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Even in the movie version of the financial crisis, the giant mortgage company accused by the U.S. government of rampant fraud and abuse wouldn’t be so obvious as to nickname its mortgage lending program “the Hustle.”
The real-life Countrywide Financial, however, was not known for its subtlety. In 2007, as the mortgage market was collapsing, Countrywide, now part of Bank of America, used the hustle — officially, a program it called the “High Speed Swim Lane” — to eviscerate lending standards in order to keep pumping out home loans, even though many were fraudulent, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. government last month.
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