A look inside Donald Trump’s failed mortgage company


(CNN Money) — Donald Trump has built a reputation on being a good businessman.

But, at the very height of the mortgage market, Trump jumped in and faltered.

On the presidential candidate stump, Donald Trump spins away every business failure, whether it’s using bankruptcy laws for his four troubled casinos, to Trump University, and to Trump Airlines.

But the one you don’t hear much about is Trump Mortgage. It launched in the spring of 2006 when there were already warning signs the housing market was headed for collapse.

Months earlier, Fed chief Alan Greenspan hinted at a bubble: “There does appear to be, at a minimum, signs of froth in some local markets where home prices seem to have risen to unsustainable levels.”

Of course, Greenspan didn’t see the size and scope of the coming meltdown, and apparently, neither did Donald Trump.

Trump Mortgage facilitated loans between borrowers and lenders. It didn’t actually lend money to home buyers.

It promised to be the “strongest and safest residential and commercial mortgage company in the industry.”

A year later, the bottom fell out of the housing market, mortgage delinquencies spiked, and real estate prices crashed.

Trump Mortgage failed to hit its financial targets, and less than two years after it opened, the company was history.

These days, Trump’s campaign downplays the failed business. In a e-mail to CNN Money, it said this was “a tiny deal that Mr. Trump looked at, but never ultimately moved forward with, because Mr. Trump decided he didn’t want to be in this business foreseeing the market crash.”

Is that just more spin on a failed business venture? That’s for the voters to decide.

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