SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - The federal district court overseeing a derivative action concerning the collapse of Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE: CFC) issued an important ruling today upholding, in large part, the plaintiffs' claims against certain officers and directors of the Company. The action alleges breaches of fiduciary duty by Countrywide's officers and directors, including Angelo Mozilo and David Sambol, as well as violations of the federal securities laws. The derivative action is led by a group of institutional investors, including Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado, Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System, Central Laborers Pension Fund, and the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System.

Among other things, the Court held that "[p]laintiffs' allegations create a cogent and compelling inference that the Individual Defendants misled the public with regard to the rigor of Countrywide's loan origination process, the quality of its loans, and the Company's financial situation -- even as they realized that Countrywide had virtually abandoned its own loan underwriting practices." Furthermore, the Court stated that "the idea that a Company-wide culture that encouraged unchecked deviations from underwriting standards in a way which would fatally affect the Company's continued financial performance went unnoticed by the Board of Directors simply does not square with the specific and comprehensive monitoring duties of the members of the Board."

"The Court's ruling is a critically important step in enabling Countrywide and its shareholders to hold accountable the officers and directors who looted the Company and were responsible for its devastating collapse," said Blair A. Nicholas, a partner with Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, co-lead counsel for the institutional investor plaintiffs. "The Court's Order will enable these sophisticated Lead Plaintiff shareholders, who have conducted an extensive investigation of the Countrywide debacle, to formally demand answers from Countrywide's officers and directors as to why they caused the Company to commence a billion dollar share repurchase program while at the same time selling their own shares to the public," stated Mr. Nicholas.

Copies of the Court's decision, as well as the operative complaint can be found at www.blbglaw.com/cases/countrywide_derivative.html

Contact Information: CONTACT: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, San Diego, CA Blair A. Nicholas (858)-720-3183 blairn@blbglaw.com www.blbglaw.com