Earlier this week I was showing a client short sale properties in Surprise listed on Arizona Multiple Listing Service. At a specific property the key in the combination lockbox did not open the front door and there was a new deadbolt lock. I called the listing agent to tell him that the home was obviously re-keyed.
According to the listing agent, banks are re-keying vacant short-sale properties to winterize them. Evidently this is a procedure banks are doing in order to protect the property. Within a few hours, the listing agent had the locks re-keyed a second time.
The trustee sale on this property is scheduled for February. Although the judicial system has not given the bank the title to the property yet, does the bank have a right to exclude the homeowner from re-entering the property once it is vacated?
Do homeowners relinquish their rights to access their home once it appears vacant and the mortgage is delinquent?
Do agents have a right to change locks on a short sale property that has not yet been foreclosed upon?
What do you leagal eagle agents think about the legality of these practices?