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. Alittle skeptical

    I would have killed him, no qustions ask. He's breaking into my home, I feel that my life is in iminante danger, yep I believe that in this case, the "Castle Law" would provide a text book unimpeachable defense

    October 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Me

    Ohio has a castle law in effect "to create a rebuttable presumption that a person acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of entering or has entered, unlawfully and without privilege to do so, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force..." (http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_SB_184 accessed 08Oct10)

    These guys are lucky they are not shot breaking into a home.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. whitekong78

    Kennedy was a cheater and also got us into Vietnam. The Kennedy family made its money bootlegging during prohibition because they couldn't LIVE without whiskey. Lol We haven't had a good president in a very LONG time. Just my opinion. Obama broke half his campaign promises just like the rest of his white predecessors.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Junie

    Chase is the worst place in the world to do business with. They like to harrass people. If your car payment is due on the 10th they start calling on the 11th. They don't give you 10 days like everyone else, but they don't charge a late fee until it's past 10 days. I'll never finance ANYTHING with Chase ever again.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jeez

    this story about banks behaving badly then laden with trigger-friendly comments is an american stereotype in itself

    October 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tyler

    god this women is such a fool, pay your bills and stop lying your just completely a victim in her on lil crate. nobody gives you the sympathy for your "retard-ed-ness" of not paying your bills so what happens they took your home, you can try to sue note note note , you can try to sue but the legal action set in place is the law so theres no suing just paying bills

    October 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. horsepucky

    I would have shot the fool DEAD.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Larry Turner

    Hey just like bedbugs the bank need to handle people who have play game the mortgage obiligations. If system that we support fails we will all have a problem the country could just finanically meltdown. They could just employ a couple of Illegals and set fire to the place and clear the lot an start all over.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. b0bc4t

    Banks, like the gangsters in "Goodfellas" live by one rule F*@k you, PAY ME!

    Banks are a busines, in the business of making money. You don't keep your contractual agreement, you risk the bank protecting their interests. If the person did not properly announce himself, that is a problem, but the majority of rambo shoot first comments here make me nervous about people's rationality. Pumping shotgun shells into folks at your door is irresponsible and criminal. Plus, after four months delinquent, for whatever reason, I am sure form letters were sent out, and to say "We are working with the bank" means nothing to the satisfaction of the loan. If they call and ask for payment, saying "I know I am late but I am doing the best I can" does not mean that the bank has accepted your "plan".

    Banks send out form letters with notice of eviction, a phone call does not stop that. A court proceeding with both parties answering does. If the bank has moved this to the point of changing the locks, maybe you are not in agreement with how you are working it out. If a prior notice was not rescinded, the bank HAS notified you, and it is not upon your approval that the bank moves forward to take action. Aggressive banking, excessive lending, irresponsible borrowing – whether a bail out or high interest rates, we all pay for her delinquency. Money costs are rising because the country is broken. Don't expect leniency due to your financial situation, just because everyone is late, you still have your obligation. If the bank sent a prior notice, and you made arrangements, perhaps the bank hasn't received your response, or latest payment, and the locksmith, like your payment crossed in the communication, and was acting on prior orders that were never rescinded. My car loan required beyond keeping current, that after three months of late payments, the next late payment brought an automatic repossession, whether that payment was in the banks mailroom, or still on the table ready to be mailed. My dog went after the repo man, who locked himself in the car to avoid a bite in the ass. We called the police, not knowing the repo man's truthfulness, and he was at the station alerting them of his authority to take the car and providing the legal notification. The banks use contractors that are aggressive to do DIRTY work, but neccessary, just the same. Even though the payments were mailed, the repo company trashed my car, broke the locks, (door and ignition), and I had to satisfy the past bills plus a hefty repo fee before I got my vehicle (which was some forty miles away in a locked and guarded facility.) Pay your debts and nobody has to intrude any further upon your trigger happy lives.... don't pay .... then sleep with your loaded shotgun, and pray you are quicker on the draw.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    I'm an attorney, and during 2008 through the first few months of 2010 I worked for a non-profit that, among other things, assisted homeowners who were facing foreclosure. Banks are very quick to speed the foreclosure process along as fast as legally possible – I never personally saw any "illegal" activity; just big banks doing what big banks do – but once a homeowner calls and says, "I can't make my payments. I need help," the banks send out a massive modificaiton application that takes hours to complete. Once you get it back to them, it can take months for it to be processed. It was not uncommon to sit on cases for 6-8 months waiting on a modification decision. All the while, foreclosure clock keeps ticking, and it's up to the homeowner to call the bank, sometimes on a monthly basis, to request that the foreclosure be postponed. And, the majority of banks are so large that the "modification" and "foreclosure" departments NEVER know what the other is doing. This is capitalism run amok. The banks are simply too large to be user friendly or even fair to consumers. In this case, I'm willing to bet this is where the "mix-up" came from.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mitchell

    Banks are truly harassing people. People run late on bills due to an untold number of unavoidable reasons these days, and the Banks need to BACK OFF. If it had been my house that man would be dead, and in Texas that is perfectly within my rights to defend myself from an intruder. I think the banks and the people who work for them need to take heed. This is how yoiu end up getting killed and the bank sued for ordering the lock change. I hope they sue Chase, and drain the bank like they are draining us. A little fee of 50 million dollars should be sufficient.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. b0bc4t

    Pay up, or shut up!
    If you believe the bank is working with you, then maybe the plan isn't working.
    Banks are in the business of lending, for a profit, and if you don't pay, they want to have something for their trouble.
    It could be a teller that you've known for twenty years gave you the impression that you can have more time, but it does not mean they are not acting on a prior notice, and the locksmith just got around to your house before the teller told you different. There is no reason that they should not have had a marshall with them to perform the task of giving notice, my dad did just that for a Florida County Sheriff's Office. An aggressive locksmith may bend the rules, but he is not the one in default. He is doing a job, made harder by the threat of trigger happy nuts like those posting above.

    Banks don't want houses, especially when there are more houses than money avaialble. Don't give them yours, PAY UP!

    October 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey

    JP Morgan Chase is such an aggressive company I'm not at all surprised by their actions in this case. I've also been attempting to settle a matter regarding a debt to them for some time now and after months of being told I would have to be called back by a manager to resolve my issues and never being called back, I was instead served with court papers as they decided to sue instead. It seems to me they create situations so they can be the aggressor and the bad guy. All I know is that once this is resolved, I'll never work with them again nor will any of my associates as a result of their treatment of me.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Laura Lynn

    Chase has been telling me for over 18 months that I've been "telephonically approved" for a modification.....then they'd lose my application, and require me to resubmit everything.

    So then I'd do that, including making proposed payments very similar in amount to my current payment, and they'd lose the application again, and make me start all over again. They sent me countless letters telling me they want to help me keep my home, but then while in the MODIFICATION REVIEW STAGE, they threw me into foreclosure with no warning whatsoever (other than a notice of acceleration, which they told me to IGNORE–"IT'S JUST A FORM SENT OUT BY THE COMPUTER"). Countless lies, countless broken promises, countless arrogant, hostile, rude, ignorant, dip_hits. They are liars, and stupid to boot. Fortunately (for me, but not for most of America), I have a high equity and am selling the property. BY THE WAY, you may think that the bank is foreclosing–BUT IT'S REALLY FREDDIE MAC. Check into it. Freddie Mac doesn't want their name mentioned in the notice of foreclosure, but that's the fact.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Realist

    I agree with everyone saying if you paid your bills this wouldn't happen. People believe they have been done wrong in these situations. You had no problem signing the dotted line and taking the banks money and getting your house. Now its their fault you can't pay it back.

    October 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
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