Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ca Atty Gen Jerry Brown investigating Countrywide

From the LA Times.com:

The nation's No. 1 home lender, Countrywide Financial Corp., said today that it was being investigated by California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and the attorney general in Illinois.

Countrywide said it had received subpoenas from both officials but declined to elaborate, citing a company policy of not commenting on the status of investigations. The Calabasas company said it was cooperating in the two probes.

In a recent interview with The Times, Brown, who is looking into the practices of mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers, said he was interested particularly in loans that involved yield spread premiums.

In these mortgages, people who could qualify for a lower interest rate are lent money at a higher rate, with a rebate -- the yield spread premium -- being paid by the lender as a commission to brokers.

Many in the mortgage industry say the rebate can be used to offset borrowers' closing costs, making the loan more attractive to borrowers trying to hold down costs. But critics say the yield spread premium more often is simply pocketed by the brokers to make more money on loans

2 comments:

Adam said...

Ha! I posted earlier this year about how Jerry Brown's sister (Kathleen Brown, also an attorney) decided it might be prudent to step down from the board of directors of Countrywide, without explanation.

This was shortly before her brother announced his office would be looking into Countrywide. Funny how this announcement is being made again, as if we'd forgotten about the original announcement in the Winter/Spring of 2007?

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