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Countrywide CEO Mozilo Calls Homeowner Disgusting? Not so fast.

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Dan Bailey is a homeowner facing foreclosure. He emailed a letter to 20 Countrywide employees in hopes of arranging a a deal that would prevent foreclosure of his home. In response, he was accidentally sent an email purportedly from none other then Countrywide CEO, Angelo Mozilo. The email reads: This is unbelievable. Most of these letters now have the same wording. Obviously they are being counseled by some other person or by the Internet. Disgusting.

After mild chatter throughout the blogosphere regarding the matter of how Mozilo is calling homeowners disgusting, I commented on Bloodhound regarding what a couple minute google search turned up:

While Angelo was wrong to pass judgment without the full facts concerning the borrower, he was right about one thing: The borrower is using a standardized hardship form letter that is circulating around the internet. The owner of the forum you have cited above at loansafe.org has posted this very form letter / cookie cutter hardship letter on his Active Rain page here: http://tinyurl.com/3t7vxz and you can find it circulating around the internet in places like here on sites like iamfacingahomeforeclosure.com : http://tinyurl.com/3m95b6

I would imagine that if you are seeing hundreds or thousands of versions of the same letter, the letter would tend to lose its credibility over time……and might appear to be more of a tactic then a genuine letter asking for help….

This evening the story hit the LA Times and Blown Mortgage as well. It will likely make national headlines in coming days given the sensational potential of the headline in and of itself.

There are couple important points to be made:

  1. The email timeline given is incomplete. There is an email communication between a couple parties with a random “quote” attributed to Angelo Mozilo, this isn’t just strange, it doesn’t add up. I still can’t get a complete picture of exactly what the timeline of the discourse is after a handful of reads.
  2. Angelo Mozilo is referring to what appears to be a new wave of such standardized cookie cutter form letters as being disgusting, not the borrower. As I mention above, it would be very hard to take a form letter seriously after you have received it hundreds or thousands of times. It is very likely that among the many sincere homeowners Mozilo deals with on a regular basis that he also sees many that are simply trying to fraudulently get out of loans or catch breaks on the basis of hardship. This is to be expected.

Come to think of it, who writes their hardship letter over email? Perhaps many, but in my mind if you are in a tough spot and are asking and pleading for help to save your home, common sense would dictate that a real letter is in order. If you don’t write a real order when your home is at stake, when do you? In any case, you are well advised to NOT send any email correspondence in any business matter to 20 employees of the company you are attempting to correspond with as this gentlemen has done, that is called spamming and is not how you endear people to your cause.

The point is that the story is lacking credible evidence at its surface and even if the email is proven credible, Mozilo’s comments don’t appear to have been directed at the homeowner in the first place. From what I have read there is plenty of dirt on Mozilo to write about, but this isn’t it. Let’s do our homework here folks before we start yelling fire, a simple read of the email itself would indicate all is not right with this story. Let’s see how the national media runs with this headline.

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Trace Richardson has written 638 articles on BankChirp.com

I'm Trace Richardson and am the founder of LeadPress. I’m a licensed California Real Estate broker and a former equities trader previously holding the Series 7, 63, 55 and 24 securities licenses.

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3 Responses to “Countrywide CEO Mozilo Calls Homeowner Disgusting? Not so fast.”


  • Hi Trace,

    Thanks for the link – Countrywide actually responded with the following:

    “Countrywide and Mr. Mozilo regret any misunderstanding caused by his inadvertent response to an e-mail by Mr. Bailey. Countrywide is actively working to help borrowers, like Mr. Bailey, keep their homes.”

    So the email was legit – but I do agree with you there is blame on all sides. I personally don’t find using a form letter as the basis for a request as disgusting. Form letters have been used forever as a means of raising awareness of a particular issue and advocacy groups from farmers to labor unions have provided their constituents form letters to contact their representatives.

    I think the disgusting part is less interesting being directed toward a borrower and more interesting as a telling sign that the stress and sheer volume of loan modification requests is swamping the ship. They are clearly not cut out as a company to handle the change in tide.

    It will be interesting to see where this goes though.

  • @Sam, I’m not sure why the borrower had to mail 20 employees….I think the mentality that told him it was ok to spam random Countrywide employees was the same mentality that told him that sending an email over such a serious issue was satisfactory vs writing a real letter.

  • Where are the process guys? Countrywide pays the officers so much in compensation.
    If the email was a cookie cutter, may be an “auto response” with a follow up phone call should have been initiated. Why did the borrower have to write the 20 letters to 20 employees in the first place? Sounds like process people are sleeping….

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