Daily Archives: January 4, 2017

Investigators deduced Mnuchin’s OneWest was backdating documents because the dates were from before OneWest existed

Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Accused of “Widespread Misconduct” in Leaked Memo

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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.

Read on.

Even Convicted Jack Abramoff Says GOP Attempt To Gut Ethics Office Was A Bad Idea

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.

Read on.

GOP plot to gut ethics watchdog goes up in flames in less than a day

The people have spoken. GOP Congress deserve to be tarred and feathered…

WASHINGTON ― After a torrent of bad headlines, countless phone calls to member offices, and two tweets from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans dropped their plans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics Tuesday, just minutes before the House was set to gavel in for the 115th Congress and adopt their rules package for the next two years.

The amendment ― authored by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) ― would have placed the independent congressional ethics office under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee, changed the OCE’s name and barred the office from releasing reports to the public.

In effect, it would have neutered Congress’ most aggressive watchdog.

The decision to strip the Goodlatte amendment came just before noon on Tuesday as Republicans planned to begin the 115th Congress.

Earlier in the day, responding to numerous news reports about Republicans gutting the OCE, Trump asked in a tweet whether Republicans really had to make the “weakening” of the ethics office their first order of business, though he also didn’t necessarily come out against the idea of eventually overhauling the OCE.

Read on.

CFPB fines TransUnion and Equifax for deceiving consumers with their marketing

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.

Read on.