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The culprit, Ms. Ash soon learned, was not a burglar but her bank. According to a federal lawsuit filed in October by Ms. Ash, Bank of America had wrongfully foreclosed on her house and thrown out her belongings, without alerting Ms. Ash beforehand.
In an era when millions of homes have received foreclosure notices nationwide, lawsuits detailing bank break-ins like the one at Ms. Ash’s house keep surfacing.
Also missing was a wooden box, its top inscribed with the words “Together Forever,” that contained the ashes of her late husband, Robert.
Federal Reserve Blocks New Foreclosure Regulations
WASHINGTON -- Top policymakers at the Federal Reserve are fighting efforts to rein in widely reported bank abuses, sparking an inter-agency feud with the FDIC and the Treasury Department. The Fed, along with the more bank-friendly Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is resisting moves to craft rules cracking down on banks that charge illegal fees and carry out improper foreclosures. The FDIC supports such rules, according to an FDIC official involved in the dispute.
The new regulations would rein in debt collection, loan modification and foreclosure proceedings at bank divisions called "mortgage servicers." Servicers have committed widespread fraud in the foreclosure process. While the recent robo-signing of fraudulent documents has received the most attention, consumer advocates have complained about improper fees and servicer mistakes that lead to foreclosure for years.
"Given that we've seen a massive failure in servicing practices and a massive failure to address servicing in an honest way, I think this is important," says Joshua Rosner, a managing director at Graham Fisher &
Mortgage Bullies?: Banks Accused of Illegally Breaking Into Homes Facing Foreclosure
It's one of the few booming businesses in this bruised economy – companies hired by banks to change the locks and take over homes that have been foreclosed.
But in a growing number of cases, these real estate repo men are showing up before the foreclosure process is done – and sometimes, before a home is even in foreclosure.
Nancy Jacobini was alone in her Orlando home when she heard someone outside her door, trying to break in. She locked herself inside a bathroom and called 911.
"I was very scared," Jacobini said. "I didn't know who it was."
The man trying to break in was a contractor hired by Jacobini's bank,