Barack Obama’s Aide Gets Special Rates on Millions in Loans from Countrywide

by Florida's #1 Mortgage Planner on June 9, 2008

Is Barack Obama and/or His Team Unethical?  Are They Saying One Thing and Doing the Other? Is a scandal already brewing for Barack Obama?  One would have to question that since James Johnson, a prominent advisor to Barack Obama, got special treatment on over $7 million dollars in loans from Countrywide.

While nothing about the transactions is technically illegal, it does question ethics, something which is questioned a lot in politics these days.  James Johnson apparently had a very beneficial relationship with our Countrywide “hero”, Angelo Mozilo.  He obtained several loans at below market rates, two of which were for very large amounts.  On a $1.3 million loan, he received a mere 5.25% and on another $971,000 loan, his rate came in at only 3.875%. 

The could be scandal comes since Obama has been highly critical of mortgage lenders, particularly Countrywide, that have been accused of extending credit to borrowers who couldn’t afford it.  Do you think Mr. Johnson’s loans were stated?  Maybe No Doc?  Payoff for something?

“Barack Obama routinely rails against lobbyists and corporate insiders, yet his campaign is stocked with both. Now it turns out that the man leading his vice presidential selection team is receiving highly questionable loans,” RNC spokesman Alex Conant said.

“With millions of Americans struggling to pay their mortgages, it raises serious questions about Obama’s judgment when we learn members of his campaign leadership are receiving favors that the average American would never get. With Obama discussing the economy today, he needs to stand up and address the mortgage scandals within his campaign.” (Source:  Fox News)

Of particular note is this from the Fox News article:

According to The New York Sun, Johnson attorney Brian Brooks said via e-mail that the loans were “well within the band of standard industry practices with regard to price and structure of loans to borrowers of Mr. Johnson’s background.”

I would love to see Mr. Johnson’s 1003, because I have never known anyone who could qualify for those rates on those size loans, even when they have perfect credit, plenty of assets, and a low loan-to-value (LTV). 

Scandal?  Maybe.  Will it haunt Obama’s campaign.  Time will tell, but it should at least make you question his campaign team, even himself,  a little more.

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