Countrywide Home Loans, Calabasas, Calif., is once again raising the bar on its efforts to put more minorities and lower-income families into homes of their own.In 2003, the big lender said it would originate $600 billion in mortgages to underserved borrowers through 2010 under the "We House America" program that began as a $1.25 billion pledge in 1992. Now, at the National Association of Home Builders convention in Orlando, Fla., chairman Angelo Mozilo has bumped the commitment to $1 trillion. "These consumers have emerged," Mr. Mozilo said at a news conference. "It is now time for us to catch up. There is no room for reticence or timidity." As part of the initiative, Countrywide will soon announce a partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to create a "major new financial literacy program." The company will give the mayors $200,000 a year for five years to develop their own individual programs targeted to their specific markets.

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