Countrywide execs face lawsuit

From Times Wire Services

Countrywide Financial Corp. directors and executives must defend a federal suit by shareholders claiming that they engaged in insider trading and failed to halt policies that caused the mortgage lender’s value to collapse.

A U.S. district judge in Los Angeles denied a request by the Calabasas-based lender to dismiss the claims, filed last year by a group of public pension funds.

The ruling permits the shareholders to go forward with their claim that the officers and directors are financially responsible for losses at Countrywide.