In their zeal to complete foreclosure proceedings, some banks send representatives to change the locks on properties in foreclosure, even as they remain occupied. The incidents of lock-changing pile further skepticism on a process recently plagued by scandal.
A contractor for JPMorgan Chase changed the front door lock on a woman’s home in Orange County, Florida, as she hid out of fear in her bathroom, Eyewitness News reports. The woman, Nancy Jacobini, was reportedly three months behind on her mortgage, but, according to Eyewitness News, her home wasn’t in foreclosure. Even if it was, the bank isn’t legally allowed to change the locks on an occupied home.
The lock-changing strategy is intended to protect a property’s value, since owners experiencing foreclosure often abandon their homes, leaving them vulnerable, notes Sarasota’s Herald Tribune. To Jacobini, the bank representative seemed like an intruder, and she called the police.