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Trump Hires Foreclosure Happy Treasury Secretary

The end of the year is upon us. While folks will gather to celebrate the holidays, it's also time to take stock to see how the year went. The major news of 2016 for many is that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He rode to a win on the strength of an overwhelming anger and frustration directed in a lot of different directions, but most notably the political world of Washington, DC and banking.

Victims of housing crisis also weighed in

According to an article in qz.com, there were also a lot of disenchanted voters out there who lost their homes in the aftermath of the financial crisis or fear that they still might. Using data the left-leaning Center for American Progress, real estate findings across the country show that Republican voting districts tended to have higher median rates of negative equity (they are paying for loans that are for more than the house is worth). The idea for voting for Trump perhaps being to jumpstart the economy and improve home value and/or job prospects.

Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin

Mr. Trump has now announced that Steve Mnuchin has been named the new Treasury secretary. Mnuchin was at Goldman Sacks for 17 years as well as One West Bank, which caused a huge stir when it attempted a series of home foreclosures where they tried to forcibly removed families after the 2008 housing bubble burst. According to an article in the Daily Beast, One West Bank also focused disproportionately on senior citizens through a reverse mortgage service called Financial Freedom, which was responsible for 38 percent of all reversible mortgage foreclosures in the aftermath.

Long a critic Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which supports the bulk of the mortgage market, Mnuchin and the president-elect could look to privatize these mortgage institutions as well -- this will likely be a very tangled web that will be nearly impossible to do without deeply affecting the home mortgage market.

The upshot

It's too early to tell what's going to happen with housing foreclosures in the coming year. Mr. Trump has a long to-do list, and its likely that federal regulation in regards to banking and mortgages will not be at the top of it. The short answer for the more than 7 million homeowners across the country who are underwater with their mortgage is that relief is not on the horizon, at least not in the short term.

But if you or a friend is facing foreclosure, there is no need to stand alone. Consulting an attorney with experience in foreclosures is always a smart move, but particularly amidst the policy shifts of one administration to the next. They will advise the best course of action for you, putting a light at the end of the tunnel of an unpleasant mess.

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