Bloomberg via American Banker

A House panel ended a probe of alleged preferential lending by Countrywide Financial to lawmakers and aides without taking action, saying the “serious matters” submitted for review fall outside its jurisdiction.

Allegations surrounding mortgage loans to House members and staffers through Countrywide Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo’s “Friends of Angelo” initiative or other so-called VIP programs are either too old or involve people no longer employed in the House, the Ethics Committee’s Republican chairman and ranking Democrat said in a statement yesterday.

“While these allegations concern serious matters, almost all of the allegations concerned actions taken outside, or well outside, the jurisdiction of this committee,” Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner of Alabama and Representative Linda Sanchez of California said in their statement. House rules preclude sanctions for violations that occur more than three Congresses – – or six years — before the current one, they said.

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