Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump may have claimed that he predicted the fall of the American housing market before the bubble burst, but that didn’t stop him from launching a mortgage venture of his own at the height of the mortgage boom.
Anyone remember Trump Mortgage?
Trump Mortgage launched in the spring of 2006 with much fanfare, and closed just 18 months later, leaving behind unpaid bills and broken promises.
From the Washington Post:
In the spring of 2006, the tycoon hosted a glitzy event at Trump Tower to introduce Trump Mortgage LLC, a new firm that specialized in selling residential and commercial real estate loans. He devoted a floor of the Trump Organization headquarters at 40 Wall Street to the new business. And his picture appeared atop the company website with the instruction: “Talk to My Mortgage Professionals now!”
“I think it’s a great time to start a mortgage company,” Trump told a CNBC interviewer in April 2006, adding that “the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come.”
According to the Washington Post report, Trump Mortgage was a broker, not a lender, so records of its activities are scarce, but as it so often happens these days, pieces of Trump Mortgage still exists as ghosts of the Internet.
Trump did interviews about the mortgage venture in the wake of its launch, and even posted about the mortgage company in a September 2005 blog entry, which was published on the website for Trump University, another of Trump’s failed ventures.
Again from the Washington Post:
“How you react to the so-called housing bubble can be a barometer of your business personality,” he wrote in a September 2005 blog entry, months before the launch of Trump Mortgage. The post, published on the website of Trump University, the now-defunct business that provided seminars for aspiring real estate entrepreneurs, appeared under the headline, “The Housing Bubble: Doom and Gloom Don’t Pay.”
According to Jan Scheck, who served as national sales director for Trump Mortgage, the company was set up on an entire floor of Trump Tower with the floor split up into two sides.
Again from the Washington Post:
One side was an upscale residential and commercial mortgage business, which Scheck ran. The other side was known internally as the “boiler room,” where employees often made cold calls to people seeking to refinance or originate loans, many of them “sub-prime,” meaning the borrowers had poor credit histories.
The company ultimately closed, and Trump blamed the people he’d hired to run it for the company’s failure.
But the ghosts of Trump Mortgage live on.
Another one of those ghosts was unearthed by John Oliver on his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
On Sunday’s show, Oliver eviscerated Trump with a 20-minute segment, picking apart much of what draws voters (and would-be voters) to Trump.
In that piece, Oliver brings up the existence (and failure of) Trump Mortgage, complete with video clips of Trump discussing his mortgage venture.
You can watch the whole thing below (and it’s definitely worth it and definitely features some NSFW language).