Monday, July 29, 2013

Ohio Bank "Accidentally" Loots House

A bank in Ohio made a big mistake it doesn't think is worth $18,000, which is likely worth far more.

Upon returning from her family's vacation, Katie Barnett found an empty house. Was it ransacked by burglars?


The First National Bank of Wellington dispatched repo men to a house in Barnett's neighborhood, and upon seeing her uncut lawn, ignored the GPS that blindly directed them to another house on the street, decided to break into Barnett's home and liquidate her of her belongings, and change the locks.

Furniture, appliances, photo albums, family heirlooms, precious memories: all gone.

The kicker: when Barnett reported the break in to the police, upon realize it was related to a bank foreclosure declared it an open and shut case, regardless of the fact that the bank hadn't intended to foreclose on Barnett's property.

Despite the fact that First National Bank doesn't even hold her deed, CEO Anthony Thorne declined her estimate for a paltry $18,000 in lost property (and family photographs and memories that can never be recouped). He stated he wants to compensate Barnett's family “fairly and equitably," but without receipts, can't deem them worth the (again, paltry) $18,000.

First National Bank might soon be wishing they had accommodated Barnett's involuntarily offered settlement for $18,000 (for her family's life) when an attorney with half a brain (and half a shred of dignity) considers the fact that banks and repo men are not above the law.

While Barnett is inevitably entitled to a civil settlement for the property that the bank destroyed or sold, First National Bank may face criminal charges of breaking and entering, burglary, and trespassing. After all, what would you or I face if we "accidentally" ransacked a stranger's house?

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