This article, “Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Accused of Widespread Misconduct in Leaked Memo,” from The Intercept is based on a report by junior attorneys in Kamala Harris’ office of California Attorney General. The report argued for initiating a civil case against Mnuchin’s OneWest bank for errors in foreclosing homes that the bank acquired when it took over the IndyMac bank. Kamala Harris did not authorize the case to proceed, possible because it was too weak.
The report indicates that there were a number of irregularities in the OneWest foreclosures, but they may not have been that serious. If it had looked like a promising case, liberal Democrat Kamala Harris would probably have taken it up. The question is whether OneWest was putting deserving people out on the street or whether it was just getting deadbeats off of its books. Were people seriously prejudiced, or did OneWest just fail to dot every I and cross every T when it filled out its foreclosure documents?
From a taxpayer’s perspective, Mnuchin got taxpayer help in taking over IndyMac, and it seems like he should have bent over backwards to be fair to people who had mortgages with his bank. It looks like he was callous, if not dishonest. The housing business is messy mainly at the low end, particularly after years of issuing mortgages to many people who could not afford them. Mnuchin knew he was getting into messy business, but he figured correctly that he could make lots of money off of a lot of poor people.
You would hope that the leaders of your country would come from more respectable occupations, not people who preyed on the poor, even if they violated no laws.