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Church and Ministry Leaders Oppose Predatory Lender and Treasury Secretary Nominee Mnuchin

This petition had 71 supporters


As Christians, we are called to defend the rights of the poor. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed, yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs 31:8-9).

Therefore, you are urged to call upon President Elect Trump and his transition team to reconsider Mnuchin and to urge Senate Finance Committee and the Senate not to confirm him.

Jill Shook, a member of the Christian Community Development Association and a missionary who chose to move to a low-income, predominantly African part of her city, has personal experience with President Elect Trump’s choice for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. Living in Pasadena, CA, home of IndyMac, Jill experienced first-hand the effects of this “foreclosure machine.” Mnuchin’s hedge fund played a role in the housing crisis, after it scooped up the failing California bank IndyMac in 2008. Under Mnuchin’s ownership, IndyMac foreclosed on 36,000 families, particularly elderly residents trapped in reverse mortgages. Mnuchin was accused of running a "foreclosure machine." The bank, which was renamed OneWest, was also accused of racially discriminatory lending practices. In 2015, Mnuchin sold the bank for $3.4 billion—$1.8 billion more than he bought it for.

Jill’s friends who worked for IndyMac saw the bank providing subprime loans to people who could not afford them. Loans were given to two immigrant families who had high hopes for the American dream of homeownership. The documents, required to be in Spanish, were offered only in English. The loans were intentionally made so that the borrowers could not repay them. This led these families into serious financial difficulty. Phone calls to the bank drew no response, while foreclosure proceedings proceeded faster than Jill and the families could fill out loan modification paperwork. After applying for programs designed to help, help never came. One family’s home was lost. The parents and their seven children were given fifteen minutes to pack up and leave.  In her book, Jill features Rose Gudiel who stood up to IndyMac/OneWest when they tried to foreclose on her home. Courageous people, including the religious community, began an around-the-clock vigil preventing the sheriff from evicting her. Others protested at Steven Mnuchin’s $26-million Bel Air mansion.  Only then did the bank decide to renegotiate her loan.

The Los Angeles Times reported on November 30, 2016, “Despite its secure financial footing, One West had a history of problems with regulators over its foreclosure practices and lending and has been accused of being unwilling to work with borrowers seeking mortgage loan modifications despite promises to do so. Community groups have accused the bank of being particularly aggressive about foreclosing on properties in minority neighborhoods.” In the years leading up to 2008, low-income people were targeted for bad loans and lost not only their homes but most of the life savings. Many have not yet recovered from this devastating economic setback caused by bankers like Steven Mnuchin.

 

As followers of Jesus Christ and ambassadors of the Gospel, church and ministry leaders need to insist that all presidents of this great country choose cabinet members who are concerned about the rights and opportunities of all people, including the poor.

For this reason, we are urging supporters to contact President Elect Trump at https://www.donaldjtrump.com/contact

Find your elected officials are here: http://cqrcengage.com/nlihc/lookup



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