Friday, October 4, 2013

Are your property rights a thing of the past?

Hundreds of people's homes have been wrongly ransacked by bank contractors. They are hired by banks to clean out foreclosed homes, but they either break into houses that haven't been foreclosed yet or they just break into the wrong house.

The Huffington Post reported,
Every day in neighborhoods across the country, low-paid workers with little oversight or training decide whether to break into someone else's home. 
They are independent contractors working indirectly for banks, including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. 
Mortgage agreements give these banks the right to enter abandoned properties, even those that are locked up, to secure them against the ravages of weather and to perform other simple repairs. But the contractors they hire to do this work sometimes force their way into houses and condominiums that are still occupied by their owners, changing out locks and removing what they find inside, including family heirlooms and other valuables.
Fortunately, people are fighting back (but they shouldn't have to in the first place):
Fed up with what they claim is a serious violation of their property rights -- and sometimes outright theft -- homeowners are fighting back. 
In the past five years, people in 31 states have filed more than 250 lawsuits against the six largest national companies that contract directly with banks to inspect and repair homes in some stage of default or foreclosure, a Huffington Post review of court records found. The majority of these cases have come in the past 18 months.
Read the whole thing here.