Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Trump Names Ex-OneWest Bank Foreclosure King As Campaign Finance Chairman

From a recent blog post in The Slatest:
  • Donald Trump has successfully run for the Republican presidential nomination as a friend of the common man. His speeches are about standing up for people who've been victimized by the recession, free trade agreements, and marauding hordes of Mexican rapists. His voters—relative to other Republicans, though not to Americans as a whole—skew working-class. He sometimes suggests that he wants to raise taxes on rich people.

    And yet. Trump's fortune is derived from having inherited millions of dollars and a real-estate company from his father. His own recent business history is one of fraudulently preying on regular people. His actual tax plan involves massive, hugenormous breaks for people in his income bracket.

    And now, the New Republic reports, he's named a national finance chairman who made a ton of money running a bank that, per TNR, repeatedly committed fraud in the course of foreclosing on struggling homeowners during the housing crisis. That individual is Steve Mnuchin, former chairman and primary owner of OneWest Bank.

    Here's a fact about that institution's business practices:
  • Erica Johnson-Seck, a vice president of foreclosure and bankruptcy for OneWest, explained in a July 2009 deposition that she “robo-signed” 6,000 foreclosure-related documents per week, spending just 30 seconds on each sworn affidavit that attested to the veracity of all relevant information in the case. Johnson-Seck admitted to not reading the documents before signing them, to not knowing how the records were generated, and to not signing in the presence of a notary, all of which made the affidavits she signed false evidence in court.
  • Here's another fun bit about OneWest's foreclosures on reverse mortgages, which are marketed to seniors:
  • OneWest disclosed in its most recent annual report that it’s under investigation for this disproportionate share of widow foreclosures” by HUD’s Inspector General. The victims include 103 year-old Myrtle Lewis of North Texas, who OneWest put into foreclosure after her insurance coverage lapsed; Karen Hunziker, who got a foreclosure notice from OneWest ten days after her husband passed away in 2014; and a host of others.

See also, New Republic: Donald Trump’s Finance Chair Is the Anti-Populist From Hell (Steve Mnuchin specialized in fraudulent foreclosures during the heart of the Great Recession. Power to the people).