President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a former Goldman Sachs executive, Steven Mnuchin, for treasury secretary. Prominent on Mnuchin's gilt résumé is his founding of a bank called OneWest in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Mnuchin sold OneWest in 2015, but in 2014, before the sale, Politico reports the bank foreclosed on an elderly woman over a 27-cent mistake:
Two years ago, OneWest filed foreclosure papers on the Lakeland, Florida, 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. [Politico]
This year, Lofton is contesting the foreclosure with the help of a local nonprofit, Florida Rural Legal Services, which is seeking a jury trial.
OneWest has been accused of harsh and discriminatory lending policies more broadly, but Mnuchin's selection has been hailed by many in Washington as a strong pick for restructuring or even privatizing government-managed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.