Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, is testifying in a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday. The banker, Hollywood producer, and former Goldman Sachs partner is expected to be grilled on a wide range of topics.
But one subject that’s bound to come up is particularly likely to resonate with everyday Americans: How many people lost their homes unfairly due to Mnuchin’s actions when he was CEO of a bank known as a “Foreclosure Machine”?
In late 2008, while the global economy was collapsing, Mnuchin and some partners purchased the failing bank IndyMac and turned it into OneWest, which grew into the largest bank in Southern California. OneWest developed a reputation as a “Foreclosure Machine,” and Mnuchin himself has been dubbed the “Foreclosure King.”
Earlier this month, a 2013 memo from the California attorney general’s office was leaked indicating that OneWest allegedly engaged in “widespread misconduct” to boost foreclosures, including the backdating of mortgage documents. In light of the memo, the nonprofit watchdog Campaign for Accountability called on the Department of Justice to investigate OneWest for “using potentially illegal tactics to foreclose on as many as 80,000 California homes.”