What’s Being Said About the Merger

“The organization added that each plan ranked the lender at the bottom of its peer banks in California for community reinvestment activities. It also accused the bank of ignoring low- and moderate-income customers.” CIT Bank Reinvestment Plan Gets Approval, Criticism

“But foreclosures are where OneWest’s interest in those neighborhoods appears to end. Only two of OneWest’s 73 branches are located in low-income areas. It makes few small business loans to businesses with annual revenues under $1 million—the kind of operations common in low-income and minority areas.” The Worst of Wall Street: Meet Donald Trump’s Finance Chairman

“OneWest accomplished these foreclosures through fraud. Erica Johnson-Seck, a vice president of foreclosure and bankruptcy for OneWest, explained in a July 2009 deposition that she “robo-signed” 6,000 foreclosure-related documents per week, spending just 30 seconds on each sworn affidavit that attested to the veracity of all relevant information in the case. Johnson-Seck admitted to not reading the documents before signing them, to not knowing how the records were generated, and to not signing in the presence of a notary, all of which made the affidavits she signed false evidence in court.” Donald Trump’s Finance Chair Is the Anti-Populist From Hell

“The government, and by default taxpayers, may have left precious dollars on the table when it sold off the IndyMac assets, given the price at which the bank was sold just a handful of years after the fact.” Fortune: Billionaires cash in on OneWest deal, but taxpayers lose out

“It takes a great deal of chutzpah and many lawyers to feed at the taxpayer trough this voraciously,” Hurley said. “The value of the loss share is high because there were not many bidders for IndyMac and it was an inducement to bid on the franchise. It was a sweetheart deal, but for it to be an incentive for the merger now is like sticking your thumb in the eye of the taxpayer again.” Cornelius Hurley, director of the Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy

Analysts have focused on how the deal gives two nearly dead banks a “second chance.” There have been no second chances for the millions of workers and homeowners abused by the practices of big banks. Before we move back into an era of big bank growth, and reward investors handsomely for banks that the public helped bail out, maybe we should ensure some second chances for Main Street first.” David Dayen. 

“John Thain is working again … “ chuckled one Federal Reserve employee, who asked to not be identified. Thain, of course, is the former CEO of Merrill Lynch who found work at CIT Group after Merrill’s shotgun merger with Bank of America during the financial crisis. In article about Dick Fuld (former CEO of failed Lehman Brothers)

“Reverse mortgages are a bet by the mortgage company that they’re going to make money …and someone’s going to die early,” Smith told the I-Team, adding, “In this case, Myrtle Lewis won the bet, and the mortgage company wants to welch.” 103-Year-Old North Texas Woman Fights To Keep Her House (speaking about Financial Freedom, reverse mortgage servicer owned by OneWest Bank)

“They consistently refuse to allow consumers to repay a reverse mortgage loan, they accelerate foreclosure and auction the property illegally, and no matter what they sell the property for, OneWest, under its subsidiary Financial Freedom, will make a claim to the FHA insurance fund to get reimbursement for the balance of the loan, closure-related fees and other legal fees,” Sandra Jolley.

“The windfalls that will accrue to Paulson, Soros, Mnuchin, and others will increase their personal values on Forbes’ charts of millionaires and billionaires and likely be seen in their charitable and philanthropic giving. Just realize, however, how much of that philanthropy, even when devoted to anti-poverty work as Soros and Paulson might do, is both directly and indirectly subsidized by the American taxpayer.” Rick Cohen: Taxpayers Subsidize Top Philanthropists through OneWest Bank Deal

But Stein countered: “Ask loan counselors, ‘Who are the worst servicers over a period of time?’ and OneWest is always one of the worst. We know there were a large number of foreclosures.” He added, “On foreclosures, we understand OneWest completed over 35,000 foreclosures in California alone, and its reverse mortgage servicer Financial Freedom foreclosed on over 2,000 seniors and their families in California alone. We have asked the bank and the regulators to provide precise numbers, since that data is not public, but the bank has refused to do so.”  Critics Charge CIT-OneWest with “Misleading” Data on Mortgage Servicing

 

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