If the fact that Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary is a former Goldman Sachs partner who went on to found his own hedge fund and name it after the view from his house in the Hamptons isn’t “screw the little guy” enough for you, don’t worry—there’s more. Steven Mnuchin was also a predatory player in the housing collapse, cofounding OneWest Bank:
In Florida, the company foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman after a 27-cent payment error. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo singled out the lender for squeezing superstorm Sandy victims. This month, the company’s successor, CIT Bank, was accused of discriminating against minority borrowers.
OneWest bought a mortgage lender that had been shut down by the FDIC and ended up foreclosing on 36,000 of its customers, but Mnuchin walked away with a $10.9 million payout, so mission accomplished. There are going to be a lot of horrific stories when you’ve foreclosed on 36,000 people, but let’s go back to that 90-year-old woman:
Two years ago, OneWest filed foreclosure papers on the Lakeland, Fla., home of Ossie Lofton, who had taken a reverse mortgage, a loan that supplies cash to elderly homeowners and doesn’t require monthly payments.
After confusion over insurance coverage, a OneWest subsidiary sent Lofton a bill for $423.30. She sent a check for $423. The bank sent another bill, for 30 cents. Lofton, 90, sent a check for three cents. In November 2014, the bank foreclosed.
Can we get an addendum to the Trump slogan? “Make America Great Again—One Homeless 90-Year-Old At A Time.”