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Homeowners Claim They Were Burglarized By Their Banks

livinglies.wordpress.com | November 2, 2016

By Neil Garfield

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.

 

 

 

 

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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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