Report: WaMu rewarded employees who pushed dangerous mortgages

In the fall of 2006, Washington Mutual was so determined to push its riskiest mortgages on customers that it created a football-themed employee bonus “blitz,” offering “touchdown” incentives for every sale of a pick-a-payment loan.

A non-prime loan was a “field goal” in the game to win a $1,000 gift card at the expense of home buyers who were purposefully steered away from fixed-rate, 30-year mortgages.

The campaign to sell high-risk loans, which contributed to the 2008 demise of the nation’s sixth-largest bank, is outlined in a 650-page report released last week by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

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