Treasury nominee’s bank was accused of “widespread misconduct” for their role in foreclosure crisis

OneWest is known for their ruthless foreclosure practices.


According to newly released documents published by The Intercept, OneWest Bank, which was ran by Trump’s treasury secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, from 2009 to 2015, repeatedly broke laws in California during the foreclosure crisis. 

Although a suit was never brought against the company, the memo states that California’s attorney general “uncovered evidence suggestive of widespread misconduct.”

OneWest is a delightful bank … that has foreclosed on as many as 36,000 homes in California during the foreclosure crisis.

According to the memo, “OneWest rushed delinquent homeowners out of their homes by violating notice and waiting period statutes, illegally backdated key documents, and effectively gamed foreclosure auctions.” 

The results mentioned are the product of a yearlong investigation into the bank that show consistent violations with a blatant disregard for the law. OneWest is also accused of obstructing justice by ordering third parties to refuse to comply with subpoenas.

The state attorney general’s Consumer Law Section recommended that Attorney General Kamala Harris file a civil enforcement action against the bank. In the sample legal complaint included in the memo, it is suggested that the bank pay millions of dollars in penalties. However, no legal action was ever pursued.

OneWest is known for their ruthless foreclosure practices, at one point locking out a homeowners during a blizzard and foreclosing on another over a short payment of 27 cents. 

Mnuchin himself has been under fire since his nomination was announced for his role in the mortgage crisis. Last month, Senator Elizabeth Warren released a statement:

“After years peddling the kind of dangerous mortgage-backed securities that eventually blew up the economy, Mnuchin swooped in after the crash to take a second bite out of families by aggressively – and sometimes illegally – foreclosing on their homes.”

To read the full report by The Intercept, including a breakdown of California’s nonjudicial foreclosure process, click here

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