Monday, September 16, 2013

Banks Are Still Breaking Knocking Down Doors

Safeguard Properties is breaking into homes on behalf of BoA nationwide. The scrutiny threatens to ensnare JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and other lenders that depend on the firms. Legal aid offices in California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan and New York say calls about Safeguard’s aggressive tactics rank among the top complaints.On Monday, Illinois became the first state to take on the property management firms legally, contending in a lawsuit that Safeguard wrongfully dispossessed hundreds of homeowners in the state.

In suing Safeguard, Lisa Madigan, the attorney general, contends that the company broke into homes despite stark evidence that homeowners still lived in them, bullied tenants into leaving even though they had no legal obligation to do so and, in some instances, damaged the very homes they were sent to protect, according to the suit. Once a homeowner is more than 45 days late on mortgage payments, lenders typically send out the maintenance firms to determine whether the properties have been abandoned. As of June, more than 800,000 properties were in foreclosure or owned by banks, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate data provider. Safeguard alone has had about 14 million work orders this year. which have “failed to supervise these firms.”

Under the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement, reached between five of the nation’s biggest banks and 49 state attorneys general, mortgage lenders are required to increase oversight of third-party vendors. The lenders said that they diligently monitored Safeguard’s performance

If they do not have a writ of possession they do not have a right to enter an occupied home.