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."