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Cantwell Clarifies Mortgage Situation

A spokeswoman for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Thursday that a mortgage she once had with Countrywide has since been sold to Wells Fargo.

On June 17, Politico began asking all 100 Senate offices to describe the circumstances under which senators obtained their home mortgages.  

Receiving no response from Cantwell, Politico located public documents showing a Countrywide mortgage on the senator's home in Edmonds, Wash. On Wednesday, Cantwell spokeswoman Ciaran Clayton confirmed that a mortgage Cantwell originated with U.S. Bank had subsequently been transferred to Countrywide -- the same lender that gave special VIP mortgage deals to Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

Asked Wednesday if Cantwell had any contact with Countrywide during the transfer of her mortgage, Clayton said, “Not that I’m aware of.” Asked if Cantwell received any special terms on the loan, Clayton said, “I don’t know the details.”

But in an email message sent to Politico Thursday afternoon, Clayton said that Cantwell's Edmonds mortgage is now held by Wells Fargo.  Clayton said that the earlier transfer from U.S. Bank to Countrywide was done "without the senator's knowledge or approval, as is standard banking practice."

Clayton also said that Cantwell received no special terms on the mortgage.

Cantwell's office has now provided complete information in response to the Politico inquiry. Several other senators have provided more limited disclosure.

The chart listing the results of Politico's mortgage survey has been updated to reflect Cantwell's responses.

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