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Report: Countrywide Won Influence With Loans

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the back story on VIP loans.

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WERTHEIMER: A former mortgage company, Countrywide, used a VIP loan program to buy influence with members of Congress, staffers and other officials, including a number at Fannie Mae, the government-backed mortgage giant central to Countrywide's business. That the bottom line of a new report out today from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The report says until the housing market crashed, Countrywide's effort to build good will on Capital Hill worked. It said the failed company became a trusted adviser in Congress and was consulted with Congress considered reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and also considered unfair lending practices. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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