Dodd to refinance mortgages under scrutiny

Feb. 3, 2009 at 8:39 AM
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HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said he will refinance two mortgages that are the subject of a Senate ethics investigation.

Dodd also released Monday information about the mortgages for which he allegedly received preferential treatment by Countrywide Financial Corp., The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Tuesday.

"The documents put to rest any notion that Jackie and I received a special deal or sweetheart deal," Dodd said of the analysis addressing allegations that the Dodds received below-market terms on $781,000 in mortgages on their homes in Washington and East Haddam, Conn.

Neither the analysis nor loan documents made public by Dodd and his wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, addressed the issue of whether a competitive market or politics prompted Countrywide to set loan terms and let the rates float downward as interest rates fell, even though the rate was locked, the newspaper said.

On both loans, someone at Countrywide had scrawled "VIP" and "FOA" on documents released Monday. "FOA" refers to Friends of Angelo Mozilo, then the head of Countrywide.

Dodd said the documents with those notations were given to him after the loans became controversial. He said he never heard of the Friends of Angelo before then and was under the impression that the VIP program was for longtime Countrywide customers.

The Dodds also released an analysis by CrossCheck Compliance, a consultant hired by his attorneys, indicating their interest rates were market rate, and fees and charges they paid to Countrywide were above the national average, the Courant said.

Dodd said he will use a third party to shop for his new mortgages.

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