forward.com | January 7, 2017
By Daniel J. Solomon
Steve Mnuchin’s financial skeletons could come back to haunt him as he tries to win confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury. A leaked memo from the California Attorney General’s office that alleges his bank routinely violated the state’s laws in foreclosing on homes.
A bank executive admitted “robo-signing” foreclosures every 30 seconds, for a total of 6,000 a week at the height of the 2009 financial crisis, according to the document, given to the Intercept by an unnamed source.
Mnuchin’s OneWest bank violated California rules by failing to observe notice and waiting period requirements, backdating documents key to the foreclosure process and fixing home auctions in their favor. Staffers at the office’s Consumer Law section recommended that Attorney General Kamala Harris investigate, which she declined to do so, vexing consumer advocates.
OneWest (originally IndyMac), which Mnuchin bought in 2009 and sold in 2015, already was facing scrutiny for its foreclosure practices, which included tossing out a homeowner in a blizzard and foreclosing on a property due to an underpayment of 27 cents. Democrats have vowed to closely scrutinize Mnuchin’s nomination for this reason.
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