Fannie Mae refused to seek large amounts of mortgage repurchases from Countrywide Financial Corp. as housing began to crash, according to the former head of its regulator, Bloomberg reports.

James Lockhart, who led the Federal Housing Finance Agency until 2009 and its predecessor, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, “spent a lot of time” pushing Fannie Mae executives to seek more so-called putbacks on Countrywide loans that failed to match their promised quality, he said.

“They didn’t want to offend their largest customer,” said Lockhart, now the vice chairman at investment firm WL Ross & Co., said during a speech at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference in New York. Read the full story.

— Kerry Curry