Countrywide CEO Gave Below Market Rate Loans To Senators From A Special "VIP Desk"

Does Angelo Mozilo spend all of his time thinking of ways to be shady? Now ABC News says that Countrywide had a special “VIP desk” that gave out below market rate loans to Senators and other politically connected people.

From ABC:

Friends of Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo and other high-profile individuals had their home loans handled by the company’s VIP desk, where a team of loan officers would work out favorable terms in conjunction with Mozilo, according to two former Countrywide executives.

Celebrities get their loans from somewhere,” said one former executive who likened the favorable loans to employee discounts. “That desk handled loans for people who were referred by executives. The way that it would customarily work is he [Angelo] might call in, ‘What can we do? What are we charging on this or that?’ and then tell [his friend] ‘I’ll get you that at X. Don’t worry. I’ll get you the loan.”

Some of the beneficiaries didn’t even know that they were receiving special benefits; others may have been aware that they were receiving some kind of discount, according to the former executives. Internally, those whom Mozilo favored for special treatment were referred to as “Friends of Angelo.” The executives say that he was in frequent contact with the company’s VIP desk.

Alleged “Friends of Angelo” include Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad, and James Johnson (formerly the head of Fannie Mae and who has just resigned from Senator Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee). As usual, everyone denies everything.

The VIP Treatment: Countrywide CEO Offers Better Rates for Prominent Few


Edit Your Comment

  1. gibbersome says:

    …. o.O

  2. LikwidFlux says:

    The rich get richer…

  3. Johnny_Roastbeef says:

    A below market loan which saves the politician tens of thousands of dollars sounds like a bribe to me.

    I wonder if there will be an ‘investigation’.

    Corrupt assholes!!

  4. chrisjames says:

    Weren’t aware of it my ass. Talk about a deep hole to dig yourself out of: admit to taking the equivalent of a bribe, or admit to being completely ignorant. Stupid fools should be chained to the ocean floor either way.

  5. sir_pantsalot says:

    @Johnny_Roastbeef: Oh absolutely. All of those guys who recieved the below market loans will get together and look into the possible bribes. They will make sure that they are on the news saying that they are looking into these possible bribes (bribes they took). Then that will be the end of it.

  6. highmodulus says:


  7. sir_pantsalot says:

    “James Johnson (formerly the head of Fannie Mae and who has just resigned from Senator Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee)”

    How many people linked with Obama have shady things in their past. At least the Clintons had the decency to kill those that were about to embarras them.

  8. Bladefist says:

    More proof that ALL politicians are corrupt.

  9. jscott73 says:

    They’re probably even getting discounted gas from Chevron and Exxon…

  10. wilstanton says:

    I think we finally have a post worthy of blaming the consumer (the consumer being the corrupt senators).

  11. Jbball says:

    Pieces of shit. I hope they get fucking sent to jail. Its assholes like these that keep the poor poor and the rich rich.

  12. GMFish says:

    “At least the Clintons had the decency to kill those that were about to embarras them.”

    Yeah, the Clintons certainly had a down home “Git-R-Done” charm about them. They’ll be missed.

  13. Wormfather says:

    Mozilo, corrupt? No frackin’ way! Seriously though, I still dont understand how when BoA gave them that life support loan it wasnt on the condition that Mozilo seek other opportunities.

    Say what you will about BoA, I sure do, but they are ususally good about protecting their bottom line.

  14. Bladefist says:

    @sir_pantsalot: Don’t speak that way about the Messiah.

    @Jbball: I understand your anger, but we both know nothing will happen, right?

  15. savvy999 says:

    Reminds me of the Eddie Murphy skit on SNL, where he puts on peach makeup and dresses like a white person. Walks into a bank, the bank manager laughs at the idea of collateral, and just hands him piles of money.

  16. sir_pantsalot says:

    @Bladefist: The new socialist messiah or the old Clinton machine messiah? I just need to know which one is off limits.

  17. SahuaritaSam says:

    Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

    This is ridiculous and more reason why Countrywide is the worst company in America. Horrible customer service that views homebuyers as cattle. Now this with granting favors for the upper class. I’d punch the CEO in the face for all the problems his company has put me through.

  18. taney71 says:

    And the Democrats said that they would bring in the most ethical Congress ever!

  19. nedzeppelin says:

    @sir_pantsalot: yeah but if you say that, it means you’re a racist!!!

  20. GA Hill says:

    “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton.

  21. hamsangwich says:

    I just sent a message to Mr. Dodd, my senator, about how I feel about what I just read. I doubt i’ll get a response, but at least I complained to the source. If any of these guys are your senators, let them know what you think!

  22. mike says:

    The rich get richer…

    @GA Hill: Popular mis-quote. The quote is:
    Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  23. coold8 says:

    I don’t see how any of this is a problem. Who is more likely to pay back a mortgage, some guy making 40k a year, and making stupid sub-prime decisions or a U.S. senator? It is a private organization, and if they see a senator or anyone else as lower risk because of their position / friends of the CEO, then good for them. It is a risk business, and those who are of less risk are of less cost.

    • hansolo247 says:

      But the point of the article is that they were priced BELOW their inherent risk.

      If rich person A gets a 5% loan, and rich person B (Dodd) gets a 1% loan, and ceteris paribus, they have the exact same financial picture, credit history, and overall risk, something is amiss.

      When person B gets a discount solely because they are a connected politician, that’s a bribe.

      Bear in mind Dodd is a sponsor of the Dodd-Frank reform bill. And don’t even get me started on the other one…

  24. I wonder if Tony Rezko got one of these loans when he and his wife helped Obama do that “boneheaded” little land deal thingy? Funny that one can even joke about such a scenario.

    (Yes, would-be flamers, I do know that both parties have exceedingly corrupt members.)

  25. ColoradoShark says:

    @taney71: They didn’t claim they would actually be ethical, just the most ethical ever. Sort of aiming to do a high jump over a 2×4 laying on the ground.

  26. Bladefist says:

    @sir_pantsalot: so ya, the Messiah is Barrack Obama. The only man who has visited all 57 states, has a uncle who is a hero, is definitely not associated with any american terrorist, and definitely has never cheated in getting his house or adjacent land. The same man who is amazing at giving speeches w/o a teleprompter. The Messiah. The man of hope, change, progressivism, to lead this pitiful, wasteland of a country, to be back as the #2 country. (#1 is reserved for ussr).

  27. NoWin says:

    @GA Hill: +1

  28. Paul D says:

    @sir_pantsalot: The Clintons killed people? Wow. I wonder why they aren’t in jail.
    Oh yeah. Because they didn’t.

    How many people linked with Obama have shady things in their past.

    Counting Johnson?
    One. None of the other people you’re thinking of have anything but the most tenuous connection to Obama.

    Nice try though.
    Say it with me: “Pres-i-dent O-ba-ma.”

    / Look, I can be a dick too!

  29. Paul D says:

    @Bladefist: Ah, my favorite game!
    “Let’s See How Many Debunked Talking Points We Can Squeeze Into One Paragraph”

    You win!

  30. Bladefist says:

    @Paul D: yayayaya what do I win?

  31. Paul D says:

    (For the record, I was all set to come in here and justifiably rail against Dodd and Conrad for this. But then the stupid wingnuts had to go and be stupid.)

  32. Bladefist says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: You question the Messiah? You’re a racist.

  33. linbey says:

    Of course they were all democrats too

  34. Skankingmike says:

    just makes one wish they were politically connect..

    Hookers, Private special bank loans, interns, and private military weapons contracts.

    Sign me up!

  35. @Bladefist: And a heretic!

  36. TexasBelle says:

    @coold8: I agree. This isn’t news. Aside from your excellent point, are there really people who think Countrywide is the only mortgage company handing out exclusive deals to its favorite customers? Name any bank at random, go investigate it, and I’m sure you’ll find the same thing. Countrywide might be evil for foisting predatory loans onto dumb and/or delusional customers, but this whole “Friends of Angelo” thing is a non-issue.

  37. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Jail them all, it’s the only way to be sure

  38. Bladefist says:

    @TexasBelle: I have no problem with them giving Matt Damon a fantastic deal on a house because they think the Bourn Identity is awesome. It is. But, these our senators. If you do a favor for them, that opens up for a favor to be returned. That is scarey. These Senators need to be 100% clean. But like I said above, all politicans are corrupt.

  39. Ein2015 says:

    Aside from the politicians bit (because of possible bribes), what’s wrong with charging somebody less?

    Just because they’re famous and/or rich means they have to pay more?

    I’m not saying he went about the right way of doing this, but I’m tired of hearing all you poor people online in the middle of the day instead of at work (where I am), whining that the rich are inherently evil!

  40. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Err, not so much. The DNC and Obama campaign’s ban on ALL lobbyist money, versus the RNC and McGrumpypant’s not only soliciting these monies, but packing their staffs with lobbyists.

    And, I’ll bet my cat that if you do a run-down on the number of Dems vs Rupubs getting favorable treatment, the latter did much better on that regard. Just like tracking down the degree to which Big Oil makes their donations to each party.

    The GOP can’t help it. It’s who they are.

    • hansolo247 says:

      How the heck do you know who contributed to Obama? That info is not public as, counter to what he promised, he decided to forgo public financing.

  41. rbb says:

    Hey Consumerist –

    You forgot to attach this to the names in the article: “(D)”

  42. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: I’ll take that bet. Because I’m pretty sure every rich Democrat has their money hidden in tax-free areas. And I don’t want to take your cat, then you won’t have anyone who believes your conspiracy theories.

    I know McCain has lobbyist. Find a post of mine on consumerist where I support McCain.

    All politicians are corrupt.

  43. @Bladefist: Let’s just ignore Trai_Dep. Others on this site argue the same positions with a much better command of logic and reason and without the same hackneyed repetition of the “Big Oil”/McEvil/Bushitler/etc. nonsense. Better to focus on rational debate with them than to waste the bytes on this tedious troll, no?

  44. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Dude, do you realize that you have a red-white-and-blue elephant as your avatar?
    And, I’ll take that bet. Again, with much – well, everything, pretty much – that you say, your wildly-hurled points have no reputable, factual basis. Repeating it even louder doesn’t change this simple, lamentable fact. Nor does wishing it were so.

  45. @Bladefist: See?

  46. Bladefist says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: I’m in. With people like JohnVa and Michael Belisle around here, we can have rational debates with people who don’t wear tin foil hats.

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    Guys, there’re sites for the wingnuts to chat amongst themselves without pesky facts crashing the party: Red State, Little Green Footballs, ronpaul, etc. Perhaps take your conversational circle-jerk there?

  48. Spinfusor says:

    I hope it doesn’t surprise anybody that Chris Dodd is corrupt.

  49. @savvy999: I thought of the same thing. That was one brutally honest SNL skit.

  50. mrearly2 says:

    Not surprising–government whores for the corporate pimps.