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Steve Mnuchin Defends His Business Record

Steve Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, defended his record as the head for IndyMac Bank in front of the Senate Finance Committee Thursday morning.

“Since I was first nominated to serve as Treasury secretary, I have been maligned as taking advantage of others’ hardship in order to earn a buck. Nothing could be further than the truth,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin explained the intricacies of his business with IndyMac Bank to the committee. “Let me be clear,” Mnuchin said. “My group had nothing to do with the creation of the risky loans in the IndyMac loan portfolios. When we bought the bank, we assumed these bad loans.”

“The responsibility landed on me to clean up the mess others made but we inherited,” Mnuchin argued.

Mnuchin also argued that the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a decree in its 2015-11 Mortgage Letter which forced banks to foreclose on borrowers who were behind on their loans by small amounts. Mnuchin told the committee he wrote a letter to HUD in response, requesting that they change the policy in order to avoid foreclosing on mortgage-holders.

“Unfortunately, HUD did not agree, and we were forced to foreclose on senior citizens even if they only owed one dollar. Not complying with these HUD policies would have subjected the bank to penalties and losses from HUD,” Mnuchin told the committee.