Monday, April 27, 2009
Here's a shocker - Bank of America deems the "Countrywide" name so tarnished by the events of the last year that it can't bear to keep it hanging around. This report has all the details.
Bank of America Corp. has dropped the Countrywide name from its mortgage operations, shedding a 40-year-old brand that had become synonymous with risky lending practices that helped fuel the U.S. housing boom and subsequent bust.If there's one thing the world desperately needs to help it get past the housing bubble and subsequent bust, it's for the Countrywide name to just go away.
Founded in 1969 by Angelo Mozilo and David Loeb, Countrywide Financial Corp. had been the largest U.S. mortgage lender before Bank of America acquired it last July for $2.5 billion, after rising defaults and an inability to tap capital markets drove Countrywide near collapse.
Bank of America has renamed the Countrywide business Bank of America Home Loans, and begun changing signs on the company's lending offices. The largest U.S. bank expects to finish integrating Countrywide's operations this year.
Having lived near the company headquarters in Southern California as the housing bubble inflated and then met its pin, the sight of new offices popping up like they were Starbucks was really quite annoying - everyone kind of giggled when they spotted a new sign going up as they reflected on how much the price of their home was going up.
If anyone from the Agoura Hills area can provide a comment as to the fate of the massive office buildings that were being constructed just off of the 101 freeway, it would be greatly appreciated.
The image that, in my view, serves as a better reminder of the Countrywide era is below:
Now, that was a bit creepy...
After doing a Google image search on "Countrywide", the image above pops up on the first page but it had a familiar file name of 07-10-05b_countrywide_memo_1.jpg, which was immediately recognized as one of my own.
Then, there's a link to "More from www.iaconoresearch.com" on the Google page (that's where I stick a lot of images for the blog) which gets you to a whole treasure trove of images that have appeared here over the years.
A nice little stroll down memory lane...