We all know Donald Trump won the election, and we all know that many people have different reasons as to what happened and why.
However, the whole election can be summed up in two words - Teena Colebrook.
Ms. Colebrook, who contacted the AP with her story, sums up the 2016 election in a nutshell. She was burned by the Bush great recession, the economy was not working for her under President Obama, was ignored by Hillary Clinton and wooed by Donald Trump.
Donald Trump was elected and Ms. Colebrook was conned. Big Time!
While Ms. Colebrook was learning the lessons of the world for people who are not part of the bourgeois, Steven Munchkin was also learning the way the world works for those who are.
When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.
She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington. And she knew Trump's pick for Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — all too well.
OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.
"I just wish that I had not voted," said Colebrook, 59. "I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in."
Mr. Mnuchin, who used his money to buy One West, took lots of taxpayer money, to pay his debt and then turned it for a huge profit. What did Ms. Colebrook do that soured her taste of Government.
The combination of OneWest's profitability, government guarantees and foreclosure activities drew the ire of activist groups like the California Reinvestment Coalition. It found the bank to be consistently one of the most difficult to work out loan modifications with even though OneWest never drew a major response from government regulators.By June of 2014, five years after taking over OneWest, Mnuchin sold the bank for $3.4 billion at a tremendous profit.
In 1998, she bought a triplex for $248,000 in Hawthorne, California, not too far from Los Angeles International Airport.
She rented out two of the units and lived in the third. Colebrook refinanced her mortgage in order to renovate the property and help buy additional homes to generate rental income.
By the time the financial crisis struck in 2008, she had an interest-only mortgage on the triplex known as a "pick-a-payment" loan. Her monthly payments ran as high as $2,000 and only covered the interest on the debt. Then she got ensnarled in the economic downturn.
"All my tenants lost their jobs in the crash," Colebrook said. "They couldn't pay. It was a knock-on effect."
Over five years, she tried unsuccessfully to adjust her loan with OneWest through the Treasury Department's Home Affordable Modification Program. But she said that One West Bank lost paperwork, provided conflicting statements about ownership of the loan and fees and submitted charges that were unverified and caused her loan balance to balloon. By the time she lost her home in foreclosure in April 2015, the payoff balance totaled $517,662.
For those scoring at home, Ms. Colebrook decided to live the American Dream by buying a triplex, living in one unit and renting out the rest to pay for it. Happens all over the country in small towns and large cities. She bought it for $248,000 and after making payments for 10 years, only owed $517,662.
Meanwhile, while Ms. Colebrook is suffering, working hard and losing her home, Mr. Mnuchin bought out the bank that owned her home, pushed most of the debt onto the federal government (Ie the taxpayers of the United States), and sold it for a hefty profit.
Now Ms. Colebrook, lives with her boyfriend because she lost her home and can not afford another one. Steve Mnuchin, now will have to find a house sitter for his $27 million dollar home in Bel Air, CA while he works in Washington DC as Treasury Secretary,
Unless of course Mr. Mnuchin, decides to live in his "cottage" in the Hamptons and commute!
The guy who lives here:
Was the one who talked Ms. Colebrook into voting for him. He reached out to her and she responded. Ms,. Colebrook, and millions like her, were desperately waiting to have someone acknowledge their pain. The reality TV star, who knows how to play the American public, did just that.
Many people will lay the blame on Ms. Colebrook, for being ignorant to her choice, but was she? While Ms. Colebrook was packing her possessions to move into her boyfriends house before the bank repossessed her triplex, The Donalds competition was tellking everyone how great the economy was and she planned on continuing the success. The success that no matter how hard she looked Ms. Colebrook just could not see it.
Imagine if we had a politician who understood what Ms,. Colebrook was living through? Imagine even more, if we had a politician who not only reached out to the Teena Colbrooks of the world but actually followed through with their promises?
Maybe the best place to start is to acknowledge that Teena Colbrook exists and then we can start helping her fix her problems!
One Last Note on Mr. Mnuchin: Steve Mnucin had to resign his spot on the Board of Trustees of Sears Holdings to accept the Treasury Secretary position. He has been on the Board of Directors for Sears Holdings for the last eleven years. If you have not been paying attention, the last eleven years for Sears Holdings, have been disastrous and an American Institution is on the verge of disappearing.
Let's hope that he does not bring the same brand of success to the current "Board of Trustees" that he serves on.