I have a home listed in Twin Peaks. The owner lives just around the corner. Between she and I, we check the house about once a week. The home was tenant occupied up until September, but was difficult to show on the tenant schedule.
Last week, the owner went to the property and found the front door unlocked with a door knob on the kitchen counter. The back door had been changed. She called, “Did you change the backdoor lock?” Of course I didn’t. She also noticed, there were signs throughout the house noting the home had been “winterized”. Again, I did not do this. I asked her if the home had been foreclosed upon. She said no. She has been talking with her bank about late payments and had just spoken to them the day before.
Today she said she spoke to her lender, Bank of America, and they confirmed they did come into the home, change the lock and winterize the property. They said her homeowners insurance wasn’t satisfactory and they needed to “protect their asset”.
I am completely shocked the bank would break in and change the locks. They did not call her for an appt., or to even let her know this would be happening.
I searched the internet and found an article written last year, “Returning from work or vacation, homeowners across the U.S. are finding themselves locked out of their houses, with their homes broken into and many of their belongings stolen and destroyed.
The culprits? Bank contractors, hired to preserve abandoned properties. These contractors often ignore signs of occupation, including furniture, maintained gardens and turned on lights.
It is illegal for any bank representative to enter a property if they have not retaken it at a foreclosure sale – especially if there are signs of occupation. Yet contractors have been repeatedly ignoring these signs….”
You can read the whole article here. Reading this article confirms my fear, that some properties which “appear vacant” are not. Some home owners are locked out of their own properties mistakenly! In another story, the preservation company stole a car! You can read that story here.
In a Resort community such as ours, this is very scary. I believe homeowners need to beware of their home appearing vacant. According to the article if your payment is 45 days late or more, they will hire a servicing company to monitor the property. The issue seems to be with the servicing company doing whatever they like.
Please tell your friends and neighbors to watch out.