Invasive Tactic in Foreclosures Draws Scrutiny

September 10, 2013
New York Times  
mortgage lending news

Mortgage lenders including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, and others that depend on property management firms to help them oversee foreclosed properties and preserve them until the homes can be resold are finding themselves in hot water due to questionable and even illegal tactics used by these firms.

The largest, Ohio-based Safeguard Properties, has been cited more than any other company in complaints to legal offices in California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan, and New York. Homeowners have reported that the firm tried to forcibly drive them from their homes via scare tactics such as damaging their belongings, changing locks, and turning off power to the home. On Sept. 9, Illinois became the first state to mount a legal challenge against the property management firms, arguing in a lawsuit that Safeguard wrongfully dispossessed hundreds of homeowners in the state.

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