US Senators Refusing to Disclose Mortgage Details

The good news is most US Senators have disclosed the circumstances of how they obtained their home mortgage. The bad news is 23 have not. Should we be suspicious? I think we should. The story this morning:

Amid a brewing scandal over special mortgage deals given to two U.S. senators, Politico last week asked the offices of all 100 senators to describe the circumstances under which they obtained their own home loans. Seventy-seven senators have complied so far. Twenty-three have not.

Senators are not required to report in their disclosure forms any financial information about their homes unless they draw rental income from the home. But in the wake of questions regarding mortgages obtained by Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) — loans they received through a VIP program run by Countrywide Financial Corp. — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that the disclosure rules should be changed so that senators’ mortgage details are made public.

Full story (Senators’ mortgages under microscope).

Senator Pleads Ignorance, Revealing Incompetence

There is a scandal brewing in Washington involving members of the Senate Banking Committee and Countrywide. Apparently these guys were getting “special deals” from Countrywide and are now pleading ignorance. I guess the trick is when you’re getting special treatment the best thing to do is not ask questions. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I should ever become a politician. 🙂

Denial. Ignorance. Incompetence. Fill your word here __________ after you watch the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee revealing to reporters that  he doesn’t know the interest rates these days. Geez. Why are you then spearheading one of the most important mortgage banking reforms of the modern era? Twitter me Senator, I’d be happy to send you hourly updates on mortgage rates:

More on the brewing scandal.

Senator Receives Preferential Treatment From Countrywide

Senator Kent Conrad admits he wasn’t aware that Countrywide gave him preferential treatment on his mortgage and donated the equivalent fee to a charity. Senator Christopher Dodd on the other hand also got a loan from Countrywide but denies he was treated any differently. I don’t know if I buy that necessarily. Shame on Countrywide for treating these powerful senators differently than the regular borrower. It only hurts the industry when big companies try to pull this kind of shenanigan.

Now why is this significatn you ask? Well because these two Senators sit on the Senate Banking Committe, and Dodd is in fact the chairman. This committee has been actively seeking ways to regulate the mortgage industry since early last year.

Now, if I were a Senator on this committee, I’d highly recommend not doing any Real Estate transaction until the credit crunch is fully behind us and any legislation has been dealt with. Or, just doing a cash purchase if you must delve into the market.

Here is the story from Bloomberg:

June 14 (Bloomberg) — Senator Kent Conrad said he was given preferential treatment on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial Corp. and will write a $10,500 check to charity.

“It appears Countrywide waived one point on my mortgage,” Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said in a statement today in Washington. “Although I did not ask for or know that I was receiving a discount, and even though I was offered a competitive loan from another lender, I do not want to have received preferential treatment.”

Conrad said he also received a loan from Countrywide on an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck, North Dakota, even though the lender typically serves properties that have four units or less. He said he had decided to refinance that loan with another institution.

Conrad and Senator Christopher Dodd, who oversees the U.S. mortgage industry as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, were among those who received loans through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program, which waived points, fees and borrowing rules for prominent people, Portfolio magazine reported June 12. Dodd has denied receiving preferential treatment.

Full story here.

This site is for informational purposes only. It is not sponsored or in any way affiliated with the government. If you are in need of a mortgage loan, consult with a licensed mortgage professional. All fair housing and equal housing opportunity laws apply when applying for a mortgage or buying a home. Copyright 2012.