Can banks get away with breaking and entering?

Last year a company hired by JP Morgan Chase, without warning, broke into the home of a Florida woman named Nancy Jacobini while she was at home.  The bank apologized, but its contractor broke into the home a second time, which was after she filed suit in federal court.  The first time she was behind in some payments, but the bank had not foreclosed on her mortgage.

Jacobini’s lawyer Matthew Weidner said mortgage service companies across the country frequently break into people’s homes, change the locks and destroy and steal property—and local police do nothing about it.  Mortgage-holders do have a right to check up on property and enter abandoned property to make sure it is secure, but they do not have a right to enter a home with people in it without permission.  Nor do they have the right to damage someone else’s property.

A local police department conducting a raid on a drug house would have to get a judge to issue a warrant.  But big banks such as JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, and their agents, act as if they are above the law.  Let’s hope they’re wrong.  A federal judge last week agreed to hear Jacobini’s case.

Click on Federal Judge Refuses to Dismiss Case Against JP Morgan Lender Processing Services for an account of the bank break-in on the Naked Capitalism web log.

Why do banks to this?  I guess it is cheaper to subcontract the mortgage foreclosure process, and the processing companies get paid on a volume basis.  Neither one has anything to gain by slowing down and doing things right.

Click on Bank Changes Locks on Occupied, Foreclosed Homes for a report on bank burglaries in Sarasota, Fla.

Click on Foreclosure nightmare: Hannibal woman sues bank for false eviction for a report on a bank burglary in Missouri.

Click on In a Sign of Foreclosure Flaws, Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks for a New York Times roundup.

Click on JP Morgan Chase Got U.S. Help, But Mortgage Holders Did Not for another New York Times article.

Click on Mortgage Servicers: Getting Away With the Perfect Crime? for a report on other illegal practices by bank mortgage service companies.

Click on Banks ‘foreclose’ on houses bought for cash for an earlier post of mine on bank abuses.

Click on Foreclosuregate: a case of robber bankery for another earlier post of mine on this subject.

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