We have been talking to homeowners and borrowers who have been victims of illegal foreclosure lock-outs where their home was seized by a bank and its property management company (we like to call them "lock-out" or "trash-out" companies). Homeowner's possessions are often stolen during the lock-out process and, in many cases, if their personal possessions are not stolen, they are removed from the house and thrown out, a.k.a. "trashed-out."
There are also a number of online complaints recounting stories of illegal lock-outs, which almost always involve the theft of personal property. Law enforcement has been doing nothing about this rampant problem despite homeowner complaints. The common law enforcement reply is, "Its a civil matter, no crime was committed."
This leaves victimized homeowners dazed and confused. Homeowners often do not know what to do or where to turn. So, let's make one thing clear: Illegally locked out homeowners have legal rights and can sue their lender and the "trash-out" company doing the lender's dirty work.
Almost every state has laws that prohibit illegal lock-outs and trash-outs. Many states have very powerful laws where homeowners can sue the lender and "lock-out" company for more than the cost of their trashed-out possessions. State laws, in these circumstances, often allow for damages due to stress, embarrassment and the public ridicule of being held out to your neighborhood and community as a dead beat who does not pay your mortgage. Oftentimes, the lender may even post foreclosure notices in the local paper or at the property, which causes additional stress and damage to a homeowner's reputation.
Borrowers should not jump at a low-ball money offer by their lender or trash-out company. We have heard of circumstances where the trash-out company only offered a percentage of the value of the trashed-out and stolen possessions. Borrowers should also be concerned about a lender or trash-out company who asked them to sign a "release of all claims" as a condition to accepting a less than full value settlement.
It is the Wild West out there as far as foreclosures go. Homeowners cannot sit back and wait for their lenders to do the right thing. Homeowners need to go on the offensive and pursue their lenders and their "trash-out" companies. Since when is it right, for even one second, for a corporation to break into your home?
We are listening to borrowers' and homeowners' illegal lock-out and trash-out stories. Call us toll free at 877-892-5620. We'd be glad to help if we can. We are licensed in Massachusetts and affiliate with qualified lawyers in other states who act as local co-counsel for our firm.
Category: Wrongful Bank Seizure
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