Before Bank of America offered to
purchase Countywide Financial, Countrywide made millions of subprime loans that
have either ended in foreclosure or threaten to push struggling homeowners into
foreclosure in the coming months and years.  There are also serious
concerns about ongoing investigations into Countrywide’s lending practices
initiated by a number of states’ Attorneys General and possibly the FBI.

With many of these issues still
pending, a public hearing on the acquisition is necessary to give interested
parties the chance to express their concerns and ensure that the combined
entity will meet the unique credit needs of its new customers, many of whom are
locked into troubled loans originated by Countrywide Financial.