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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Going After Countrywide Financial

A company named Enron also went down a path similar to this.

Paul Jackson / Housingwire:
Countrywide Financial Under Investigation for Possible Fraudulent Lending -- Courtesy of Bloomberg, a very in-depth take on the AG investigations at Countrywide Financial.

It’s a headline from last week at this point, which means most probably have heard of this by now — but the interesting part here is that Illinois AG Lisa Madigan goes on camera and discusses her office’s investigation into the lender, saying that she’s focusing on pay-option ARMs in particular.

Which leads to the million dollar question: is it actionable to have qualified a borrower based upon a teaser rate that was in effect only for one month?

Andrew Malcolm blog / LA Times:
Countrywide's political donations examined -- Not long ago, Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and his Countrywide Finance Corp. were riding high and friends of many politicians. That was before serious problems in the nation's home mortgage industry and the new investigation by securities regulators into the timing of Mozilo’s sale of $145 million in Countrywide stock in the months before those shares went into a nosedive.

Before all this unpleasantness, Mozilo and his company were good for almost $2 million in federal and California campaign donations dating back to 2000, according to research by Dan Morain, The Times' resident expert in campaign finances.

Countrywide’s biggest spending has not been countrywide; it's been concentrated in California, where contribution caps are much less strict: they spent $450,000 for a failed measure to create open primaries and $250,000 on efforts to limit shareholder lawsuits; and gave $150,000 to the California Republican Party and $83,000 to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. [...]
Zac Bissonnette / Blogging Stocks:
Countrywide critics launch website -- Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC) has joined an elite class of companies headed by Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) -- corporations whose behavior has rendered them the target of so much controversy that their critics have launche websites for the express purpose of trashing them.

DontDepositAtCountrywide.info is, as the name suggests, calling on people not to deposit money with the company until "until it ensures that all subprime borrowers with interest rates that have reset in 2006 or 2007 can keep their homes!" [...]

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