FBI Said To Be Investigating Countrywide

The FBI has opened an investigation into Countrywide for suspected securities fraud, reports the New York Times. The Justice Department and FBI “are looking at whether officials at Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in security filings.” So far everything is unofficial because nobody has been authorized to discuss the case, and a Countrywide spokeswoman says, “”We are not aware of any such investigation.”

Countrywide is one of 14 companies being investigated over the past year by the FBI as it looks into how financial institutions packaged mortgages into securities.

The Times says it’s unclear what sort of charges might be filed, but that as part of the larger investigation against the group of companies the FBI “is looking into possible accounting fraud, insider trading or other violations in connection with loans made to borrowers with weak, or subprime, credit.”

“Countrywide Said to Be Subject of Federal Criminal Inquiry” [New York Times]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. redragon104 says:

    Doesn’t this happen like every other year… until they shut them down none of these “Criminal Inquiries” will ever matter.

  2. mwwilk says:

    Shocking.

  3. fluiddruid says:

    I’d just like to point out that I talked to someone from Countrywide on the phone the other day. He called for tech support and was a complete knobgobbler. So, screw you, Countrywide.

    ;)

  4. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Where have you been, Ben? This was news three days ago.

  5. Snarkysnake says:

    Uh , not that I wouldn’t like to see Angelo Mozilo become somebody’s bitch in the big house,but when did the FBI start investigating the quality of loans in a lenders portfolio ? Isn’t this more of a matter for the SEC or OCC ? I’m confused …

  6. CaptRavis says:

    Since almost all these loans funded via wire transfers that makes the FBI the goto guys. You get a group brokers and strawmen and eventually someone at the bank decides to look the other way. “It was never gee, ‘how the f-ck did you book 20mil in loans this month you shady sob.’ it was, ‘how the f-ck are you gonna spend that bonus check you slick sob.’”

  7. Yay… maybe now they’ll let me buy all them houses they are hanging onto…

  8. Neurotic1 says:

    Looks like the deal just keeps getting better and better for Bank of America. Actually, now that I think about it, they’re both backward-ass companies that doesn’t know the meaning of ethical customer service so it’ll be a perfect match.

  9. brennie says:

    ooooohhhhhh! all 50 states attorneys general tried to do this a few years ago and got SHUT DOWN by the gub’ment. Now that the fat is in the fryer the FBI is on the case? I’m sure they will make it all better….

  10. mwdavis says:

    Countrywide isn’t aware of any investigation, but if they were aware, I’m sure they would take it very seriously.

  11. Wimpkins says:

    Wait Wait

    I thought this mess was the fault of the consumer…

    You mean bank aren’t honest, that’s a new one.

    I stand ready for the barrage of “don’t borrow if you can’t pay” posts.

    blah blah blah

  12. Me - now with more humidity says:

    And don’t shop Best Buy!

    LOL

  13. Chairman-Meow says:

    Or buy Nazi T-shirts from Wal-Mart!

  14. Aphex242 says:

    …one of 14 companies, stunning.

  15. RobinB says:

    As an employee of one of the few remaining honest banks who did no sub-primes, and doesn’t work on commission, I can only wish more of these companies who took advantage of people would have to answer for it.

    I also wish consumers would read before they sign.

  16. greensmurf says:

    Countrywide is one of 14 companies being investigated…….so why is countrywide the only lender in the news? Sensationalism that is why, the only reason is because countrywide is the big kid on the block so of course everywone will focus their anger on them and ignore all the other mortgage companies.

    They are all the same so why not spread your “love” people?

  17. greensmurf says:

    @RobinB: Took advantae of people? Sorry but these people made themselves victims by not acting like responsible adults? the mortgage comapnies were stupid but the borrowers let themselve fall into the money trap. They signed the docs without spending an ounch of time to research and understand, let alone budget their finainces.
    Its sick, the mortgage companies made stupid mistakes but the borrowers took advantage of those mistakes is oh so many ways, its all about greed but in the end the borrowers are responsible for their situation.

  18. Mr. Gunn says:

    greensmurf: Easy now, no one is saying they’re not.

    This isn’t about who to blame. The issue is that the companies would have been better off if they had not made those loans, but the loan officers made them anyways because they got fat bonuses from doing so. There will always be people who sign things without reading them, and there will always be lenders who think they can get away with letting people sign things they don’t understand.

    There’s plenty enough blame to go around, but blaming the borrower (or the lender) isn’t going to change anything now.

    So talk all you want about who’s fault it is and the failure of personal responsibility in this country and yadda yadda, but in the end, none of that matters. The only thing that matters is how we can keep this from happening again.

    Which do you think is easier to address: the ignorance of the borrower, or the deliberate malfeasance of the lender?