Industry News

Industry reacts to Countrywide, BofA deal

Merger seen as better than alternatives

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Bank of America Corp.'s plan to acquire troubled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. was welcomed by mortgage industry professionals Friday, who said a merger is preferable to other alternatives including a government bailout of Countrywide or bankruptcy. Some also wonder whether Bank of America is making the right move, assuming it can close the deal, which must be approved by regulators. "I have mixed feelings -- I think it's great because the government will not be forced into a bailout if this actually goes through," said Larry Bettag, Midwest region vice president for Denver, Colo.-based Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. "Putting those two together, it's going to be a monster company." Paul McFadden, a mortgage planner and licensed loan originator with Exact Financial Group of Renton, Wash., said that while he does not originate loans for Countrywide, the company's failure would have caused problems for everyone in the industry. "The buyout, I think, is a good thing...