I was hoping this whole “Friends of Angelo” fiasco involving sweetheart loan deals for certain high-ranking U.S. senators would just go away, but like every other indiscretion in Washington, it’s just getting nastier.
Yesterday, as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd was supposed to be discussing landmark mega-legislation to save the housing market, he took it upon himself to answer charges that he got preferential treatment when refinancing two of his home loans with Countrywide. He claims he had no idea that he was getting any better deal than anyone else:
"I would never ever ever be a part of that."
But then he goes on to admit:
"In fact we knew at the time, I think going into it, we got a call or we were told that we were being dealt with by that group within countrywide, that there was a VIP section we were in."
Any red flags there, Senator?
"I literally just assumed it was a courtesy because we had an existing mortgage, two mortgages."
Okay, well I bought a house right around the time he was doing those refis, and I have a good job and excellent credit and so does my husband. We put down more than 20% on our house, and nobody ever offered me anything special, anything VIP. Come on, someone tells you you’re in a VIP section and it doesn’t occur to you that you’re a U.S. Senator, just a good borrower?
Senator Kent Conrad, who also got the deal, says it was just “Serendipity” that he happened to get on the phone with Angelo Mozilo because Mozilo happened to be in a friend of Conrad’s office when he called. The friend is former Fannie Mae chief James Johnson’s who had to resign from the Obama campaign when news of his sweetheart deal emerged.
So now the Senate Ethics committee is going to waste even more of our taxpayer dollars looking into all this, which just adds insult to the injury of the deals and of the loss of attention to the important housing matters at hand. Frankly I don’t care if either of these guys got a better rate than I did. Do we really believe that members of Congress don’t get perks?? I do care that everyone else seems to care.
Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com