ONEWEST BANK, WHICH Donald Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, ran from 2009 to 2015, repeatedly broke California’s foreclosure laws during that period, according to a previously undisclosed 2013 memo from top prosecutors in the state attorney general’s office.
The memo obtained by The Intercept alleges that OneWest rushed delinquent homeowners out of their homes by violating notice and waiting period statutes, illegally backdated key documents, and effectively gamed foreclosure auctions.
In the memo, the leaders of the state attorney general’s Consumer Law Section said they had “uncovered evidence suggestive of widespread misconduct” in a yearlong investigation. In a detailed 22-page request, they identified over a thousand legal violations in the small subsection of OneWest loans they were able to examine, and they recommended that Attorney General Kamala Harris file a civil enforcement action against the Pasadena-based bank. They even wrote up a sample legal complaint, seeking injunctive relief and millions of dollars in penalties.
But Harris’s office, without any explanation, declined to prosecute the case.
Jack Abramoff, the former lobbyist whose sprawling corruption case helped prompt the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics, on Tuesday bashed House Republicans’ short-lived attempt to weaken the office.
“While there seems to be little question that some of the procedures of the Office of Congressional Ethics can and probably have created collateral political problems for innocent Members of Congress, moving to diminish oversight is exactly the opposite of what Congress should be doing,” Abramoff told Politico before House Republicans pulled the measure.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed in a press release on Tuesday that it is not only fining TransUnion but Equifax as well for deceiving consumers in marketing credit scores and credit products.
Chicago-based TransUnion and Atlanta-based Equifax are two of the nation’s three largest credit reporting agencies. The other top credit reporting agency is Experian.
According to the bureau, it took action against Equifax, TransUnion, and their subsidiaries for deceiving consumers about the usefulness and actual cost of credit scores they sold to consumers.
The bureau also asserted that the companies lured consumers into costly recurring payments for credit-related products with false promises.
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