Countrywide Home Loans Inc. has formed a new division, Full Spectrum Lending, to offer mortgages directly to households with impaired credit histories. The company had previously been making subprime loans as a wholesaler.

"There are many hardworking people who, for one reason or another, have experienced a short-term financial hardship," said Joe Harvey, president of the division. "These borrowers often have the financial ability to qualify for a loan."

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