Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd said he and his wife, Jackie, will refinance two mortgages with Countrywide Financial Corp. in response to criticism that he got preferential terms.
"We will refinance our homes and, in an abundance of caution, we will be seeking a third party to negotiate the new loan terms on our behalf," Sen. Dodd said Monday at a news conference in Hartford, Conn.
The Connecticut Democrat released more than 100 pages of documents related to the refinancing of his 2003 mortgages.
Countrywide, which sold itself to Bank of America Corp. last year, drew criticism from Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., for policies that he said helped spur the subprime mortgage crisis.
Portfolio magazine reported in June that Sen. Dodd and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., received loans through Countrywide's "V.I.P." program, which waived points, fees, and loan restrictions for prominent people.
Sen. Dodd said that in 2003 he refinanced the mortgages on a Connecticut home he has owned for 27 years and a Washington residence he bought with his wife in 1999. The senator said they shopped around with different lenders and decided to stay with Countrywide because they offered loan rates and terms that were competitive with those from other lenders.
"There was nothing special about the rates, fees or points. We were never offered special or sweetheart deals, and if anyone had made such an offer, we would have severed the relationship immediately," he said.