June 17th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 months ago

Dodd: No special deals from Countrywide

 Dodd is an Obama supporter.
Dodd is an Obama supporter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Chris Dodd says he got no sweetheart deals from embattled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., telling reporters Tuesday that he would reject "out of hand" any hint of preferential treatment.

"At no point did anyone ever suggest to me that we were going to get some deal out of Countrywide," said Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and a former Democratic presidential contender. "I never spoke to anybody except loan officers - never any higher-ups or any senior people within Countrywide."

Last week, Portfolio magazine reported that Countrywide - one of the companies accused of fueling the subprime mortgage crisis - gave favorable mortgage rates to Dodd. A similar allegation forced the head of Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential search team, Jim Johnson, to step down last week.

Obama has criticized the mortgage company for its lending practices. But Republicans had been hammering Johnson since The Wall Street Journal reported on June 7 that he received a good deal on a mortgage from Countrywide because of his friendship with Angelo Mozilo, the company's CEO.

Dodd, an Obama supporter who has been mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, said he would fully cooperate with any investigation.

The Connecticut senator said he sought out Countrywide in 2003 in order to refinance his two homes - one in his home state of Connecticut, the other in Washington.

He said he received a 5-year, adjustable-rate mortgage at 4.25 percent for his home on Capitol Hill and a 10-year ARM at 4.5 percent for his home in Connecticut.

He said that like millions of other Americans, he was shopping around for the best mortgage refinancing deal.

"If anyone had ever suggested to me that somehow I was going to get preferential treatment because I was a United States senator, that would have ended the relationship immediately. Terminated. Immediately - never do business with that organization again."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Chris Dodd
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Pogo

    Rut-ro, Raggie!

    June 17, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Realistic

    Even if Dodd is guilty of such a deal, this would pale in comparison to the backdoor deals that these Repubs have and are doing (ie war profiteering, fearmongering to continue war profiteering, crimes against humanity, oil deals, etc). Open your eyes people. Wrong is wrong and there is no right way to do it. I am not condoning Dodd if he is wrong, but just think for a minute.

    June 17, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Ready for Change

    Is the RNC incabable of sticking to the issues at all??? This is an absolute WITCH HUNT on Chris Dodd. What's next "Obama got his cheeseburger with no onions. That's special treatment, he's an empty suite, he's a blah blah blah blah" You've got nothing at all and this proves it.

    Obama 08

    June 17, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Bob

    Dodd is innocent!

    June 17, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Mark

    His rate was not preferential and neither was the advisor on the search committee compared to what is/was out there in the marketplace. I got a 3.9% arm in 2005. It will adjust every 2 years no more than 1% per adjustment. Am I an important person? No. My credit union just has/had very competitive rates. Move on!Nothing here!

    June 17, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. another dirty gop tactic

    this not an issue

    June 17, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Olivia

    GET HIM!

    June 17, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Lisa CA

    See if everyone would have gotten these preferential rates then maybe they could have affored their payments and they wouldn't have lost their homes.

    You go Dodd get those pacs and special interest behind you!!!

    Remember Obama had a shady real estate deal also!!! With Resco!!!

    June 17, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. acc

    John McCain is a loser. He is pathetic. I would never ever vote for him.

    June 17, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Jeep Dude

    All you Bush/Cheney/Rove hating indivs.... Replace the name Dodd with any from that list, in the article. Now how would you feel/react?... Be honest... Would you be saying "We need to move past this?" Be honest... So much for Nancy and Harry cleaning up the corruption in Washington... It's just the same ol same ol...

    OAN... Dodd's father and Bush's grandfather (Preston) were once feuding Connecticut Senators... Look it up...

    June 17, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Steven

    I received 4.0% on a 5-year arm with Countrywide in 2003. Glad to see I timed the market better than Dodd – This is obviously a non-issue.

    June 17, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Gene

    This whole countrywide thing is really getting retarded. So the owner of a company decides to tell a friend "hey.. rather than making a commission on your loan.. I'd rather use that commission to buy down your rate a little.. because I don't want to make money off a friend"... what the hell is wrong with that? I worked as a loan officer in the past.. and I've done loans for friends where I've given up a chunk of my commission to get them a better rate. There's nothing illegal about it.

    Owners of all types of companies out there do favors for friends. If you feel that's criminal.. go arrest every bar owner who decided to give a friend a beer on the house.. or every restaurant who's given a meal to a good customer on the house.... almost every business in the world would be shut down.

    This is the dumbest controversy I've seen in a long time.

    June 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. GG

    Mitt Romney is a lousy politcian

    June 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Abbey

    They did waive the points which I know no one has ever done for most of us. The banking chairman should be a bit more aware of appearances and membership in the Friends' club.

    June 17, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Gene

    To "Independent Now"

    How does this article in any way, shape, form, or even tangently have anything to do with Obama's leadership abilities? What are you independent of... Reading comprehension?

    June 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. Val

    Whoever the person that's using "Brian Knoxville TN" as an alias to prove something is a BIG FAT COWARD.

    Real Brian Knoxville TN – you go man!

    June 17, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Steve

    Nothing like the old "culture of corruption" put out by Nancy Balonie. Looks like the dim-wits got caught and I am sure they will find a way to blame Bush....

    June 17, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. john williams san diego, ca.

    Typical liberal...i get special treatment to insure you get what you want sometimes at others expenses.

    June 17, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. texan

    Well that goes to show that, you have to know someone to get special treatments what about the 1,ooo,ooo people that got a foreclose on their home? Mr. Dobbs for VP? ok

    June 17, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. mary

    I am a retired person on social security and my little retirement income.My husband and I purchased a $150.ooo home in August 2002 intrest rate at 6.25.As the intrest rates continue to fall we refianced in June 2003 at 5.00 intrest .No one did us any special favors.Any one that purchased or refianced a home during that time got the best rates ever for 30 yr mortages.I feel that at that time no one gave Mr. Dodd any perferential favors . I feel that he did what others did , searched for the best rates he could fine.

    June 17, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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