Friday, September 14, 2012

Questions Remain Unanswered by Murphy

In a recent Hartford Courant story concerning Representative Chris Murphy’s mortgage issue, Courant columnist Jon Lender writes there are details of the loan still shrouded in mystery.

Mr. Murphy, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be relinquished by Joe Lieberman,  has claimed he missed “several” payments on his mortgage. The lapses of memory did not prevent him from receiving favorable credit from a Webster Bank, although Mr. Murphy, a lawyer, had been sued for non-payment of his mortgage.

One of the more important detail yet unknown is how many payments Mr. Murphy missed. The term “several” is non-specific.

“Among the details still unknown,” Mr. Lender writes, “publicly are: the number of monthly payments Murphy missed leading to the 2007 foreclosure action; how much money he was in arrears by; and whether he was keeping up with payments on a concurrent Webster Bank second mortgage.”

The rate given Mr. Murphy was high for someone who had missed “several” mortgage payments, and the favorable rate given to Mr. Murphy required “a top credit score, and total loans and credit lines that did not exceed 80 percent of the value of the house…

“But whatever marks were on Murphy's credit from the missed payments and lawsuits, a Webster official said that at the time of the loan, the bank's underwriting policy when considering joint applications from married couples was to consider the credit score for the more-creditworthy spouse.

“Without being more specific, Robert Guenther, Webster's senior vice president for public affairs, said Cathy Murphy had good credit — and a higher credit score than her husband.”

Mr. Murphy’s campaign appears to be unwilling to furnish the missing details. Even so, he received from the Courant’s editorial department a review at least as favorable as that of the bank in question.

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