In California, recently ...
Banks were backlogged in loan modifications, and foreclosures went forward as a result of this. Not to mention that some of the banks were foreclosing with improper paperwork.
Then, to add insult to injury, certain attorneys were purporting to be able to help these distressed homeowners, took the clients' money, and didn't do what they promised to do.
So, the legislature made a law that said attorneys could not collect any fees for helping such homeowners until the transaction had been completed.
Unintended consequence: Homeowners who need an attorney to face off the bank, cannot hire one because the attorney cannot collect any money until performance is complete. Often, of course, even the attorney may not be able to face off the bank before foreclosure ... even if the bank is at fault in some way.
So, the banks have attorneys, but the homeowners can't hire one.
And the banks continue to act like thugs:
Many of the incidents that have become public appear to have been caused by confusion over whether a house is abandoned, in which case a bank may have the right to break in and make sure the property is secure.
Some of the cases appear to be mistakes involving homeowners who were up to date on their mortgage — or had paid off their home — but who still became targets of a bank.This almost happened to a client of mine some years ago. Fortunately, the bank's "contractor" called me to ask for the lockbox combination. I asked why. I was able to tell them the home had NOT been abandoned.More common are cases like Ms. Ash’s, in which a homeowner was behind on payments, perhaps trying to work out a modification, when bank crews changed the locks.
In Florida, contractors working for Chase Bank used a screwdriver to enter Debra Fischer’s house in Punta Gorda and helped themselves to a laptop, an iPod, a cordless drill, six bottles of wine and a frosty beer, left half-empty on the counter, according to assertions in a lawsuit filed in August. Ms. Fisher was facing foreclosure, but Chase had not yet obtained a court order, her lawyer says.
The break-in was discovered when a Canadian couple renting the house returned from the beach.
Chase officials said such behavior by its contractors, if determined to be true, would be considered unacceptable and corrective action would be taken.