David Trott, MI-11 — April 7, 2017

Foreclosure King Republican David Trott of MI-11 introduces bill to enrich his foreclosure business

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Republican Congressman David Trott from Michigan’s 11th Congressional District has a long and sordid history profiting from the “human misery” caused when his foreclosure business threw victims of the Bush Recession out of their homes. He didn’t just run a foreclosure-based law firm. He created a vertically integrated machine to ensure that he got profit every step of the way:

CHRIS HAYES: What money is there to be made the process of [foreclosure]?

DAVID DAYEN: There’s not a whole lot of money to be made if you’re just doing the legal work. But Trott & Trott had a unique business strategy where they bought up practically every company down the line that gets a little bit of money out of the foreclosure process. There’s a requirement in Michigan that you have to put legal notices out in the newspaper. They bought the newspaper that did that. There’s a requirement that you have to do a title search. They bought the company that does the title searches and they get money off of that. They bought a real estate agency that then sells the houses after they go into foreclosure. So they kind of made money at every step down line and once you add that up, it’s lucrative.

HAYES: Yeah, they created, it’s sort of a “turnkey” foreclosure operation for the banks where they’re, basically, at every step in the line, they own it.

In 2007, during the height of the housing crisis in this country, Trott went on record as being a BIG fan of the very same subprime mortgages that led to so many of the foreclosures he cashed in on. And why not? It just meant more profit for the multi-millionaire.

Well, now that he’s in office, Trott is working to enrich himself through his foreclosure business even more. This week he introduce H.R. 1849 – the “Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017”. This is a bill that, if signed into law, would exempt law firms and licensed attorneys (like Trott’s business Trott & Trott) who are engaged in debt collection from consumer protection regulations and oversight. Here’s the description of what the bill does:

To amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to exclude law firms and licensed attorneys who are engaged in activities related to legal proceedings from the definition of a debt collector, to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to prevent the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection from exercising supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to attorneys when undertaking certain actions related to legal proceedings, and for other purposes.

In other words, Trott’s firm could go about its shady business of capitalizing off the financial hardship of families and turn a tidy profit without the nuisance of oversight from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau getting in the way.

Canton resident Cori Carr expressed her disgust, saying, “Congressman Trott’s use of his official office to financially benefit his family’s foreclosure company is the reason why people don’t trust career politicians in Washington. We elected him to represent us, not to financially benefit his family’s foreclosure company. Why isn’t Congressman Trott working on protecting our healthcare, creating better paying jobs or responding to the concerns of his constituents? Instead, he appears to be more interested in benefiting his family financially. This is an attempt to rig the system in his favor and we demand that he withdrawal this proposal immediately.”

Trott won’t do that, of course. He’s in a safely gerrymandered district meaning he’s unlikely to be held accountable for his self-dealing and profiting from his own legislation.

How gerrymandered is the 11th Congressional District? Have a look for yourself:

It was very obviously drawn to make sure that the Democratic voters in Pontiac aren’t anything he has to worry about. However, given the rising awareness of voters in the 11th District and the possible challenge of a dynamic young millennial named Haley Stevens, Trott may have more to worry about from his constituents (many of whom Trott’s staff call “un-American”) than he thinks.

  • Doug Scott

    So the question here is how do Democrats (and all other progressive groups) in the 11th District take immediate action and turn this ‘exposure’ into a simple ‘Sanders-like’ message that can be promoted now? Trott is Trump-like in his care about his own wealth.

  • bryan

    The bill was assigned to the Financial Services committee – Trott is a member of that committee (a new assignment this Congress). He serves on the Housing and Insurance subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigation subcommittee.

    So the committee and subcommittees that should protect consumers is staffed by … yeah, of course it is.

  • judyms9

    It appears Trott couldn’t wait for the elimination of the Consumer Protection Agency or Trump’s Rose Garden bonfire fed by burning regulations. This legislation is a prime example of corruption.
    Check out “99 Homes” on Netflix to see the backside of skims in foreclosures. Michael Shannon is the cynical foreclosure “artist”.

  • So, Trott is even worse than useless, he is a self-dealer. He needs to go.

  • Tom Stroup

    What a pathetic hit job this op ed is. First…he no longer owns Trott & Trott. He sold it off when he ran for congress. 2nd: Are you suggesting that financial institutions are not entitled to take back homes that people STOP PAYING ON?

    Home owners who get a LOAN to buy a home are REQUIRED to sign a contract. Lawyers for the financial institutions are there to represent them. When the home owner breaks the contract, the financial institution has the right to take the home back and resell it.

    Dave Trott is a self made businessman who employed 1000+ people in the Metro Detroit area. He is the type of person we need representing us in congress…

    • David Trott has made his fortune on the misfortune of others. Even he would admit that. This is the definition of self dealing. And only the truly duped think he has no financial interest in Trott & Trott. The first “Trott” is his dad. The second “Trott” is him.

      • Tom Stroup

        Perhaps you should get your facts straight. His dad passed away 20+ years ago…and he has no financial stake any longer in Trott & Trott.

        But you did not address my main point: That financial institutions have the RIGHT to obtain their properties back when customers don’t pay. Your nothing more than a typical liberal hack. We have seen these hatchet jobs on Dave before. Will accomplish nothing…

        • Michiganmitch

          Can the crap about Trott being a “job creator” as if that is a glowing recommendation. I am certain he did not employ people out a sense of altruism but in order to make a profit period. He merely employed a resource to his own advantage and when that resource was no longer profitable, out the door that resource went. Where in the piece did Eclectablog ever state that creditors had no right of repossession? No where! And no he is not the type that should represent anyone except the 1% and that is what he does. Remember this POS supported repeal/replace that would have left up to 24 million without coverage costing anywhere from based on competing estimates 11,600 to 43,000 lives/year for lack of care. All those beautiful babies! Those type of people belong in prison.

    • Michiganmitch

      From Mark Sumner at Daily Kos.

      “1) They’ve crushed a rule that forced energy companies to reveal when they were bribing foreign governments.

      Trump’s very first CRA bill was an anti-anti-corruption measure, blocking an Obama effort to force oil companies to disclose payments to foreign governments; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had personally lobbied against the rule as CEO of ExxonMobil, telling lawmakers that undisclosed payments were vital to Exxon’s business in Russia.

      2) They made it easier for coal companies to dump waste into streams and rivers and conduct mountaintop removal mining.

      3) They removed a rule that made said anyone who had been declared mentally incapable of managing their own assets should not be able to buy a gun.

      4) They removed requirements that defense contractors obey labor laws.

      5) They limited the ability of the government to restrict the use of federal lands.

      6) The killed accountability on state education targets for elementary and secondary schools.

      7) While they were at it, they killed rules on teacher training.

      8) They made it easier for states to drug test people before they could get unemployment pay.

      9) They made it legal to shoot hibernating bears and wolves in National Wildlife Refuges (yeah, they did).

      10) They weakened rules that employers have to keep track of employee injuries and illness.

      11) They made it legal for communications companies to sell your Internet history without your permission.”

      12) Blocked a fiduciary rule that would require financial advisors while handling retirement accounts to operate in their client’s best interests instead of their own from implementation.
      13) Shamefully, “puppy mills” were even deregulated.
      Yeah this is your guy Trott. He supported every last provision.

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