(Vocus) August 30, 2007
In light of recent media attention, Countrywide Financial Corporation has made the following statement regarding its lending practices on subprime loans.
"This past Sunday, The New York Times ran an article on the front page of the business section challenging certain business practices of Countrywide Financial Corporation, and particularly its subprime operation. This article contained numerous inaccuracies and 'facts' taken out of context to place Countrywide in the worst possible light.
"Countrywide chose not to respond to this article because we felt that most readers would have the reaction to the article that Thomas Brown of Bankstocks.com had when he wrote his piece entitled, 'Everything but Evidence.' In addition, Countrywide has been working diligently to ensure that we continue delivering value to the American people as we have been doing for almost 40 years. As some of our constituencies have assumed that the article is true in all respects, this rebuttal is intended to set the record straight.
"Additionally, we have reached out to Senator Schumer to reassure him that Countrywide’s business practices were not accurately portrayed in the New York Times article. For example:
- Countrywide’s business processes are designed to prohibit steering borrowers who qualify for prime loans into subprime loans. In fact, the majority of consumers who come through Countrywide’s retail subprime channel receive a prime loan.
- Second, Countrywide’s loan officers do not receive higher commissions for subprime loans with prepayment penalties.
- Third, Countrywide prides itself on the extraordinary efforts we are undertaking to assist borrowers who are experiencing difficulty making their loan payments, and in fact we have found solutions to keep more than 35,000 borrowers out of foreclosure during this year alone. The company has a team of 2,500 employees in its Home Retention Division dedicated full-time to these efforts.
"Countrywide’s mission is to deliver and help preserve homeownership for Americans who have the desire and financial ability to own a home. Countrywide’s business model is based upon acting responsibly in all of its lending practices. Countrywide does not tolerate steering of borrowers into loans they cannot afford, and the company categorically rejects any assertion to the contrary. In fact, Countrywide has done more than any other lender to ensure that borrowers receive the appropriate loan options.
"Countrywide has become the nation’s leading mortgage lender by acting in the interests of our customers. The company has made loans to 25 million families throughout our 40 year history and has become a leader by delivering value to our borrowers.
"Countrywide is proud of the work we have done over nearly 40 years by helping millions of American families achieve the dream of homeownership. We categorically reject recent criticisms that have been leveled against the company based upon false facts and mischaracterizations of our lending practices. Our tens of thousands of employees strive every day to deliver outstanding value to our customers and business partners, and we will not waver from our mission of homeownership."
For additional details on Countrywide’s lending practices on subprime loans, please visit http://www.countrywide.com.
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