Stacey Simpson Writes (Feb. 9, 2011)
I have a very quaint cottage about three hours north of my home. My kids, fiance and I all head up to spend New Years on 12/30/2010. We arrive to find a lock box on the door and the locks changed! I immediately contact the number on the lock box and after being transferred around, I find that a mortgage company, and by the way not my mortgage company placed the order to have the locks changed and lockbox placed on the door.
I have absolutely nothing to do with this mortgage company. I do not have an account, nor have I ever had an account. I call the number provided by the mortgage company's contractor and they have me jumping through hoops for four hours. I was asked to contact my mortgage company to ensure and have them verify to the other company that my loan was not sold and that I'm not past due on my taxes, etc, etc, etc. Why these questions came into play I have no clue, except to say they messed up big time and knew they had and didn't know what to say. I advised I knew my loan hadn't been sold because I received a refund from an overage in my escrow account two weeks prior with a new payment book for the next year because the payments had changed due to the overpayment of escrow. My taxes and home owner's are paid out of escrow so there hadn't been a lein placed on the property by either . Furthermore, if someone is going to legitimately put a lockbox on your home and change the locks you will receive proper notice of them doing so.
So after they wasted four hours of my time (which is very valuable - ask my boss), they advise that they will have the contractor come out and remove the lockbox; I advise that I already asked the contractor if they'd be able to remove the lockbox the same day and they advised they could not in such a short amount of time and that due to the holiday, they wouldn't be able to do so for at least a week. The bank then says, oh they'll do it, they said they could. So what do I do, I call the contractor and say, 'So I hear I'll be seeing you today?', again they say "NO", so I requested the code and again, another hour goes by before the contractor calls me back with the code and I'm finally able to gain access to MY OWN PROPERTY.
Finally, we are in the house and we find that the mortgage company had a separate contractor come out to winterize the place. I have to say they did a wonderful job. Except now I can't use the place until someone can come out and de-winterize the place! So a three hour drive, a five hour fight to be able to enter MY OWN PROPERTY, and now my two kids, my fiance, and myself are out of a place to stay for the holiday weekend unless we decide to drive back home another three hours!
Then, I notice out of the corner of my eye, that my storage bin from under our bed had been thrown on top of the bed and the room was disheveled. So I walk into the room to see what else had gone on in there to find my BRAND NEW FLAT SCREEN TV, BLU-RAY DVD, DVD'S, TV MOUNT, AND ANTENNA (seriously, the antenna!), among other things, were STOLEN! So I now know that at least two contractors have been into the house. So who knows who stole the items and ransacked my place but I do know that they were given access by the bank who did that illegally. They had no right to give access to anyone to my place.
So I call the contractor who did the winterization and they say, "the guy thought something was odd about your place. He walked in, walked out, called the office to verify the address because he stated your place was too nice and nothing like any of the usual foreclosures he walks into." Of course he states his guy is the best and very trustworthy, I actually believe him, especially if he really did walk out to confirm the address on the order. So I call the other contractor and this time he is very defensive instead of helpful and says you have to file a police report (well by now, they were already on their way), and "I'll take down the information and someone will be in touch". So I call the bank, and this was the most absurd of all, "what do you want us to do ma'am, we didn't steal your stuff, why do you think one of the contractors did it and you didn't just have a break-in?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I stated there were no signs of forced entry beyond the illegal entry they were provided with by the bank! So they continue to say that they don't know what to tell me and they'll take down my information but there isn't anything they can do. So the police come and they too take down the information, and he is also appalled but again takes down my information, calls me once to say the bank doesn't open for another day and I'll be updated later in the week.
After leaving multiple messages with the deputy I finally hear back about a month later that they still haven't gotten anywhere but the runaround from the mortgage company and the applicable contractors. I heard from a customer service person about a week ago asking me questions again about what had happened. He asked me to tell him the items that I would like to be reimbursed for and I had stated as one of those items, the need to have the locks changed. He asked "why", seriously why?? I stated, "because you allowed who knows how many people access with this key, I don't know how many copies are out there and by the rate of my electricity bill over the past month, they may have been staying here!"
Overall, I figure the person next door was the one who was to be foreclosed on and they didn't have a complete address on file and sent the wrong information to their contractors. So I have to go through all this hassle, humiliation, and now financial hardship to replace all of the items stolen for them to say please provide all of this documentation and wait in line. I did nothing wrong, I paid my mortgage, I paid my taxes and insurance and in fact overpaid on all accounts, and they break into my house unjustifiably and I'm the one liable? What would have happened had I have not gone up until Spring? What would have happened had this charade gone further? I asked my friend who is a mortgage broker and she stated they may have been able to go so far as to actually having a sheriff's sale performed and selling the property! So now I have to obtain a lawyer to take them to court to be reimbursed and I've been told that reimbursed is all I'll be. That they will not be liable for punitive damages!
If now I'm in a line of claims, how many other homes have they illegally broken into without having a justifiable purpose? In the eyes of the law, last I knew, that was called breaking and entering and it was illegal and punishable by fines and time served. Why are the banks not responsible for their wrongdoings? Why am I responsible for cleaning up their mess when I was being a responsible homeowner?
By the way, the name of the mortgage company is Nationstar and the name of the contractor that changed the locks was Field Asset Services. I will not provide the name of the company that winterized the property because from what I can tell they were cautious and were expecting that this one would come back as such a situation and have been helpful throughout this process.