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Titus requests Nevada foreclosure data from Heller, Treasury Secretary nominee

Megan Messerly
Megan Messerly

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus sent letters to both Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin today requesting information about how many homes OneWest Bank foreclosed on in Nevada when Mnuchin was its CEO.

Heller grilled Mnuchin during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on Jan. 19, asking him how many Nevada homes were in OneWest’s portfolio, how many of those homes were foreclosed on when Mnuchin helmed the bank and what assistance did the bank provide to Nevadans through loan modifications. Heller tweeted two days later that he had met with Mnuchin and was “pleased to receive the answers” to his questions.

The Senate Finance Committee suspended the rules on Feb. 1, and Heller and the other Republicans on the committee voted 14-0 to advance Mnuchin’s nomination to the full Senate.

Now, Titus is asking both Heller and Mnuchin to share those answers with the public ahead of Mnuchin’s expected confirmation vote by the full Senate on Monday.

“Until Nevadans are able to review these figures, it is impossible for them to contact their senators with a fully informed position on your suitability to be Secretary of the Treasury,” Titus wrote in the letter to Mnuchin. “Prior to the vote on your confirmation, I ask that you post your answers to these questions on the internet.”

The progressive public policy research and advocacy organization Center for American Progress has pinned the number of Nevada homes that OneWest foreclosed on between April 2009 and October 2016 at 3,654. That figure was obtained by the California Reinvestment Coalition through the data mapping service PropertyRadar.

But “without the data from Mr. Mnuchin, it is impossible to verify this figure,” Titus said in the letter to Heller, noting that that information also “only provides a response to one of your questions.”

A spokesman from Heller’s office did not immediately respond to an emailed request on whether his office planned to share that information with the public.

Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto wrote in an op-ed for the Reno Gazette-Journal that OneWest a “foreclosure machine” under Mnuchin’s leadership and that she would not support his nomination as Treasury Secretary.

“We cannot afford to return to the misguided policies that brought us to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and devastated our state’s economy,” Cortez Masto wrote.

Rep. Dina Titus letter to Sen. Dean Heller - Feb. 10, 2017 by Megan Messerly on Scribd

Rep. Dina Titus letter to Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin - Feb. 10, 2017 by Megan Messerly on Scribd

Photo courtesy of Sam Bowman under Creative Commons.


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