As if B of A needed any more bad press with regards to foreclosures, an article surfaces in the New York Times. We all know what a pain in the A$$ they are to deal with on out short sale files, that is already well documented here on AR & elsewhere, but this latest news is nearly incomprehensible.
The story chronicles a woman named Mimi Ash who was looking forward to a little R & R in her ski-home in Lake Tahoe. When she arrived at the property she found that the locks had been changed. After finally getting access, all of her belongings had been removed from the house including her sons skiing medals, and worst of all, a little box inscribed "Together Forever" that contained the ashes of her late husband.
It seems she was working on a loan modification at the time. The house was still in the name of her late husband and Ms. Ash was working with B of A to take care of the payments. She had already paid $15K to make up back payments and late charges, but she says she didn't receive any notices from B of A about foreclosure proceedings. (As it turns out, the papers were filed...at the wrong address)
It's not just B of A though. Other tales include reps from Chase stealing an iPod, power tools, a laptop and several bottles of wine from a property. Even scarier still, one account involves a contractor shutting off power to a vacation home (and ruining 75 lbs of freshly caught salmon) THAT WAS PAID OFF!!. That case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Mistakes are going to happen. B of A is reporting nearly 1 million homes currently in their REO inventory. With that kind of volume there are bound to be troubles. The problem seems to lie in the contractors sent to secure properties. While they do provide a service that is valuable to neighborhoods when securing abandoned properties with cause, they are not trained on anything that involves making sure they actually have the right to be there. Some have admitted they simply look in the windows before proceeding to winterize and empty a home.
I can't imagine what these people must be feeling. You have to feel bad for those that were simply victims of an institution that is bulging at the seams with incompetence.