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Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd said on Monday he will refinance two mortgages that he took out in 2003 under Countrywide Financial Corp’s VIP program and later triggered a Senate ethics investigation.  The mortgage refinancing of his Washington townhouse and Connecticut home will end the Senate Banking Committee chairman’s transactions with Countrywide.  Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said he regretted doing business with Countrywide, which was once the nation’s largest home lender, and that he was publicly releasing all records in his possession related to the home loans.”I regret I did not do this sooner and I apologize to the people of Connecticut for the delay,” he said in a statement.  As chairman of the Senate’s banking panel, Dodd plays an influential role in overseeing mortgage finance laws that affect U.S. lenders, investment firms, international trade finance and housing.

Bank of America acquired Countrywide last year, which many blame for helping to inflate the massive housing bubble that burst last year and sent the global financial system and the U.S. economy into a tailspin.  Dodd said he and his wife “acted properly in our mortgage refinancing negotiations. We did not seek or expect any special rates or terms on our loans and we never received any.”  Dodd was offered the home loans as part of Countrywide’s VIP program. On Monday, Dodd said he was told that the VIP program was “nothing more than enhanced customer service” and his home refinancing reflected the overall market interest rate at the time.

The senator said he decided to refinance his homes in Connecticut and in Washington in the spring of 2003, when mortgage rates declined nationally to nearly a fifty-year low.  Documents released by Dodd showed he refinanced his Washington townhouse for $506,000 in a thirty-year adjustable mortgage with the first five years at fixed interest rate of 4.25%. At the time, the home had an appraised value of $792,000.  The mortgage refinancing of Dodd’s single-family home in Connecticut was for $275,042 in a thirty-year adjustable note with the first 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 4.5%, according to the documents. The home had an appraised value of $500,000. 

Watch Fox Video Exposing Chris Dodd’s Sweat–Heart Loan Deal from Countrywide



Mortgage leads continue to rise with low rate demands as loan application volumes continue to rise.  Many insiders point out though that very few applicants qualify to refinance their home, because guidelines have tightened and property values have plummeted. FHA mortgage leads are still hot! Choose from FHA streamline, cash out refinancing or Hope for Homeowners.

No points were charged on either refinanced loan, which the documents said was standard procedure for many homeowners in 2003.  Dodd also released a report from an independent firm, Cross Check Compliance, which analyzed market data on mortgage rates and fees from 2003 and concluded that the senator’s loans were in line with the overall market at that time. Dodd said that he and his wife would hire a third-party to negotiate the new loan terms on their behalf.  Article written by Kevin Drawbaugh.