Bank Contractors Break into Wrong Homes, Prey on Foreclosure Victims

Bank Contractors Break into Wrong Homes, Prey on Foreclosure VictimsIf you fall behind in your mortgage and you go into foreclosure, banks will routinely hire contractors — Safeguard Properties, for example — to go to your house and have their way, sometimes breaking in and removing everything within sight.
But a NBC/TODAY investigation found that Safeguard has made huge mistakes, sometimes going to the wrong addresses, victimizing innocent homeowners who have never been late on their payments.
But even homeowners in foreclosure have rights, according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is suing Safeguard, after getting hundreds of consumer complaints.
Madigan filed a lawsuit last month in Cook County Circuit Court against Safeguard, a Delaware corporation based in Ohio.
Safeguard is the largest privately-held company in the country hired by mortgage lenders to determine whether a home in default or foreclosure is still occupied.
If a home is deemed vacant, Safeguard is charged with securing and maintaining the property to ensure it does not lose value during the foreclosure process.
But Madigan alleges that Safeguard routinely deemed occupied properties in Illinois as vacant, instructing its contractors to winterize and secure homes that occupants still had a legal right to live in.
“This case shows the lengths that banks and their service providers will go to abuse and intimidate borrowers in foreclosure,” Madigan said. “This company was illegally breaking in to people’s homes, removing all their possessions and locking them out. It is a homeowner’s worst nightmare.”
Read TODAY’s article: Home break-ins: Bank contractors accused of cleaning out wrong homes

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