Countrywide Financial

Provides mortgages, banking and insurance.

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4500 Park Granada
Calabasas, CA 91302
Employees: 60,000
CEO: Angelo Mozilo
Stock Symbol: CFC


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Countrywide Financial is one of the top mortgage companies in the nation. It also provides financial services including banking, investment services and insurance. Countrywide has more than 1,000 offices nationwide.

The company's main subsidiaries include:

- Countrywide Home Loans provides home loans, refinancing, home equity lines of credit and other financial products directly to consumers, real estate agents and builders via 400 branch offices nationwide, two regional sales centers and through the Internet;
- Countrywide Bank, N.A. offers high rates on banking products such as CDs and money market accounts;
- Balboa Insurance Group through subsidiary companies, Countrywide offers a full suite of insurance products and services designed for both consumers and financial institutions;
- Countrywide Investment Services is a full-service investment firm that has partnered with some of the top providers and offer a range of products, including mutual funds, IRAs, IRA rollovers, Roth IRAs, 401(k) rollovers, stocks and bonds, and fixed and variable annuities.

In 2006 Countrywide had total revenue of $24.8 billion and net income of $2.6 billion.

Due to serious problems in the mortgage business, Countrywide announced it would cut up to 12,000 workers or 20% of its workforce this year.


In 1969, a pair of ambitious New Yorkers, Angelo Mozilo and David Loeb, drew up plans for their own mortgage company. Though it was just the two of them, working in a modest office space, they decided to select a company name that embodied their lofty goals and illustrated their aggressive vision -- Countrywide began.

On March 14, 1969, the umbrella organization, Countrywide Credit Industries, was founded. The mortgage lending subsidiary that would one day become Countrywide Home Loans was then called Countrywide Funding Corporation.

Six months later, Countrywide went public, trading over the counter at less than $1 per share. The initial public offering did not raise much capital, but undaunted, Mozilo and Loeb pressed on. Leaving New York, they opened a small office in Los Angeles where the housing market was booming.

Like most mortgage bankers at the time, Countrywide offered FHA and VA loans only. Lack of capital was a constant problem, and after five years in business Countrywide could no longer afford to play by the old rules of mortgage banking.

Over lunch one day, Loeb discussed a new plan with Mozilo. Countrywide would have branch offices without salespeople. Customers would see an ad and walk into a branch where they would receive service like at a bank. The founders referred to this new branch as the "company store," and opened the first retail branch using this model in 1974 in Whittier, California.

The success of that one company store gave birth to five more Countrywide branches. With advertising to drive business, loan production and branches grew steadily through the 1970s.

Countrywide began trading on the NYSE in 1985 and loan production would soar past $1 billion for the first time in 1986.


Countrywide offers medical, dental, vision, prescription drug, life, and disability insurance coverage. The health benefits program is available to eligible active regular full-time staff members, with coverage beginning on the first day of the calendar month following 2 months of employment. The medical program offers several different plans from which to choose. Employees have the option to decline medical benefits altogether.

Vacation is designed to provide eligible employees who have completed at least six months of continuous service with a period of rest and relaxation away from work without loss of pay or benefits. Eligible employees accrue two weeks per year for the first four years of employment, three weeks for five to nine years of service, and four weeks for ten or more years of service.

Sick Leave: Eligible employees accrue sick time at the rate of four hours per month during each calendar year, with a maximum accrual of fifteen days.

Holidays: Each calendar year, Countrywide provides eligible employees a total of eight paid holidays plus one floating holiday to be scheduled by the eligible employee at selected times as outlined by company policy.

Employee Stock Option Plan: Countrywide may grant discretionary stock options to eligible employees using a variety of criteria such as length of service, job level, and salary. The Employee Stock Option plan provides eligible employees the opportunity to buy Countrywide common stock at a fixed price in the future.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan allows eligible employees to purchase Countrywide common stock at a discount through after-tax payroll deductions.

401(k) Plan: The Countrywide 401(k) Savings and Investment Plan allows eligible employees to begin investing for their retirement immediately upon hire. Eligible employees can invest up to 40% of their gross pay (pre-tax) in any of the seventeen investments available. After one year of employment, Countrywide will make a matching contribution equal to 50% of their first 6% of contributions. Matching contributions are made with Countrywide common stock. Company contributions are subject to vesting schedules based on length of service with the company.

Pension Plan: Once eligible employees have completed five years of service, they are eligible to receive a pension benefit. The benefit is based on their average salary paid during the last five years of employment and their length of service with Countrywide.

Flexible Spending Account Plan allows eligible employees to put pre-tax dollars aside for health care and/or dependent care expenses.

Mortgage Discounts: Countrywide offers employees special pricing and fee schedules to qualifying employees.

Education Benefits: Countrywide's Tuition Reimbursement Program offers reimbursement for coursework in accredited schools which is directly related to the staff member's present job or another position at Countrywide.

PACE: Countrywide's Program for Accelerated College Education (PACE) is a two-year program filled with a selection of academic courses presented in an accelerated format designed to fit the needs of today's busy adult students. Professors from colleges around the country teach courses on-site at various Countrywide facilities. In Simi Valley, California, Pierce College professors come to a Countrywide facility one evening a week and alternate Saturdays to conduct the classes. Pierce is a leader in transferring students to four-year colleges and universities, and most students that complete the PACE Program go on to earn their bachelor's degree!

Fitness Centers afford employees the ability to take care of their physical well-being. Most corporate locations have a fully equipped and staffed fitness center.

Discount Opportunities: Price reductions are available for items such as homeowner and auto insurance, credit report services, movie tickets, admissions to theme parks, and entertainment attractions to qualifying employees. Discounts vary by location.

Updated September 7, 2007