Executive Testifies on Senators' Mortgages

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A Countrywide Financial loan officer testified that two Democratic senators did receive special VIP deals when they applied for mortgages.     

Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., have maintained that they were not aware they were getting discounts. But former Countrywide Financial loan officer Robert Feinberg told the Senate Ethics Committee that both senators knew about the preferential treatment.

Feinberg provided the same information to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
   
He said that Countrywide didn't offer them discounts because they were senators, but because they were part of the company's VIP program.

The senators were VIP borrowers in the program known as "Friends of Angelo." Angelo Mozilo was chief executive of Countrywide, which had a large role in the foreclosure crisis triggered by defaults on subprime loans. 

Feinberg said in his House testimony that it was hard for "Friends of Angelo" to fail to see their special treatment, since the loan officers identified themselves as part of the VIP unit.

"When the loan comes out of the VIP processing unit, their business cards are stapled in loan packages," Feinberg said. "It says 'VIP Supervisor, VIP underwriter.'"

Countrywide has since been purchased by Bank of America after losing billions of dollars on bad loans.

Source: The Associated Press

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