Mr. Mnuchin’s Mortgage Marauders

By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”

-Ambrose Bierce, “The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary”

I have frequently criticized media coverage of legal issues. For example, news reports often attribute significance to orders on routine procedural motions that is wholly unwarranted. And even reporters with legal backgrounds are not clear and understandable in their explanation of court rulings to laypersons. So when I came across reports that Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin’s bank had filed a mortgage foreclosure action against a 90 year old Florida widow over 27 cents, I was skeptical.

But the story interested me because the subject of the suit resides in Polk County, only an hour’s drive from where I live. In addition, with the advent of electronic filing in court proceedings, I knew that I could access the court files online and review the actual record in the case. I have now done so and have concluded that the stories have been misleading, but not for the reasons one might expect. What has happened to Ms. Ossie Lofton of Lakeland, Florida is worse than what has been reported.

Ms. Lofton has lived in the same home for over 40 years. In 2003 she and her late husband, Willie Lofton, borrowed money secured by what is known as a “reverse mortgage,” essentially a line of credit designed to permit elderly persons to draw against the equity in their homes to help with living expenses. Unlike a standard mortgage, a reverse mortgage does not require periodic principal and interest payments. Instead, the credit line balance typically falls due upon the death of the surviving spouse. However, the lender may demand payment of the outstanding balance earlier should a borrower cease to reside on the property, sell the property to a third party or fail to timely pay real estate taxes or homeowner’s insurance premiums.

The Loftons’ lender was Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation, a reverse mortgage subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Bank. Financial Freedom was ultimately acquired by OneWest Bank, an entity formed by Steven Mnuchin and other investors to acquire the assets of IndyMac, a failed lender, from the FDIC in 2009. In November of 2014, OneWest Bank filed a foreclosure action against Ms. Lofton to recover $127,657.13. The asserted ground was that Ms. Lofton was no longer occupying the home as her residence. After the suit was filed, a call from Ms. Lofton’s son to the bank’s lawyers was sufficient to correct their misunderstanding and the suit was immediately dismissed, with “each party to bear its own fees and costs.” The bank nevertheless added property inspection fees and its attorney’s fees to the amounts owed by Ms. Lofton, an example of overreaching which would have been prevented had Ms. Lofton been represented by counsel. OneWest Bank, N.A. v. Ossie D. Lofton, et al., case number 2014-CA-004708 (Polk County, Florida Circuit Court).

But Ms. Lofton’s difficulties with the bank were far from over. In April of 2016, a second foreclosure was filed. This time the named plaintiff was CIT Bank, with whom OneWest Bank had merged the previous year. The asserted default was “failing to maintain property insurance.”  By this time, the principal balance demanded had arisen to $134,728.57. Attached as an exhibit to the complaint was a copy of a OneWest Bank acceleration letter to Ms. Lofton dated June 9, 2014 stating that the loan had been declared “due and payable because of your failure to occupy the property.” Another exhibit to the complaint indicated a default date of October 18, 2011. Confused yet? Fortunately, someone directed Ms. Lofton to the lawyers of Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. What they discovered was a pattern of abuse, indifference and arrogance.

It appears that sometime in 2011, Ms. Lofton either failed to pay a homeowner’s insurance premium or made a payment that was not properly credited. In any event, OneWest Bank purchased coverage for $1,883.30. This is known as “force placing” and results in a property charge which a borrower is obligated to repay. Yet in this instance, Ms. Lofton was not billed for the charge; it was recorded on the bank’s books (and in its monthly statements to Ms. Lofton) as a loan advance (i.e., an additional draw against the credit line). The bank apparently received a repayment of $1,460.00 of this amount from its insurance company, recording it as a prepayment of the credit line balance, leaving a net credit line advance of $423.30.

At some later date and for unknown reasons, the bank determined that the $423.30 should be characterized as a charge rather than an advance. Accordingly, it sent Ms. Lofton a letter in March of 2015 informing her that her loan was in default and demanding immediate payment of $423.30. She promptly sent her check for $423.00, inadvertently failing to include $.30. A second letter to her in August of 2015 demanded payment of the additional $.30 to avoid foreclosure. Given her advanced age and poor eyesight, Ms. Lofton misread the demand and mailed another check for $.03, leaving the now legendary $.27 balance and inducing the new foreclosure action for “failing to maintain property insurance.”

Faced with an aggressive defense and numerous counterclaims, attorneys for the bank attempted to take a voluntary dismissal “with each party to bear its own fees and costs,” a peculiar filing since a dismissal of a complaint does not affect a counterclaim in the absence of a stipulation between the parties. As of this writing the bank has brought in additional counsel to contest the counterclaim and denies any liability for attorney’s fees for Ms. Lofton’s defense. The litigation continues. CIT Bank, N.A. v. Ossie Lofton, 2016-CA-001327 (Polk County, Florida Circuit Court).

Were this an isolated incident, one might simply dismiss the matter as an example of bad bookkeeping combined with bad lawyering. But OneWest Bank under Steven Mnuchin developed a reputation for its passionate pursuit of foreclosures against the weakest and most defenseless social groups. By way of example, Financial Freedom controlled approximately 17% of the reverse mortgage market at one time, but accounted for almost 40% of the foreclosures in that market subsequent to its acquisition by OneWest Bank. And an investigation by the California Attorney General’s office disclosed evidence of “widespread misconduct,” including statutory violations and illegal backdating of mortgage instruments.

Mr. Mnuchin’s bank reportedly has earned over three billion dollars in profits on an investment of 1.6 billion. Its surviving merger partner is due to receive over two billion in additional payments from the FDIC toward foreclosure costs. How much of that profit has been derived from practices similar to those in the Lofton case is anybody’s guess. One hopes at least some of these issues will be addressed in Mr. Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing because while there is certainly a role for vulture investors in cleaning up bad paper and restoring stability in the real estate market, those benefits become secondary when the vultures treat human beings as so much carrion.

Sources: Jeff Spross, “Why Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing could be truly disastrous for Donald Trump,” The Week (January 5, 2017); David Dayen, “Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Accused of ‘Widespread Misconduct’ in Leaked Memo,” The Intercept (January 3, 2017; Lorraine Woellert, “Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners,” Politico (December 1, 2016); David Dayen, “Donald Trump’s Finance Chair Is the Anti-Populist From Hell,” New Republic (May 9, 2016); “The Troubled OneWest and CIT Group Merger,” https://badbankmerger.com/2016/03/09/cit-group .

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend contributors. As an open forum, weekend contributors post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and displays of art are solely their decision and responsibility.

70 thoughts on “Mr. Mnuchin’s Mortgage Marauders”

  1. This is disgusting as an American, filing a foreclosure for 27 cents (less then a cost of a stamp). What court would allow that? It only shows greed and hate for land owners. I would pay the 27 cents for her!

    1. All the banks I have dealt with would have just waived the 27 cents just to make the client happy. Even the most heartless banking officer would realize two bits isn’t worth the cost of collecting it. But threatening a foreclosure for this shows predatory lending as the method of operation.

      Since the reverse mortgage trend became national news, I was very wary of how this could be construed to shirk money from senior citizens. From a financial point of view, trading equity for cash flow is a bad practice but when individuals are strapped for cash, it becomes alluring or a necessity.

    2. There is no such thing as a landowner in the USA. Only those who pay for the privilege of assuming all responsbility and of course paying never ending rent or lease fees. Tha’ts one of the reasons the counter revolution went after the left.

      1. How, then, to explain all the foreclosures and the monies reaped from them?

        The counterrevolution went left?

        You need glasses, son; and a good dose of current history.

        1. I don’t have to explain them. That’s for the stupid people that fell into the trap So tell me buy a piece of property and build a house. What does that entitle you to besides all the things and much more you just mentioned? Duhhhhuuuhhhhh

  2. I know a student here who was premed but couldn’t get good grades in organic chem and also genetics. Switched to prelaw.

    1. Her anecdotal life probably turned out better than your anecdotal life.

      Does she call you anymore? I doubt it.

      1. You need to take a course in basic philosophy and pay less attention to the PC fictionary. Assuming of course you are only misguided and not pre programmed.

        1. So, what is your point here? Do you have an answer as to the relative abundance of lawyers and doctors? Are you blaming it on not taking philosophy courses?

          1. I’m merely pointing out that when your answer doesn’t hold water your premise(s) are faulty.

            Because greed is much more prevalent than altruism and compassion. Next question?

            That sort of reasoning went out the window before there were windows. About 400 BC

            Egoism vs egotism for one. Altruism is progressive code for taking money by force not by free will. compassion is the word for making people feel so ashamed they let themselves be robbed even if it hurts themselves and their families. I’m greedy. I earned it. It’s mine and I’ll damn well disburse it where I choose which is none of your business. Altruism is the tool of thieves and is more greedy than the word you mis-use.

            Objectivism over Subjectivism wins every time if the mind, thinking and reasoning are applied. Without the need for being a common thief.

            1. I guess you wouldn’t agree with either of these phrases:
              “I am my brother’s keeper.”
              “We are all in this together.”

              Is there any country you would prefer to live in, where you would not be burdened by having to pay taxes, or by having to interact with anybody you didn’t like? Or maybe you would like a tax system where you can have a checklist of those activities your money would support?

              1. No I am not and interchangeable part of a classless collective with a ruling class. With one exception. I have no brother. I have one sister. To go any further I would ask if the following fits you. I am a self governing independent thinking and reasoning free citizen who has agreed by social contract to give up a small and certain portion of my independence in certain limited areas.

                One of them was 24 years in the Infantry (not drafted it was volunteer) but it was not for you or the ‘mythical brothers.’ I am not altruistic in the slightest. It was to ensure my freedom and the freedom of those I care about. One of those freedoms is the ability to pick and choose who and when I assist one of my fellow citizens or non citizens for that matter. I don’t care about the others and live for my life for myself asking no one to give up their life for me.

                One of those ‘things’ is called the Constitution and that is in line with our the oath of office. Not country, not any individual or group certainly no President. Just the one item. Does any of that sound familiar? If not we have nothing in common. Since I will not give up any of the above you would have to change yourself. By now you should have identified the source or are from another country, world or part of the universe..

                1. So …. You are not your brother’s keeper, and you are only in this for yourself (or perhaps plus your sister). How sad. And I guess you were in a different army than the one I was in.

    1. We have something like over three fourths of the worlds lawyers and many go into torts which in turn drives up liability insurance which in turn drives many MD’s out of medicine. While some lawyers go into politics and try to fix the system but never think it’s their own profession that causes the problem which drives up liability insurance etc. etc. even more meaning less doctors.

      Lawyers are the only profession that have a vested interest in such things as politics and keeping problems on the back burning but bubbling without fixing anything while they argue about how to apply Robert’s Rules Of Order.

      The easy fix is limit lawyers to one in every three Supreme Court seats and one in every ten elected official seats. and for those that play with torts require one half of their incomes to fund medical scholarships.

      Another one in ten could give inner city classes on how to carry hot coffee safely. Something not needed in the country where we learn to use common sense and not use lawyers.

      Instead we go egging for MD’s.

  3. If Obama’s DOJ had gone after bank criminality, instead of simply declaring that boys will be boys, we would not be getting these repeats so soon. There are other causes, the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act – a 1930’s law that separated commercial banking from investment banking – the repeal of which occurred on the watch of that famous socialist pinko commi extreme morally depraved leftist, Bill Clinton, who in 1999 must have dropped acid and thought he was a Republican (Republicans have a reputation for being against financial regulation of any kind) and wanted desperately to prove it by signing the quintessential deregulation bill of all deregulation bills repealing Glass-Stegall and thus allowing commercial banks to gamble with their clients money without even asking so much as a pleas and thank you. This and other such self profitable acts (his famous “foundation” was launched) ultimately contributed greatly – no thanks to Bush II, btw – to the melt down on the latter’s watch watch in 2007.

    Once the crash occurred, did Obama, our spanking new President which Republicans and Democrats alike applauded together with deep sincerity for being the first black President, did he order his DOJ to rush to the scene of the crime and put those bankers guilty of illegal lending practices including rampant foreclosure manipulation in jail? Did he allow the corrupt banks that were a hairs breadth from going bankrupt to collapse under their own profligacy?

    After all, in the late 1980’s Republican President Ronald Regan reacted to the Savings and Loan scandal by putting over 1000 guilty bank CEO’s and upper management in jail for their illegal actions – and Regan didn’t mince words. There was no propaganda to make it look like the bankers were just being excessive but not doing anything illegal (same ol same ol used more recently on Hillary’s behalf – nothing illegal here folks, move along…). No, not for Regan, and no matter what anyone thinks, he retained his dignity on that one at no small cost to himself.

    The answer is NO. Obama did less than nothing to address the root causes of the crash of 2007 and I’m sure he expects to profit from it in the same way Bill Clinton did.

    It’s far more complex than that, of course, and deregulation was largely the cause of the S&L crisis as well as that of the 2007 crash, but those are facts nonetheless and Democrats should be absolutely ashamed of them. And what do they do? They put the most corrupt establishment candidate in the whole Democrat party into the presidential race of 2016 and fix the primaries so her opponent has no chance of winning. When this turns out to be an abject failure, they start a new Cold War war with Russia with trumped up charges of Cyber espionage with zero evidence to back up such suicidally reckless claims. Quite possibly the ultimate reckless look over there gambit ever played. And they have the AUDACITY to call Trump the crazy one.

    And as to addressing the root causes of the 2007 crash, Obama truly led the Democrat party into the depths of do nothing, see nothing depravity, closely related to the do nothing, see nothing main stream media depravity, and got Democrats, as a party, to put their seal of approval on the outcome that made it perfectly OK, now and in the future, for a two tiered system of justice in the United States.

    While there is plenty of bi-partisan blame to go around, this has to be the main feature of the total and almost certainly irreversible collapse of the Democrat party as a viable counter part in a system where ostensibly, conservatives and progressives are supposed to compliment and balance each other out.

    1. A short review of the left. Too much is made of the left right business which in any case is faulty. Not enough is made of proper definitions of what inhabits the left (RINOS to DINOs and beyond.)

      Initially most in the leadership roles – that segment that is exempt from being just a pre programmed daily clone and is barred from thinking – there are and has been since the late nineteen twenties three branches of Socialsm. and three types and four economic systems..

      The three types are National, International and what I will call neo-aristocratic feudalistic socialism. The latter the brain child of the progressive left starting with Woodrow Wilson and spread to different areas sometimes as Democratic Socialism.

      Economically there is State or National Economics, Soviet Economics, and Fettered Capitalism Economics. All connecfted with some variances.

      International or Communist Economics primary statement is no one owns anything therefor everyone owns everything – The always present exemted ruling class excepted and the masses are held responsible for failures.

      State Economics says their may be individual ownership but it must be tightly and firmly controlled by the State. Also known as Fascist Economics it holds the owner completely responsible

      Democratic Economics which it isn’t is Fettered or Chained capitalism what we have in the USA a form of State Economics in reality. The concept of ownership is largely a myth due to it’s control by Neo-Aristrocratic Feudalism. The Establishment to be blunt. .

      The fourth version and the only successful one is Market Captialism

      The three branches are Government/Military, Financial/Business, Labor Leaders. What we commonly called Statists, Corporatists, and Labor. One can belong to more than one at the same time but the heirarchy of power is in the sequence stated. Even then there are exceptions. Governmnt for example includes four branches but does not fullly control the military in the USA. The rest are interchangeable parts except for union members. They are only collectives.

      Now contrast that to the legal institutions put forth by the founders. First citizens as the ultimate source of power voting directly as the grass roots base using democratic principles or a Representative Democracy the best form for more local areas. That supprting or providing the foundation for a Constitutional Republic featuring checks and balances throughout with protected rights and rights not granted denied

      That is how it is supposed to work but of course counting the Revolution of the 1770s through the adoption of the system by 1787 AND the revolution of the Civil War and the progressive socialist revolution of 1912 to last Novembe 8th has endured but has a lot of repair work needed. However it did endure and is the oldest Constitution in existence in terms of length, ability to change leadership for the most part peacefully etc.

      So where are we now? In the middle of a counter-revolution and that brings us back to checks and balances and the military. The military was seen as a threat to the statists and their backers as their oath of office calls for allegiance to the Constititution and nothing else.

      The members for the most part also realized tht ballots are better than bullets. One outcome is Herr Obama could not declare martial law without running the risk of being the first one handcuffed, jailed, and tried not by the usual impeachment method but by a military tribunal.

      Instead he and his followers RINO to DINOI and Regressives get to go live a lie while the counter revolution continues

      Somewhere in the above you should have identified your position. if not you are probably not yet educated or are one of the programmable collectives.

      Draining the swamp will take some time but the backstop while rights, checks and balances and divesting government of the Fourth branch occurs is still the military upholding it’s oath to the Constitution against enemies domestic.

      Who decides when they activate and implement that Oath? The Constitution is clear on that. They gave the most difficult job to the military and it is their decision.

      They also left it up to the President to nominate certain positions and the Senate got the job of approving. How they do it is up to them. Until then the President points at one of the underlings to be the temporary just as if the primary had died.

      In the case of the Justices there are only two requirements nomination and confirmation. Senators and representives have age, citizenship requirements. Only the Justices have none of that. There is no requirement for a specific number or time period to replace or age, citizenship or education. .

      In the type of government pushed by the secular regressives that’s all replaced by an autocracy. or totalitarian dictatorship.

      The only other thing to remember is the center of a represetntive democracy/Constitutional Republic is it’s Constitution and it’s ultimate source of power the citizens. Not those seeking to re-establish a dark ages style neo-Aristocratic state of feudalsm. Which tells you whose behind it all.

      Now we have an outsider politically speaking some things will change. But it’s up to the citizens and always has been until and if it’s time for the military to uphold it’s oath of office.

      Realistically the view from the moderate center is quite pleasant.

      1. Well, the only part of your essay that I agree with, is that “some things will change.” But my very great fear is, not change for the better.

        But I am curious – whatever makes you think Obama contemplated proclaiming martial law? There has to be some profoundly serious emergency for such a declaration, and I don’t recall any such emergency anytime during the last 8 years. And Obama has been a very calm and measured person, not given to rash actions.

        I think it much more likely that Trump would declare martial law, to round up any and all latinos and Muslims. But that’s just my opinion. We will see what happens.

        1. Damn don’t you follow any sort of news. That came up on a regular basis due to his penchant for acting the dictator and that of course is the way his polticial philosophy and party leans. From Plato on down to FDR. The question on abdication started as a joke but gained traction when he came up with that I could win a third eleciton easily nonsense.

          I could spot that a lot easier from my more moderate centrist perch but the education was also necessary. not sure what they are teaching these days if anything.

          1. And it’s late the dyslectic fingers are doing their tricks again political election. YIKES!

  4. I said when this Mnuchin guy was nominated that he is a swamp king. This post reinforces that thought. Thanks, Mike.

    I believe Olly works in the reverse mortgage biz. I would like his take on this.

  5. Drain the swamp? Not all! Instead we get the quicksand cabinet,. Billionaires win big time with Putin’s towel boy leading America! Good thing congress will limit debate on the basket of deplorable cabinet picks. Conservatives fear Americans could actually learn the truth of who really is pulling the strings.

    1. Yep, four of these Goldman.Sachs officials received appointments including one as head of the SEC….. That is what we need …. a Wall St banker to oversee Wall St.

    2. Drain the Swamp means that anyone who is appointed to Donald Trump’s administration will be banned from becoming a paid lobbyist for five years after leaving the White House – or lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. It’s a good start.

  6. Full disclosure: I am a Republican. I like banks. Banks are wonderful things. They enable money to be aggregated so that people who cannot afford to pay cash for the necessities of life can borrow money in order to obtain those necessities.

    Now the bad news: some banks aggressively and, in my view, immorally pursue not only borrowers but attorneys who represent the borrowers. This is invidious. It is a threat not only to the bar, but to unsophisticated people who need attorneys to assist them in asserting their rights.

    Talk to some lawyers who have tried to sue banks over predatory lending practices. Rather than defend these lawsuits on the merits, some banks employ hatchetmen (often attorneys themselves) to file complaints against the attorneys with the bar authorities. They will even on occasion sue the plaintiffs’ lawyers. The goal is to (1) knock out the lawsuits for some reason other than the merits, i.e., plaintiffs’ attorneys are scared off and (2) deter similar minded counsel from filing similar lawsuits.

    Banking interests will also on occasion get state and federal regulators to investigate counsel for the borrowers. The goal is the same: scare off the attorneys so that the victims of predatory lending practices will be without attorneys to assist them. The regulators, who are supposed to be advocates for the consumers, are actually carrying water for the banks by insulating the banks from lawsuits filed by consumers.

    Then, there is the infamous Regulation O. No, Regulation O is not an X-rated movie. It is a federal regulation which prohibits attorneys from charging a contingency fee in these types of cases but at the same time also prohibits attorneys from collecting any fee at all unless there is a recovery. Regulation O is supposed to be a consumer protection provision. In reality, it assists only the banks in that it deters attorneys from accepting cases involving predatory lending practices. Attorneys typically charge either an hourly rate or a percentage of any recovery, a contingency fee. The contingency fee is typically greater than the expected hourly rate because the contingency fee is uncertain. If the case is lost, the attorney gets nothing. The greater fee compensates for the uncertainly. Few attorneys will accept a case on a contingent fee basis when the most they will be able to get out of the case is their hourly rate. Regulation O prohibits the certainty of an hourly rate, while at the same time makes the recovery of any fee uncertain. The result is lack of legal assistance for the victims of predatory lending practices.

    Some banks are engaging in a war on the bar. Realizing their position in litigation is weak, they seek to prevent lawsuits in the first place by detering counsel from accepting these types of cases. People like Ms. Lofton are the ultimate losers.

    1. What’s “morality” got to do with it? When enough money becomes involved, evidently anyone or any institution is happy to be immoral.

      Back when CEOs made comfortable but not exorbitant earnings, employees were valuable assets. When CEOs make millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions, employees are a barely-tolerated burden, to be used up and dispensed with as soon as possible. I blame this on the notion that shareholders are the **only** stakeholders that a corporation has.

      1. Is it not the Trump administration’s plan to further deregulate the banks? They certainly have earned our trust.and will self regulate quite well. lol Some see another financial crisis on the horizon after this occurs.

      2. One reason we stress proper cites, sites, and sources and here is one for you.

        FRB: Regulation O: Compliance Guide
        https://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/regocg.htm
        Regulation O: Loans to Executive Officers, Directors, and Principal … officer of a member bank who becomes indebted to any other member bank must, under certain … Sets forth recordkeeping requirements for insiders of member banks and …

        1. Thank you for the cite. However, it does not really appear to say what you think it does. Reg. O deals with regulating Mortgage Relief Firms, and what they may and may not do in trying to help consumers.

          This part, known as Regulation O, is issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to implement the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Public Law 111-8, section 626, 123 Stat. 524 (Mar. 11, 2009), as clarified by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Public Law 111-24, section 511, 123 Stat. 1734 (May 22, 2009), and as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, Public Law 111-203, section 1097, 124 Stat. 1376 (July 21, 2010). This part applies to persons over which the Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

          https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/12/part-1015

          If you will read thru the various sections, you will see that it is implemented to protect consumers from shady practices, and I did not see anything in it about keeping lawyers from working on a contingency basis in predatory lending lawsuits.

          If I am missing something, please let me know.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. Squeeky,

            Attorneys often provide the services covered by Regulation O. That part I got right. You are correct, however, when you say that there is no prohibition regarding contingency fees in Regulation O. I must have been thinking of another reg. Either that or my memory is faulty. My bad.

  7. Just another example of the fascist chief to be filling the swamp with alligators, cottonmouths and scum/oil slick. Only one person with any honor among the whole damn scumbag cabal and that is Gen. Mattis who still should not be in a civilian position. Well the 20+ % that voted for the fascist is about to reap the whirlwind.

    1. It just amazes me that Trump can keep a straight face about “draining the swamp” when he is stocking it with hordes of these unsavory creatures.

      1. Probably because the ones he is replacing have proven themselves to be far worse not only in the specific field but in their role as left wing socialst fascist warmongers that would Stalin and Hitler proud to have them in their ranks. And that goes for what I perceive is the programming for the day of the interchangeable clones of the left. For the rest of us proof positive the usefulness of Pelosi, Schumer, Soros, Lykoff, Clinton, Kerry, Carville and the whole Collective of Stupidity including the RINOS in their role as the right wing of the left has run it’s course. At this point there are is much to clean up after a century of failure I’m tempted to say just chuck the whole lot down the drain. With a few exceptions not worth the trouble to save.

        And that is the view from the moderate center. In using the principles of representative democracy to form a strong base and foundation for a Consittutional Republic one starts with the center IS the Constitution and not the works of Plato, Kant, Marx and Soros.

        My not so moderate centrist viewpoint is the socialists regressive left should have to get in line BEHIND the undocumented immigrants and apply to become citizens of the USA. They don’t qualify anymore.

        But everyone has one bit of subjective or wishful thinking. That is for those of us who can. Now back to the reality of draining the swamp and disregarding fairy tails from holloweed snowflake land.

        1. So is your point that, yes, these candidates are unsavory, but the previous ones were worse??

          1. My point is the one I believe should be rejected was stated with reasons provided. That’s objectivism. Most are just other worldly pre programmed subjectivism so I thought for the benefit of the thinking posters to make a start point. It wasn’t meant for you – per se as collectives have no such words as I and you Your post was just a useful tool. and predictably the inevitable answer arrived in short order. Thank you.

  8. Matthew 23:14
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

    1. In that same vein:

      Dante puts the usurers in the lowest sub-circle of the seventh circle of hell, with others whose sins are regarded as doing violence against nature and nature’s God; many people have noted that usurers are placed deeper into hell than violent murderers, violent suicides, blasphemers, and sodomites. Dante regards usurers as perverting art, i.e., productive skill, by means of which we are supposed to produce and create and thereby imitate the goodness of God. Usury is the anti-art: it produces nothing substantial, being just a set of multiplication games with money, and therefore does not really contribute anything to ‘earning one’s way and furthering humankind’. It merely gives the illusion of doing so, and is therefore a sort of mockery of both human reason and divine providence — indeed, a sort of universal violence against neighbor, God, and one’s own reason, an extraordinarily efficient form of violence by which you do the most damage with the least effort.

      http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2009/07/dante-on-usury.html

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. I’m certainly glad that the literary and cultural level of these postings is improving ….

  9. MikeA said, “because while there is certainly a role for vulture investors in cleaning up bad paper and restoring stability in the real estate market, those benefits become secondary when the vultures treat human beings as so much carrion.”

    Huh??? Because I am not sure that “bottom feeders” do anything of value at all. If you invest $1Million in a $5 Million bad mortgage, why should you get anything more than your investment out of it? If you knowingly bought it knowing that it was upside down, why try to get full price for it? Because what you really want is the underlying property, and the mortgage is the way to force the property to foreclosure. Because maybe the underlying property is worth $2 Million. So the shark can make 100% profit, the property owner is booted out, and the original mortgagor is screwed out of the extra million..

    Frankly, the original mortgagor could have done their own write down with the owner for say $1,500,000 and both could have made the best of a bad situation. But often the mortgagor is represented by a “servicing agent”, who makes more money going the foreclosure route, to the detriment of the mortgagor.

    Screw bottom feeders.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. When BA which I detest took over the largest realty operation in the country they ended up with so much toxic they offered to give housing to veterans. Of course most of those were the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed dwellings in places like Chicago and LA I’m quite sure and a large write off followed.

        1. That was our version of the bank failures that preceded the Great Depression also government caused. This latest one only took the Ethanol Scam and the Housing Scam to bring down the economy. The proponents of that Dodd and Franck alongwith the bonus baby management of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae walked away with millions – or too millions. Initially not one single housing owner was affected only house buyers which includes those dumb enough to remortgage their paid for primary dwelling. But the actual home owners had to wait for the economy to collapse and unemployment to zoom to find themselves in trouble. Owner or not in the USA that only gets you the rights to pay your government rent.

  10. Reverse mortgages…great for getting back at your errant family members and or banks…but better die in the house after you’ve cleaned out your bank accounts and maxed the cards taking trips, eating well…do not buy any durable goods as gifts to anyone…take them on the trips.

    RMs….Right up there with the “buy gold” adds with W. Devane.

    1. Are you saying that young folks don’t particularly want to spend time with elderly parents and grandparents, but they do want your money??? If that’s not what you were saying, then I said it. It’s true. Oldsters enjoy spending time with young people because it makes them feel younger. Thinking about aging is not appealing to young people. Hence they are reluctant to spend time with oldsters.

  11. The difference between what has been happening and what will be happening is that with Obama and Clinton when this sort of stuff happened there were attempts to weasel out of it, lie, hush it up, double talk, etc. With DDT, who is leading the charge, skipping out on paying workers, skipping out on paying taxes, etc., this has been advertised for many, many, months as the norm, what is needed to make America great again. DDT and Mnuchin are both of the same mind, make money where ever, from whomever, and however you can. America, get ready to be reamed and no vaseline.

    1. Doesn’t even need to come to as vote. One meeting and one withdrawn nomination. It’s a shame Allison of BB&T isn’t available. As for the view from the left you can count on Issac to post his drivel somewhere. I believe the clone programming for the day is done by midnight eastern.

      Happy to here the citizens speak up on this matter.

  12. The way I see it, this happened under Munchkins watch. Senators need to vote against him. The victim mentioned in this case needs to be brought forward on national tv to tell her story.

  13. I do not know what Mr. Mnuchin’s status was at this bank or the subsequent one who bought the original bank out, BUT I can tell you that we have a much worse experience which happened here in Minnesota with Wells Fargo and HUD surrounding a Reverse Mortgage, so I can emphasize a great deal with this poor woman. We had some helpful legal help, but it was stressful for a good 7 months and we are only the tip of the iceberg here in Minnesota (we have no idea how many more tens of thousands of ‘Seniors’ around the country have had to go through what we did or even worse. We still have our home, but it was at GREAT COST, monetary and emotional. Don’t think for a second that Mr. Munching had a hand in this or even knew of this poor woman’s distress! If he directed it, then I would agree, he needs to get out of politics and I think Trump would agree to – IF that is proven.

  14. Of all the nominees for office this was the one I personally objected to because of three words.Goldman Sachs CEO.

    I’m reminded of their background on the Mexican Tesabono bail out engineered by another former CEO turned SecTreas one Mr. Ruben. Blind Trust for sure but still a stockholder. and it turned out that GS was up for a major loss on the default. Ruben did not recuse though the connection widely known incuding to the then sitting President one William Jefferson Clinton. Instead he obtained the bail out money from the Social Security Fund then solvent although the money would have gone to the General Fund replaced with IOUs. Also the Railroad Retirement Trust Fund. The bond default was covered, GS loss was covered Ruben became a multi multi millionaire and all this is public knowledge available easily with a google search.

    The second reason is a neighbor in Florida whose housing loan had been bundled a number of times with a number of toxic loans. No actual paper changed hands just a print out. But no contracts withsignatures.

    The bank foreclosed after failure to notify the householder the payments had gone to satisfy a loan deficiency Payment one day late. BUT there was a 30 day grace period. Attorney brought that to attention of the Judge who demanded the contracts be produced. Then fined the current loan bundle owner in the same amount and awarded full ownership to the purchaser. Turned around and told the others waiting in line if you approach my bench with out a complete package including the original contract you will go to jail for contempt. The court room literallly emptied. this also in Florida in the aftermath of the government caused housing bubble and forced bank failure scandal.

    We’ve all seen Goldman Sachs name too many times. But I’m wondering what connection besides the Mexican Bailout Clintons had with them. The famous 18 year pay off was a Clinton passed and signed act which benefited their foundation as well as the New York Times and due to some on the ball CPA’s and Tax Attorneys our new President. Ruben the Sec Treas at the time as well.

    The revolving gate between some of these outfits and some of our worst disasters financially spins to rapidly.

    I view this as the one item where Trump needed to vet his appointees a hell of a lot closer.

    Personally I would suggest he personally put forth something the outgoing President never bothered with. Some laws to restrict that revolving gate between, as you said, bad corporations and the public treasury or the purses of little old ladies who owed 27 cents but didn’t.

    This not only smacks of collusion from both parties but demonstrates where the government has failed in their two primary duties . Protect the nation from enemies foreign and domestic.

    Given all of the foregoing is factual and the nomination should be suspended until fully investigated Trump should do what the previous Presidents of both parties did not do and quickly before he takes his oath of office. This time let’s have an honest investigation not like the phony fiasco afforded the Clintons.

    I can’t think of a better way to start off on the right foot.

    However Mr. Schumer and MIZZ Pelosi. SHUT UP you have no room to talk your party is just as dirty in it’s left wing as it is in it’s right wing. Best see to the problem with the investigation of the Clintons as it affects almost former Attorney General Lynch before it tars and feathers and rail rides the two of you out of town.

    PS That sort of toxic bundling was very common after the 2008 bankruptcy of the government. Call it a recession if you want. I call it what it is. The result of criminal activity. .

  15. This speaks horribly bad for Trump’s vetting, or lack thereof, of this apparent scum bag Mnuchin.

    This type of horrible activity among the elites is not rare. During WW2, Congresscriters got rich investing in Third Reich corporations.

    Peace Award winner Obama is in bed w/the Al Saud crime regime in Saudi Arabia, who have committed war crimes in Yemen. The USA has supplied virtually all the war machines SA has used in Yemen to commit international crimes.

  16. Great article Mike. I am not holding my breath that Mr. Mnuchin will be questioned at all about his role in abusing the foreclosure process.

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