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Can the bank change the locks before they foreclose?


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#1 joannqn

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:04 PM

Before we moved, we sent the bank a letter telling them that we wanted to give them the deed to our home in lieu of foreclosure. We also told them this over the phone three times and sent a couple more copies of the letter.

The bank has never responded to us. They have, instead, proceeded with collection attempts. They call us two to three times a day, seven days a week. It was the first three of these calls that we answered and explained our intentions. We were told that their policy was that we had to list the house for short sale for three months before they would even talk to us, they would proceed with foreclosure proceedings if we didn't pay the mortgage, and hung up on my, respectively. We have received several certified and regular letters explaining that we may qualify for loan modification. We are not leaving for financial reasons so a loan modification isn't an option. Our letters have explained our reasons for leaving, and it should be obvious with any person with half a brain that we wouldn't even live there for free.

So, they continue to call. They continue to send us loan modification paperwork. They ignore our letters. And, we found out today, they changed the locks on the house.

Can they do this? The deed has not be signed over. We have not received any notification that a foreclosure has been completed.

It really doesn't matter to us. We don't live there. DH drives by every so often just to make sure it hasn't been vandalized, which is how he found out about the locks. Shouldn't we be told what is going on?

ETA: We would have gladly sent them the keys if they would have contacted us about signing the deed over or when the foreclosure was completed.

#2 LisaK in VA is in Italy

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:26 PM

Legally, no... is what my gut says. If they haven't taken legal possession of the house, they had no legal right to change the locks -- as you are still the legal owners of the house.

#3 joannqn

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:34 PM

As far as I know, we are still the legal owners.

According to the notice posted on the inside of the window, the house was "winterized". This means they broke into the house to do whatever is involved with winterizing and changed the locks to the nice shiny, new ones that are there now without contacting us. The notice says this happened on January 4th. The last contact with the bank was a letter dated January 7th and stated that our loan was in default and may be referred to a foreclosure attorney.

#4 Joanne

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:39 PM

I don't have an answer. But I do have {{hugs}} for the convoluted bank mess. I understand.

#5 tess in the burbs

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:46 PM

A deed in lieu has certain qualifications that have to be met first. If the house is empty yes they can go in and winterized it legally. They did it to mine. To qualify for the DIL it has to be a single Loan listed for 90 days at the same price. Only then will they consider this. At this point it takes 90 days fir it to process. Most banks now are foreclosing before this could ever process and happen. Once it goes to the foreclosure lawyer you should get certified letters of the auction date.

It sounds like you never got a contact in the department needed( name escaping me right now). Very little you can do now sorry. Even if you want to do a program like short sale they continue to process as foreclosure. We had an auction date scheduled while only days from closing with a short sale. We got it stopped but the buyer walked when the bank wanted more cash from both sides. They lied to us over and over and foreclosed quickly to prevent another short sale from delaying it.

#6 joannqn

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:55 PM

I'm not too worried about it since we aren't interested in keeping the house for any reason. Just a little shocked that they could take possession of the house before it is legally theirs, and wondering if there was anything we needed to know.

We were prepared for a foreclosure instead of a deed. We were not prepared for them to completely ignore us and send us letters saying their "attempts to contact us were unsuccessful" when we had sent them several letters and spoken to them on the phone. It bothers me to have them lie about us in that way.

#7 simka2

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:24 PM

When they winterize it's called "protecting their assets!"

They do this for short sales too ;).

Sorry, for the mess!!!

#8 Renee in NC

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:20 PM

As far as I know, we are still the legal owners.

According to the notice posted on the inside of the window, the house was "winterized". This means they broke into the house to do whatever is involved with winterizing and changed the locks to the nice shiny, new ones that are there now without contacting us. The notice says this happened on January 4th. The last contact with the bank was a letter dated January 7th and stated that our loan was in default and may be referred to a foreclosure attorney.


They did the same thing to us, which was ridiculous because there was an active listing and the power was still on. They came in, "winterized the house", and turned the power off.:glare: We found out when someone had a showing and the lockbox wasn't there.:glare:

#9 NayfiesMama

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:24 PM

WOw... perhaps they'll be in trouble over this stupid move. I'd document it... and then see if there's anything to do with the info.
:(

#10 Renee in NC

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

WOw... perhaps they'll be in trouble over this stupid move. I'd document it... and then see if there's anything to do with the info.
:(


It is legal if the house is "abandoned."


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