WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A VIP mortgage program run by now-defunct Countrywide Financial Corp was used to influence lawmakers with the aim of killing legislation that could hurt the company's profits, a congressional report released on Thursday said.
The report from the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform Committee provided new details about the program, which offered discount loans to "VIPs," and it named dozens of congressional staffers that benefited.
The company, which was once the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, granted hundreds of loans between 1991 and 2008 through the VIP program, the report said. Recipients included lawmakers, their staff, top government officials and executives of government-controlled mortgage company Fannie Mae, according to the report.
"The VIP loan program was a tool used by Countrywide to build goodwill with lawmakers and other individuals positioned to benefit the company," it stated. The loans often had reduced interest
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