countrywide Financial Corp., the company whose subprime loans helped cause the foreclosure crisis.

The committee said on Thursday that nearly all the allegations of favored treatment involved loans that were granted so long ago that they fell outside the panel's jurisdiction. The committee added, however, that participation in the VIP program did not necessarily mean borrowers received the best loan deal available — and most lawmakers were not even aware they were placed in a VIP unit.

The actions of unnamed House staff members were harshly criticized. Emails indicated they reached out to Countrywide lobbyists for assistance with their personal loans, but those actions also were too old to remain in the committee's jurisdiction. The panel said that if the incidents had been more recent, the staff members could have faced discipline.

Countrywide was taken over by Bank of America in 2008. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reported in July that Countrywide 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.

The Oversight report named six current and former members of Congress who received what Countrywide referred to as discounts. All of their names had surfaced previously.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Slow-moving, wintry storm packs punch in Plains, Midwest
  2. Police union stands by Chicago officer charged with murdering teen
  3. Police officer killed in Colorado Spring clinic rampage a co-pastor, figure skater
  4. Federal $1.1 trillion spending bill loaded with policy deals
  5. Prof proposes museum of corruption in New York capital
  6. Colorado clinic shooting suspect talked of baby parts, police say
  7. Investors buy shares in college students: Purdue University thinks it’s wave of future
  8. AIDS activist finishes rowing across Atlantic
  9. Authorization for NSA dragnets of phone call data expires
  10. Pot doctors in medical marijuana states push boundaries with marketing
  11. Police: Shooting at New Orleans playground wounds 16