The Shittiest Little Bank In Ohio

Katie Barnett came home from a two-week vacation last month to find that a local bank had foreclosed on her house in McArthur, Ohio, and repossessed all of her stuff.

The problem is that they got the wrong house, and they got the wrong stuff. A couple of geniuses from First National Bank of Wellston, Ohio, meant to shut down la vie boheme over at the house across the street from Barnett. They blamed their GPS for the goof, also citing the relatively shaggy front lawn outside the home as evidence that they were in the right spot.

When she got home from vacation, Barnett found herself locked out of her home and peering into windows at empty rooms. She eventually had to break in through one of the windows to survey the extent of the nightmare. Clothes, electronics, patio furniture, kitchenware, back issues of Scene (presumably), all gone. Many things - you know, like priceless photographs and important documents and all that junk—were simply tossed in the trash. As of press time, the only thing Barnett had gotten back was the basketball hoop that the bankers had given to her neighbors.

She almost got her missing Bowflex exercise machine back - kind of. "...They called me saying they found a Bowflex on the side of the road [and asking] if I wanted it. I said no," Barnett said in an interview with a local TV station.

(It's worth pointing out that First National Bank actually is a real bank, and not a gang of strung-out clowns or something.)

Moving on, the bank later offered to repay Barnett "fairly and equitably for her inconvenience and loss." Still, though, the bank falls well short of actually doing that. She offered an $18,000 estimate to the bank. "We're not paying you retail here, that's just the way it is," President and CEO Tony "Ethics Who?" Thorne reportedly told Barnett. Oh, and the bank and its board are demanding receipts for everything she lost.

"First of all, I don't have receipts for all my stuff, and second, if I did, where do you think they would be?" Barnett says. "In my house with my belongings."

Left with few options and little more than a shit sandwich on her plate, Barnett's lawyering up for more insanity ahead. Her counsel is now in touch with the bank. In a public document curtly titled "The Announcement," Thorne concludes: "Nothing like this has ever happened to our bank before, and we have instituted additional internal controls to ensure that it will not happen again."

Relatedly, in reporting this story, calls placed to the McArthur Police Department were consistently diverted to voicemail. Barnett reported the case to the department, though the chief closed any investigation shortly thereafter.

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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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