A U.S. lawmaker said on Friday he issued a subpoena to Countrywide Financial, now part of Bank of America Corp , as part of a probe into whether the lender gave favored terms to lawmakers and other VIPs.

At the same time, Representative Edolphus Towns, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, wrote letters to Wells Fargo & Co , JPMorgan Chase & Co , Citigroup Inc , US Bank Home Mortgage and GMAC seeking information in his panel's wider mortgage probe.

The New York lawmaker said he issued the legal demand because Countrywide failed to cooperate. He is seeking information about how that program worked and whether it provided special benefits to government officials.

Towns says he is prepared to subpoena other companies if they do not comply with requests

In a letter dated October 23 to the banks, Towns asked for data on VIP-type programs, foreclosures, marketing strategies, potential anti-trust behavior.

Bank of America bought Countrywide, which has come to symbolize the excesses of the lending industry, for a fire-sale price of $2.5 billion last year. It had collapsed under the weight of bad mortgages and defaults.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon; editing by Andre Grenon)