June 17th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
8 years ago

Dodd: No special deals from Countrywide

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/03/art.dodd.gi.jpg caption=" 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. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    I believe Dodd. I watched this live. A lot of people are called VIP at their mortgage companies, those of us who pay on time.

    We really need to move past this and get on about business. Time is a wasting

    June 17, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. independent now

    SO FAR OBAMAS LEADERSHIP SKILLS DONT SHOW ME.

    June 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Willy

    BUSTED!

    June 17, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Taking the plunge

    When Barack Obama goes to the toilet he gives hope to all the plumbers out there.

    June 17, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Bob

    A rate of 4.25 or 4.5 is clearly prefential. I have near perfect credit and make more than Senator Dodd does as Congressman and I couldn't get a rate that low. Something is fishy here.

    June 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Carol, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Heck they gave me and several of my colleagues an excellent fixed rate on refi's in 2003. That's why they handled all our refis. At that point in time millions were refinancing homes to take advantage of those amazingly low fixed rate mortgages. None of us had to be a Senator to qualify.

    What a non-issue.

    June 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    The repubs don't have a toe to stand on. I know they can't even begin to say anything regarding this issue as crooked as they have been and then there is john mcwar and his lobbyist campaign people. BTW john, did you get rid of charlie black yet?

    June 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. yns

    Looks like SAME OLD POLITICS to me...... If you are avoiding the same old politics why would you have the same old politicians vouching for you????? If Obama does keep his word he will have no one to work for him. But he thinks he is the "GREAT ORI" and does he really need anyone else anyway????

    GO PUMA!

    June 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Michael, Lorain Ohio

    For those looking for scandal here, I wonder how many GOP felons got favorable loans???

    June 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. OBAMA BACKER

    What does Dobb home finances have to do with gas prices, horrible health care, fake war, and an economy in the toilet? Nothing and that is what the republican party is about ...nothing.

    June 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Romulus, Michigan

    How many of you have attempted or has refinanced your mortgages? Have any of you used Countrywide? If yes, what was your interest rate? He is no different from millions of other Americans.

    June 17, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    According to their corporate hype–everybody gets special deals.

    Guess he intentionally wanted to pay more for his mortgage/refi than everyone else. What a guy!!!

    I'm sure he didn't read the fine print–nor expect it to become public record.

    June 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Chuck B Coastal NC

    THIS IS A WITCH HUNT BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. THE GOP HAS NO VISION, THERE AGENDA IS THE SAME THAT IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO. MOST OF THE GOP CAN'T SEE PAST THERE NOSE. THERE POLICIES ARE THE SAME DANGERIOUS POLICIES THAT GOT US INTO THIS TROUBLE. THEY(THE GOP) IS GOOD AT GETTING US INTO TROUBLE, THEY HAVE NO KNOW HOW OF HOW TOO GET US OUT OF TROUBLE..

    June 17, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Bobby Johnson

    Lol @ CNN.

    Not that this isn't a story, but in conjunction with all their other ever-so-slightly cynical Obama stories, or the All-out pro Clinton stories, its starting to become a laughable to check the ticker.

    Nowadays, I go to politico if I want to get serious, minute-by-minute political scoop. Not they are the promised land, but at least I can disagree/agree with their reporting with 50/50 odds. CNN is so obvious with their Clinton fawning. Barf.

    June 17, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Joe Six

    Amazing how Dodd just happens to get his mortgages from Countrywide. A remarkable coincidence. And he denies it. How Washington. Is this change we believe in? Obama criticizes Countrywide for its lending practices, and Dodd borrows from them. How will Obama get anything through a Dodd-led Senate? Dodd should resign.

    June 17, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. xddy4u

    This is getting rediculous. Joe Public should be the last to point a finger. He's the father of shaddy deals. When he gets his fingers out of the cookie jar, then he can judge others.

    June 17, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. HM

    I AM SURE CHRIS DODD KNEW EXACTUALLY WHAT HE WAS DOING. USING HIS POSITION. OBAMA IS JUST LIKE DODD, STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE.

    June 17, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Peter Tobias

    If Dodd is right, he can keep his seat, but I doubt he is. Then he would have to go.

    June 17, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Wayne, Greenville TX

    I received no special deals from Countrywide, either. In fact, I didn't even seek a deal with them. When we bought out house in July of 2006, the mortgage broker we were dealing with during the buying process sold our mortgage to another company the day of our closing. Two months later, we got a letter saying that our mortgage had been sold to Countrywide.

    June 17, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Truth Be Told

    I believe you Senator Dodd, the republicans are grasping at straws.

    June 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. JK

    This is not just democrats

    It also includes Donna Shalala and Alphonso Jackson.

    June 17, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. MD

    Besides hiring Doyle, Johnson's resignation was the worst move by Obama's campaign.

    Johnson should have never been allowed to "resign."

    Let the stupid Republicans say what they want. Democrats should learn to do what they want. Look at Bush. For 8 years he has not been intimidated by Democrats once. He does his own thing. Obama should not react to every little thing the Republicans harp on.

    June 17, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Sylvia Johnsen

    Keep telling yourself that, Dole... I bet Dole is wrong, as he was when together with 352 superdelegates a decision to gamble with the general election gave us a more divisive party and a less deserving presumptive nominee.

    Countrywide have a number of Obama VIP's in their pocket, and Obama had to fire the VP vetter for having not one, but four of those VIP special loans. Nobody longer believes Obama got to be the richest candidate on little peoples money. That was a ploy to ride the underdog strategy, and media let Obama do it far too long.

    June 17, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Ralph

    Such corruption. Not.

    June 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Mortgage Holder

    No news here. I have 3.875% on a 5/1 ARM. My 5 year fixed rate is ending next year. So I don't think his rates were that special, because I know mine wasn't.

    June 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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