October 8th, 2010
07:48 AM ET

Bank breaks into home - over mortgage payments

Nancy Jacobini was home alone in Florida when she heard what she thought was an intruder at the front door. There was no knock. She wasn't expecting anyone, so she grabbed her cell phone and called 911.

As it turns out, the man who broke the lock on her front door was actually a contractor hired by her bank. It is a procedure typically used to secure a foreclosed home. However, Jacobini's home wasn't foreclosed. She tells American Morning's Kiran Chetry how terrifying the experience was for her.

Nancy Jacobini: When the police arrived, of course, they had to search the house to make certain that nobody else was in it. And then one thing led to another, and then we basically found out that the gentleman was there to change the locks on my home.

Kiran Chetry: And who was he sent by?

Jacobini: He was sent by the bank, Chase Bank, to change the locks without my permission.

Chetry: You say that you were about three to four months behind on your mortgage payments but you'd been working diligently with the bank to get a mortgage modification.

Jacobini: Absolutely.

Chetry: And you didn't receive any notification about any impending foreclosure.

Jacobini: I did not. I did not receive any information at all in reference to a foreclosure.

Chetry: Basically you're sitting there and you have no idea if someone's breaking into your home to attack you at this point.

Exactly. I knew the aggressiveness was getting very severe. I was very much afraid, and it was a rainy day at the time. Skip thought the person was taking advantage of the weather. There were going to be no witnesses. This person had a gun, a knife, I had no idea what was going to happen. I didn't know if there was one person, I didn't know if there was two people. All I knew was my life was in danger.

Chetry: Have they apologized to you, Nancy, for what you went through?

No. Actually, I purposely retrieved both of my messages last night to really, really try to decipher every single word, you know, while I was in private just to see if I overlooked something. And no, there was no apology. On either one of those messages.

What'd they say?

Jacobini: It was basically an introduction of who the gentleman was, and he had mentioned that he was calling because he had received an escalation to his office and that he was calling about the mix-up in reference to the work preservation work order ... And then the second message simply stated an introduction, of course, of who he was. And that they were basically, you know, playing phone tag and that he was just calling in reference to, you know, this situation.

Let me ask...

Jacobini: I did not get an apology.

Chetry: Matt, what's your take on what went on here and what should happen moving forward?

Matthew Weidner: This is an absolutely terrifying phenomenon. This is happening all across the country to people just like Nancy. It's so important to emphasize she's not in foreclosure at all. There was absolutely no warning.

I've made contact with them several times and haven't gotten any credible apology at all. In fact, my last phone call yesterday, they were still trying to confirm whether power was in her name, totally irrelevant. But she's been in this house for 20 years and power has been in her name that entire time.

Chetry: That's the unbelievable part. How long you were living in this house and the fact that you were not in foreclosure. Here's what JP Morgan Chase says, they say properties in delinquent payments they can regularly visit to inspect them. And if the property's found to be open, they can work to secure it even if it's not in foreclosure. What do you think of that?

Weidner: I want to take exception to that. That's the big problem happening across this country. These banks are running wild. It's the wild west out there. Here's a house that's perfectly secured, her locks are secure, she's got an alarm system on it and power in. And the banks across the country are using that excuse as a justification for violating fundamental rights. It's got to stop. America's got to wake up and say we're not going to take this anymore.

Are you suing?

We are in negotiations right now. But frankly this is more than suing. This is about getting this issue in front of the American people so that the American people demand it to stop. Ultimately we do want this in front of a jury because we want Americans all across this country to stand up and say what happened to nancy can't happen again, and yet our banks are just bulldozing all across Americans, all across America, bulldozing over them.

Chetry: It's really quite shocking this happened to you, Nancy. And we're certainly sorry. Please keep us posted on any more information you get from the bank and how this turns out.

Jacobini: Thank you very much.

Chetry: Thanks for joining us, as well.

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soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Get Real

    All of you saying the Bank was in the wrong need to get real... she signed her mortgage.. agreed to make the payments and then didnt hold up her end of the bargain.. why should the bank even give her the time of day... she failed to fulfill a SIGNED CONTRACT with the bank... the bank OWNS the home as long as their is a mortgage on it. I have been through foreclosure in my family and the only person to blame is the person who didnt make their payments... regardless of what the bank or contractor did it was a DIRECT result of her not making her mortgage payements... her actions caused this plain and simple... the easiest way to avoid dealing with the bank at all is to MAKE YOUR PAYMENT.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. bduce

    I have the deed. You don't knock or announce yourself. You won't get the opportunity and the police will arrive to pick up the corpse. Most banks are managed with very minimally educated management that usually are not paid that well at the level these actions are taking place. They are basically 2 steps from a teller's position. It's a shame the guy coming through the door may pay with his life because of these bottom feeder managers.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill from SoCal

    I'm tired of hearing people behind on their mortgages whine like they're some sort of victim. If she hadn't made payments in a few months, her house is fair game for foreclosure. Yes, it's kind of lousy that they sent someone in the middle of the night, but suck it up and accept responsibility instead of complaining to the media when the bank tries to change the locks on a house that THEY own and you haven't met your obligations on. I know that sounds heartless, but people who are behind on their mortgages are NOT the victims. All they do is make it harder for the rest of us who are responsible with our finances.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Texas Vic

    I don't dispute the banks right to reclaim the home or whatever, but if someone had tried to enter my home in THIS manner, I would have unloaded my glock on him. And here in Texas, I seriously doubt charges would have been filed.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Get Real

    Im not saying the Bank was right or wrong, personally I would say wrong, but what I AM saying is that she cant be let off the hook.. she must be held accountable.. not making her payments is what started this whole thing in motion... its on her.. she caused it...

    October 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. outawork

    Thanks God, I don't have a mortgage!!!

    October 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. outawork

    Thank God, I don't have a mortgage!!!

    October 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. whitekong78

    @Mr Concerned: We are long overdue for a French Revolution here. Slimy politicians and CEO's need to be kept in check yet the public is content with letting the powerful police themselves.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. john

    If you would have paid your bills you wouldn't have to worry about this. You and all others who aren't responsible enough to pay their bills are the reason we're in this economic decline.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andy s

    it may b an extream view on it but i say do away with credit. at least till our economy can balance out. or at least just in the home morgages. if u dont have the money then u shouldnt b buying stuff u cant afford. some banks look at a guy. see he has a house he inhereted or sumthin but he has a dead end job, crapy credit and they go ahead with it cuz they know that he will prob defalt and then they can take the house and make waaay more back. buisness is buisness but thats part of what put us so far in the hole. we need to stop grabing what we can and saying screw everyone else. The public and the banks. both the banks and the people should b responsable. would u lend money to a guy who u knew wouldnt b doing as well off in the next couple years? people get a little something and they think they r rich. banks r taking advantage of people and people r taking advange of the banks. its a circle jerk with no release in site. lol. the avarage man and banks needs to realize that sometimes ur down on ur luck. right now im 2 week behind on my rent. my landlord called and i explained my situation. i get payed by monthly from the state cuz i take care of the disabled. they lost my timesheet and didnt send me a check. after i faxed them my copy of my timesheet the said they would pay me but i had to wait till the next pay period, 2 1/2 weeks later. then they added the 2 checks together and taxed the hell out of it. i lost $300 off my normal pay after taxes. so not not only was i broke half the month but i was shorted(yes i know i get it back during tax season) sometimes bad luck happens. my landlord understood and let me pass till i got my check and i payed my late month and next month, way in advance. there has to b trust and understanding between lender and barrower. with big banks its like ur barrowing from a souless machine that if slip up it will chew up and spit u on the street. everyones barrowing money down the line. gov, state, banks, people, buisnesses, ect. but most r not paying and it hurts everyone.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ester Abagail

      You have got to be kidding. Some folks to play games with their credit and they do lie to purchase something that they can not afford, but do the mortgage company have the right to change the locks at night. And don't forget you can easily get into the same situation, because bad things to happen to good people. And what about the cheating real estate agents who completed the transaction and the mortgage company who was more than happy to get more business. These companies made alot of money when the economy was good now it seems that everybody is a crook.

      October 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jason

    I have Chase, and trust me they really do suck bad! If I have a guy show up at my house, trying to get in trust me, am a CCW AND PLEANTY OF GUNS! This guy would not leave breathing. Chase your asking for major trouble!

    October 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. American

    The guy is an idiot, if he had gotten himself shot I would have nominated him for a Darwin award.

    Hey moron, try KNOCKING first!!! Or Ring the doorbell! As the power is on and people are home why would you need to break a lock and enter someones home?

    The Bank is being evil and this guy is being STUPID.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CapitalistAL

    I always make an extra payment the first month when I get a new car or a house, that way if I am a few days late because I forgot no harm no foul. When times are good if you can't afford to make a few extra payments then you couldn't afford that house or car to begin with.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ester Abagail

    By the way, these banks have attorneys and the attorneys stand to make alot of money. Don't think for a moment that your every move is not being followed. But if you call the mortgage co or the bank the only thing they want to know is do you have the money. They have become loan sharks or should I say mortgage pimps!

    October 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Responsibility

      Don't take out a loan that you can't afford. Make your payments and they won't come after you for not making your payments. Loan terms are written out clearly when you sign the paperwork - if you don't understand them, don't sign the paperwork and ask questions.

      October 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Translation

    Shoot first. Bankster? Shoot again.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
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