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The car loan financier who posted a $175 million bond for Trump was happy to do it | Donald Trump

The car loan financier who posted a $175 million bond for Trump was happy to do it |  Donald Trump

 


California's auto loan king, behind Donald Trump's $175 million bond to avoid collections while he appeals a $454 million civil fraud judgment, said he was happy to TO DO.

Don Hankey, president and majority shareholder of Knight Specialty Insurance, told CNN that his underwriting of the Trump loan was what we were doing.

I'm happy to do it. We would have done it for anyone else, said the octogenarian. It was an easy transaction. It was put together very quickly.

The filing of the bond with the court came three days before the deadline imposed on Trump and his company by a New York appeals court. Hankey told the network that Knight Specialty Insurance Company used a combination of cash and investment-grade bonds to pay the fees.

Hankey told CNN and other media outlets that his company initiated the deal, contacting Trump before the appeals court reduced the amount the former president would have to pay while his appeal was heard.

The billionaire, who the outlet says is worth more than $7.4 billion, also confirmed to Forbes that he and his wife, along with their two sons, have supported Trump's past political campaigns and will do so again.

I have never met Donald Trump, he told Forbes. I had never spoken to him on the phone. I heard he needed a loan or a deposit, and that's what we're doing. So we contacted him and he responded.

The $175 million bond keeps New York Attorney General Letitia James at bay while Trump appeals the ruling. James said last month, as the original deadline approached, that she was ready to start foreclosing on properties.

Trump's lawyers previously said he would not be able to honor the full $464 million judgment, with his son Eric Trump saying it had been impossible to raise the sum because bond underwriters would not accept of goods as collateral.

Hankey, a Malibu resident, is notably a major shareholder in Axos Financial, a company that lent $100 million as part of a deal to refinance the former president's Trump Tower in New York and $125 million for the refinancing of its Miami golf resort, Doral, two years ago.

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Hankey is best known as the king of subprime auto loans through its Westlake Financial Services, which specializes in high-interest auto loans aimed at consumers with lower credit scores, typically below 600, or with a history of bankruptcy or repossession.

Some financial analysts have warned that subprime auto loans are an area ripe for problems as consumers find it harder to make payments. Westlake has previously been fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for deceptive collection tactics.

Hankey told Forbes in 2015 that without subprime lenders like Westlake willing to take the risk on credit-challenged borrowers, they might not be able to buy cars at all.

I think we help a lot of people get the financing for the car they need to operate,” says Hankey. The alternative is to wait several years and pay cash for the car, or take the bus.

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/02/donald-trump-bond-paid-don-hankey

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