Two Democratic Party senators, Chris Doss and Kent Conrad have been “caught” receiving Sub-Prime “VIP” Loans from lender Countrywide Inc. The Loans were at favorable interest rates. Despite the fact that the lender has testified that both men knew that they were getting a sweetheart deal, Senator Dodd claims he didn’t know he was getting favorable rates.
This revelation came from Robert Feinberg, the official who handled their loans in testimony to congress. According to the Washington Post: Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.
Robert Feinberg, who worked in Countrywide’s VIP section, told congressional investigators last month that the two senators were made aware that “who you know is basically how you’re coming in here.”
“You don’t say ‘no’ to the VIP,” Feinberg told Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a transcript obtained by The Associated Press.
California Republican Darrell Issa, has been trying for months to get Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to subpoena Bank of America for Countrywide’s records (BOA bought Countrywide). Issa wants to know the details of the two loans above, but also to find out who else in congress got the VIP treatment. So far Towns has resisted preferring to stonewall any investigation and now we may know why.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Congressman Towns has two mortgages from Countrywide:
A powerful House Democrat who has turned down a Republican’s call to subpoena records of a mortgage program at Countrywide Financial Corp. received two home loans from the lender.
Some information in the lawmaker’s mortgage documents raises the possibility they were made through the program, which provided loans to public figures and other favored borrowers often at lower interest rates or with lower origination fees than were available to the general public.
The loans were made to Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. The panel’s ranking Republican, California Rep. Darrell Issa, has been pushing to have the committee subpoena mortgage records showing who received loans through Countrywide’s VIP program — operated under former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and known within the company as “Friends of Angelo.”
The mortgage documents on the loans to Mr. Towns contain a Countrywide address and branch number that correspond to the VIP program.
The Countrywide mess is bi-partisan, congressional VIP mortgage recipients are from both sides of the aisle.
The Senate Ethics committee is also investigating because two Democratic senators, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, received loans through the VIP program. Both men have denied wrongdoing and said they never asked for favorable loan terms from Countrywide. Some Republican government figures also received VIP loans from Countrywide.
Mr. Towns received loans from Countrywide in 2003, including on a home in Lutz, Fla., above, that were processed by a branch that handled loans under a ‘VIP’ program.
The spokeswoman for Mr. Towns, a 26-year congressional veteran, said his decision not to subpoena the VIP records “has nothing to do with his mortgages.” If the mortgages came through the VIP program, “it was without his knowledge,” and he doesn’t believe he received any special benefits from Countrywide, she said. “As far as he knew, he was just getting a loan as a regular person.” The congressman, who wasn’t a committee chairman when he received the Countrywide loans, first heard of the VIP program last year from press reports, she said.
No the reason Towns is not issuing the subpoena is he is too busy. You see, now that OJ is in Jail, Towns has taken over the time-consuming task of finding the real killers.
Mr. Towns’s Florida mortgage showed the paperwork was prepared by Silva Momjian in the Rosemead office. A Journal article last year identified Ms. Momjian as having done the paperwork on some VIP loans. Ms. Momjian couldn’t be reached for comment. She declined to comment last year.
It is very possible that Congressman Towns did not receive or did not know he was receiving a VIP loan. It is also possible that the Congressman is peeing on our legs and telling us that it’s raining.