Bank of America subpoenaed over Countrywide loans

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Bank of America was subpoenaed Wednesday over a loan program that may have given influential people sweetheart deals on their mortgages.

The subpoena was issued by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, a Republican from California who has doggedly pursued the issue for several years.

The subpoena demands Bank of America turn over documents related to a VIP loan program that was administered by Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America purchased in early 2008.

Countrywide was once the nation's largest mortgage originator, but the company suffered heavy losses in its subprime loan business and had to find a buyer or collapse.

The subpoena compels Bank of America to produce documents, including e-mails, that relate to loans received by government officials, including members of Congress, by March 7, 2011.

"Countrywide orchestrated a deliberate and calculated effort to use relationships with people in high places in order to manipulate public policy," said Issa.

"The American people have a right to know the totality of who participated in the Countrywide's VIP program and what they did in return for access to it," he added.

Dan Frahm, a spokesman for Bank of America, said in a statement that Countrywide's VIP program was immediately discontinued after being acquired, but that Bank of America would comply with the order.

"While we place the highest priority on keeping customer data confidential, we are obliged by Congress to respond to this subpoena" Frahm said.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have sought in recent years to investigate the program that has been dubbed "Friends of Angelo" because it allegedly provided sweetheart mortgage rates to the friends of former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

Mozilo agreed in October to pay $67.5 million to the SEC to settle fraud charges stemming from his time at Countrywide.

Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Kent Conrad of North Dakota were both cleared of wrongdoing by the Senate Ethics Committee after it was alleged they received favorable treatment as members of the VIP group. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,804.80 26.65 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,765.38 16.98 0.36%
S&P 500 2,070.65 9.42 0.46%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.03 -1.27%
Data as of 12:23pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.62 0.09 0.51%
Apple Inc 111.78 -0.87 -0.77%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.48 1.91%
Intel Corp 36.37 -0.65 -1.76%
Microsoft Corp 47.66 0.14 0.29%
Data as of Dec 19

Sections

New York Magazine reporter Jessica Pressler, who has been caught up in controversy this past week, will not be moving on to a new job at Bloomberg News. More

Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.