Homeowners Claim They Were Burglarized By Their Banks

Seen At 11: Homeowners Claim They Were Burglarized By Their Banks

MORRIS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Being burglarized is among a homeowner’s worst nightmares.

Now, imagine the intruder is actually sent there by your bank. Those break-ins happen more often than you might think.

“All the cabinets were open, everything was in disarray,” Davide Adier recalled.

What’s worse say owners  is the realization that their mortgage holder — the bank, not a burglar — may have been responsible.

How is this happening?

As CBS2’s Maurice Dubois reported, if you miss a couple of mortgage payments the bank could send someone to see if the property was abandoned — all perfectly legal.

After foreclosure proceedings start, the bank could go back to change the locks — with a court order this is legal.

Here’s the problem; homeowners say their homes were never abandoned, there was no court order, and they were actually in the midst of renegotiating their mortgages when their banks broke in. That isn’t legal.

“The question is, why would a bank deem a house abandoned, when it wasn’t abandoned and then eventually break into a house,” attorney Josh Denbeaux said.

Experts said sometimes it’s a mix up or a mistake, but Denbeaux — who specializes in foreclosure cases — believes it’s intentional.

He said the practice is well known within the industry as a ‘trash and lock out’ — ‘trash’ because the home needs to appear to have been vandalized before the locks can be changed.

“It takes money to service a loan. It takes money to track people down, knock on doors, go to court, get the order. Banks don’t want to spend money, they want to make money,” he said.

Adier admits, after the death of his father  payments on his childhood home in Morris Township, New Jersey were skipped, but maintains he was in contact with Wells Fargo and working things out.

He said it came as a complete shock when the locks were changed, and even more of a shock when he found some of his father’s possessions — including a diary about his father’s escape from the Nazis — gone.

“I’m angry, I feel violated,” he said.

In a statement, Wells Fargo told CBS2 “Under the terms of the loan we have the right to secure a vacant and abandoned property in order to protect and preserve the property.”

Ari Jolovitz and his wife said they too missed payments on their Ohio home, but were in the process of refinancing with Citizens Bank when they found the locks changed and furniture missing.

In a statement the bank said they would not comment on ongoing litigation.

Attorney Phil Vinick who is handling yet another case in New Jersey said the bottom line is that laws are being bypassed.

“This kind of thing should not happen in the United States at all,” he said.

The homeowners are now suing the banks, similar suits are pending across the country.

7 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on California Freelance Paralegal and commented:
    More outrageous behavior by the banks. Hopefully the homeowners whose homes were broken into by the bank will win some large jury awards which may convince the banks to stop.

  2. Who cares about grammar and spelling? You get the point, Right? Petty crap. FYI: much of the time, if you are paying attention, newspaper headlines, magazine covers and internal stories are very poorly written….the spelling-grammar, UGH. This is what we have. Inept schools. More worried about political correctness and social norms. Whatever

  3. Our house had a suspicious fire in 2012. After the fire happened, we were living in a small motel. We didn’t bother to inform the bank about the fire as we did not and still do not believe that they are our mortgagee as the assignment of mortgage was and still is fatally defective and the bank did not send us a certified copy of the promissory note we signed with Countrywide Home loans. SOMEHOW, the bank found out about the fire and sent someone to change locks on our home. The guy who showed up called us and we told him to get out of the property or else we would call police, as the there was a No Trespassing sign. He then left.

    So, how did the bank find out of the fire? We complained this to the CFPB. Four federal agents went to the bank and found out that they even took pictures of our property and noted as abandoned house. This was when we were living in our home after doing some repairs.

  4. Our house had a suspicious fire in 2012. After the fire happened, we were living in a small motel. We didn’t bother to inform the bank about the fire as we did not and still do not believe that they are our mortgagee as the assignment of mortgage was fatally defective and the bank did not sent us a certified copy of the promissory note we signed with Countrywide Home loans. SOMEHOW, the bank found out about the fire and sent someone to change locks on our home. The guy who showed up called us and we told him to get out of the property or else we would call police, as the there was a No Trespassing sign. He left.

    So, how did the bank found out of the fire? We complained this to the CFPB and four federal agents went to the bank and found out that they even took pictures of our property and remarked as abandoned. This was when we were living in it after doing some repairs.

  5. […] via Homeowners Claim They Were Burglarized By Their Banks — Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  6. well in 2012, douglas c. zahm , nicole ramirez fraudclosing firm (hired by something called midland mortgage and midfist “bank” , stole ALL our belongings, they took refrigerator , range , even the water heater….when they left they did not even close the doors, well actually they stole the door knobs also ….i guess that;s why………

    by the way this is not the first time they trash and steal homes , they have several cases filed , but unfortunately as pro se and the crooked judges tend to ignore prose ….
    very funny that this nicole ramirez was in foreclosure too ahhahhahaa,

    i have pictures of these people , nothing was left they even took the groom !!

    bloody bastards,

  7. My comment, not nice: there are people like me they have tried to do this too and they had better not do it to me again. A trespass sign is posted and the house is not abandoned, so local Sheriff has said: any imminent threat perceived or real can be met with the same in kind!

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