Dodd Exposes Docs, Regrets Countrywide Deal

Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee told reporters Monday, "I regret having ever done business with Countrywide."

Dodd, who has been treading some hot water, reiterated that the rates he received to refinance two mortgages were low but he did not think he was getting special treatment.

 Read the report here. 

Connecticut's senior senator then showed off his personal financial records, to again reiterate his claim that he did not seek special treatment when refinancing his homes in 2003.

He announced plans to refinance again, using a third party to negotiate.

The revelations came to light seven months ago.

Dodd acknowledged receiving low mortgage interest rates from Countrywide Financial in spring 2003, while his Senate committee was overseeing Countrywide's troubles. 

Dodd said his wife did the deals with loan officers, not executives of the company.  CEO Angelo Mozilo reportedly ran a "Friends of Angelo" program, offering fringe benefits that some say may have been too generous.

Dodd said he did not seek nor expect any special rates. The rates he did get, he said, were widely available when he refinanced. 

"We are not friends of Angelo Mozilo and we have never been a friend of his,” Dodd said.

In June 2003, his adjustable rate mortgages were set at 4.25 percent for his Washington home and in July of the same year, his rate for his East Haddam residence was 4.5 percent.

The senator's lawyer hired an independent review agency, Crosscheck Compliance of Chicago.  They came to the conclusion, "The interest rates paid by the borrowers were available to the general public."  It added the fees and charges paid were higher than the national average.

Dodd said he thought the VIP program was for highly qualified customers. 

"We asked what it entailed, and we were told that it was nothing more than enhanced customer service," Dodd said Monday.

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