Too bad the rest of us don’t qualify. Countrywide gave the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee a special mortgage with, among other things, no points and no fees. These high profile government officials just happened to be on the “FOA” list at Countrywide, i.e., Friends of Angelo (Mozillo), Countrywide CEO. Was this corruption? The Justice Department should open an investigation pronto and prosecute anyone who broke laws. The problem may be that pesky FOA list – are there sensitive DOJ names on it?
Here’s what we know – so far – about the favors Dodd took from Countrywide. The tally:
–Dodd borrowed $506,000 to refinance his Washington townhouse,;
— Dodd borrowed $275,042 to refinance a home in East Haddam, Connecticut;
— Countrywide waived three-eighths of a point, or about $2,000, on the Washington DC loan;
— Countrywide waived one-fourth of a point, about $700, on the CT loan;
–Countrywide gave Dodd a FOA interest rate on the Washington DC loan of 4.25%, which translates to a $58,000 break to Dodd;
— Countrywide gave Dodd a nother FOA interest rate on the CT loan of 4.5% which translates to a $17,000 break to Dodd;
— Countrywide gave Dodd’s campaign at least $21,000 to Dodd’s campaigns.
The story as broken by Portfolio:
“Two U.S. senators, two former Cabinet members, and a former ambassador to the United Nations received loans from Countrywide Financial through a little-known program that waived points, lender fees, and company borrowing rules for prominent people.
Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans.
Other participants in the V.I.P. program included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Jackson was deputy H.U.D. secretary in the Bush administration when he received the loans in 2003. ” http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/top-5/2008/06/12/Countrywide-Loan-Scandal