I represent Countrywide by working with home buyers, builders, and real estate professionals to provide information on a variety of home financing options, including Commercial Loans and Reverse Mtgs.
Get to know Dominick LaScala - Countrywide Home Loans
Countrywide Credit Industries was founded on March 14, 1969 by Angelo Mozilo and David Loeb, native New Yorkers who had worked together for eight years at another mortgage banking company.
At that time, mortgage banks were mostly small, local businesses staffed by a commissioned sales force. Loeb and Mozilo envisioned a mortgage company with a presence in every state; hence the name "Countrywide".
After two years of huge losses followed by three years of slim profits, Loeb and Mozilo decided to make a bold step forward in the mortgage industry by advertising Countrywide's rates and points. The idea was an immediate success and the company expanded rapidly from its base in Los Angeles. By 1980, Countrywide had 40 branches in eight states.
Interest rates approaching 18% devastated the mortgage business in the early 80s. Countrywide responded by diversifying. It launched Countrywide Securities Corporation in 1981, which issued its own "private label" mortgage-backed securities for sale directly to investors. Countrywide is now one of the nation's largest securitizers of residential mortgage loans.
In 1984, Countrywide launched the Correspondent Lending Division to buy mortgages from other lenders. The loans were resold as securities and Countrywide kept the "servicing rights," which means collecting loan payments for a fee. Today, Countrywide is the nation's largest "correspondent lender."
As the economy improved in the mid-80s, Countrywide grew rapidly once again. It joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1985 and watched its share price rise from $2 to $12 within a year. In 1998, at the height of the largest refinance boom in history, Countrywide's stock price reached $56.
A new Wholesale Lending Division was formed in 1986 to fund mortgages generated by independent mortgage brokers. Today Countrywide is the nation's largest wholesale lender.
Countrywide began to buy servicing rights from other mortgage lenders in the mid-80s. In 1989, it formed Countrywide Servicing Exchange to broker these deals for other lenders. Within three years, it was trading more servicing packages than any other company in the nation, a position it continues to hold today.
In the early 90s, as interest rates dropped to the lowest levels in 20 years, Countrywide business grew so rapidly it became the number one mortgage lender in the nation. The computer systems it had installed as early as 1980 helped the company handle the huge volume of business. Artificial intelligence systems developed within the company also helped to speed loan approvals. In addition, computer systems allowed Countrywide to become one of the nation's largest loan servicers. Today, Countrywide is so automated it is known as "a technology company that happens to be in the mortgage business."
In 1996, "Countrywide.com" was launched and new Web sites were quickly added as consumers and business partners realized the value of the World Wide Web. Today Countrywide derives much of its loan origination business from the Internet via dozens of Web sites.
The late 90s also saw Countrywide greatly expanding other financial services such as insurance and investments tailored to the needs of its 3.0 million borrowers.
In 1999, Countrywide expanded its reach overseas with the formation of Global Home Loans, a joint venture with Woolwich, plc in the United Kingdom. Through the joint venture, Countrywide brings its efficient loan servicing technology to Woolwich customers in the U.K. and throughout Europe.
Angelo Mozilo remains Countrywide Chairman, CEO and the most outspoken personality in mortgage banking today.