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Q:
What does "winterizing" mean?

A:
Winterizing is a way to prepare an empty home for extreme cold and weather by locking it up, turning off utilities and by disconnecting the plumbing and water. In some instances, antifreeze is even poured into the toilets and sinks to protect the pipes from freezing and bursting. The purpose of winterizing is to protect an empty, abandoned house from potential damage caused by extreme conditions.

Winterizing and Wrongful Home Seizures and Lockouts

When a bank seizes your home or locks you out of your home before a foreclosure takes place, it will often winterize the home because it claims that you've abandoned it. Some banks may argue that they are actually "doing you a favor" by winterizing your home since you're not there to protect it from the damage that can occur from severe weather.

The problem arises, though, when you haven't abandoned your home (that's why a wrongful home seizure or lockout is wrongful). A home that has been winterized is left without access to utilities, heat and water, so it is unlivable or uninhabitable.    

If your home has been winterized as part of a wrongful home seizure or lockout, you do have rights. Victims of a wrongful home seizure or lockout who need to learn more about their rights can request our FREE report: Foreclosure Lockouts and Trashouts: Consumers Have Rights.