In response to claims made by Steve Mnuchin at his hearing today, Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the
California Reinvestment Coalition released the following statement:
“Steve Mnuchin’s written testimony and claims he made during the hearing today are riddled with half-truths
about what his bank did and didn’t do, and so it’s important to set the record straight:
Modifications offered is not the same as modifications completed: For home modifications, Steve Mnuchin
proudly proclaims that “OneWest extended over 100,000 loan modifications to delinquent borrowers to try and
help them out of a bad situation.” Yet, as we heard from OneWest homeowners who travelled to Washington DC
yesterday to share their stories, a bank offering a loan modification isn’t the same as completing a modification
for a homeowner, and that’s where OneWest Bank failed repeatedly.
According to federal data, since the start of the HAMP program, OneWest Bank actually denied 2/3 of the
homeowners who applied for a loan modification from the bank through the HAMP program. And, of the 1/3
who managed to get a loan modification offer (despite the bank’s many obstacles), 70% of those “offers
extended” did not convert into a permanent loan modification, according to a Reuters analysis of HAMP data for
the time period of 2009-2013.
If Mr. Mnuchin is willing to share how many of the modification offers by OneWest subsequently converted into
permanent loan modifications (where people were able to hang onto their homes), and how that compares to the
total number of foreclosures by his bank, we’re all ears.
Who is really the culprit for problematic Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures? Mr. Mnuchin tried to blame Financial
Freedom’s track record of foreclosing on seniors on HUD regulations. And yet, we still haven’t heard from him
why his firm has such a disproportionately high share of foreclosures against seniors, why HUD’s Office of
Inspector General served subpoenas to Financial Freedom in 2015, or why the New York Attorney General is
investigating Financial Freedom.
But we have heard from seniors, who have cited Financial Freedom’s attempts to foreclose on them for things
like “non-occupancy” when in fact the senior is still living in their home. We would hope HUD doesn’t condone
or suggest such abusive tactics, and we wish Mr. Mnuchin would be honest in owning his role in these
foreclosures against seniors.
Mr. Mnuchin can try to run from his track record of tens of thousands of foreclosures by OneWest Bank, the
settled lawsuits over improper foreclosures, the OTS settlement, and the investigations into his former reverse
mortgage company by HUD’s OIG and the NY Attorney General’s office. However, the stories we heard
yesterday demonstrate that Mr. Mnuchin is clearly deserving of his title of Foreclosure King.”