OLD Media Moves

Countrywide slams NYTimes article about lending practices

August 30, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Countrywide Financial Corp. responded Thursday to an article in the New York Times Sunday by Gretchen Morgenson about its lending practices by issuing a release refuting some of the accusations.

Countrywide FinancialIn part, the statement said, “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.”

Read more here.

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