Countrywide Is Not On Your Side

Angelo Mozilo, the Countrywide financial chairman who is arguably the poster child for the current subprime meltdown, just learned the difference between email reply and forward.

Photo of Angelo Mozilo, in a suit and red tie. His right hand is raised as if about to testify.
Angelo Mozilo

A beleaguered Countrywide customer, Daniel Bailey Jr., had sent Mozilo (and various other Countrywide execs) a “hardship letter” email requesting modifications to the terms of his loan, which had recently reset. Bailey is hoping to remain in his home of 16 years.

Bailey used language in his email that he found on, a Web site that offers advice to troubled borrowers.

Finding the message in his inbox, Mozilo had a classic “oops” and fit-of-pique moment. He fired off a message to his staff.

“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.” Instead of forwarding, he replied directly to Bailey, who went public.

Gee, some of us might use that same word to describe Mozilo’s $130.6-million profit from 2007 Countrywide stock sales.

And in the unintended effects department, guess that little loan counseling Web site saw a big uptick in clicks over the last 24 hours.


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