What's up with local lenders?

Countrywide Home Loans has been among the many lenders smack in the middle of the mortgage mess. I know that Bank of America recently bought Countrywide Financial. Does that mean the local Countrywide offices are closing? I've walked by several times and can't tell whether they're open or closed.

— Will V., Medford

Countrywide Home Loans, a subsidiary of Countrywide Financial, is still in the lending business. Local operations were recently consolidated into one office at 615 Medford Center, near Tinseltown.

Countrywide was one of the companies at the heart of the subprime crisis, lending money to borrowers, some of whom turned out to be unable to repay their mortgage loans. Bank of America's $2.5 billion all-stock acquisition closed July 1. During the second quarter, Countrywide had a net deficit of $2.3 billion, including just under $4 billion in credit-related losses.

The Medford office, managed by Mike Towery, has 17 employees.

"We're still around," said a local spokesperson. "And we still plan to be here for a long time."

The office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. weekdays and on weekends by appointment.

The Countrywide office at 1660 Delta Waters Road remains a Countrywide Insurance location.


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