Mr. Mozilo speaking last year at a conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Associated Press)

I am writing this letter to explain my unfortunate set of circumstances that have caused me to become delinquent on my mortgage. I have done everything in my power to make ends meet but unfortunately I have fallen short and would like you to consider working with me to modify my loan. My number one goal is to keep my home that I have lived in for sixteen years…My home is not large or in an upscale neighborhood, it is a “shotgun” bungalow style of only 900 sq. ft. built in 1921. I moved into this home in May of 1992…this was the same year I got clean and sober from drugs and alcohol, and have been ever since, this home means the world to me.

So begins an email from Daniel Bailey Jr., to 20 addresses at Countrywide Financial Corp., including that of Chairman Angelo R. Mozilo. To write his message, Mr. Bailey had used a form email posted on, a site that the L.A. Times describes as a coaching service for troubled borrowers.

According to the L.A. Times, Countrywide has been flooded with such emails, “overwhelming email boxes [and] disrupting operations,” and prompting a tense response from Mr. Mozilo — who inadvertently hit reply instead of forward and sent this note back to Mr. Bailey:

“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.”

Mr. Bailey posted the email exchange to a LoanSafe forum, drawing the attention of a couple of other housing blogs, including

Late yesterday, the L.A. Times reports, Countrywide issued its response, “Countrywide and Mr. Mozilo regret any misunderstanding caused by his inadvertent response to an email by Mr. Bailey. Countrywide is actively working to help borrowers, like Mr. Bailey, keep their homes.”

LoanSafe founder Moe Bedard told Peter Viles at the Times’s L.A. Land housing blog that he founded the Web site to help homeowners find information about working with their lenders to avoid foreclosure. The site gives borrowers email addresses and phone numbers for bank executives who handle loan modifications, writes Mr. Viles. It also provides sample “hardship letters” to help borrowers make a written appeal for a loan modification. Mr. Bedard told the blog that his advice has helped 80 homeowners avoid foreclosure. –Emily Friedlander


  • Countrywide Promises to Improve (WSJ)

  • Mozilo’s Pay Plunged 79%; He Still Made $10.8 Million (WSJ)