CALABASAS, Calif. — Countrywide, the largest provider of homeloans in the country will be acquired by Bank of America for areported price tag of $4 billion. A major source of the pain nowfelt in the mortgage sector, owing to its loose lending standards,Countrywide was said to be on the brink of declaringbankruptcy.

BOA had previously made a $2 billion investment in Countrywideand may face mounting liabilities in taking over the troubledcompany, which reported that 7.2 % of its mortgage servicingportfolio was delinquent in December 2007. “Countrywide has been arogue lender with a rogue leader,” Martin Eakes, chief executive ofthe Center for Responsible Lending told the New York Times. “Bankof America would be a responsible home for fixing the problems thatCountrywide has created.”

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