The U.S. government has failed to produce any evidence to show that Bank of America Countrywide unit committed mortgage fraud in the run-up to the financial crisis, a lawyer for the bank said on Tuesday.
Reuters reports that the remarks came at the end of a four-week trial in which the government said Countrywide lifted controls on mortgages in a process called 'Hustle', and then intentionally sold the resulting bad loans to government-sponsored mortgage giants, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac).
'We've been dragged down the rabbit hole into Alice in Wonderland', Bank of America lawyer Brendan Sullivan said.
The lawsuit is the first government case to go to trial over the faulty mortgage practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
Making a closing statement for the government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaimie Nawaday that Countrywide put speed and volume ahead of quality, which was reflected in employees' bonuses and the elimination of underwriters who could assure loan quality.
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image: © Clyde Robinson