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. mike

    at what point in time do people take responsibility for non-payment of bills. totally ignoring that they should make an honest effort at paying some portion of a mortgage. please, its always somebody else that is at fault or nobody told me anything.

    October 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    Wow CNN....The woman clearly states that "He MAY have had a knife or gun. The transcript of the interview totally misleads readers to believe that this man was breaking in with some sort of weapon. Totally irresponsible "journalism".

    October 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. whitekong78

    Calling everyone who hits hard times a deadbeat is a little rough. There are some people who thrive in an industry for 20+ years and pay their bills faithfully only to have their livelihood taken away by their employers for whatever reason. Some companies offer their employees free college tuition so they can pursue success. Many of those people choose not to go to school. The banks are equally deadbeats because they were buying and selling bad assets from one another to avoid owning up to their responsibilities. Corporations dodge responsibility all the time. Its not a black and white argument of who's to blame.

    October 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ME

    Well... one it is some of borrowers faults that did get mortgages knowing that it is out of there mean believe me im i work on handling mods and collections i have ppl that have not had there mortgage for a year come one now. And yes some is to blame on the banks..yea they got bailed out but i know for a fact chase payed there bail out back in full befor 6 months and i dont see borrower curing there deliq. on there loans they think they dont need to make payments b/c there going through a mod. come on now where in all the paper work says hey u dont have to pay no more. NOW LETS GROW UP AND STOP POINTING FINGERS and lets look at how to fix it huh ...i think thats the smart idea!

    October 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tlinget

    I don't think we are getting the WHOLE story here. For one, no locksmith needs to break in or break the lock to the front door. A key can be made. I know a locksmith. He demonstrated how to WITHOUT an original. Slow, but very simple to do.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AntiBanker

    Come to change my looks banking thief. I will have a nice surprise for you. You won't have to go to anybody else's home ever again. Americans need to wake up, just like this atty said. This is what Thomas Jefferson warned us about.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. randy f.

    Ohh how I wish someone would try that here. Fully loaded AR-15 and Remington 870 are strategically positioned for quick access just in case someone like a home invasion creep or a repo-man tries something stupid like entering my house uninvited.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Curtis Corell

    I say the best way to stand up to these banks and to Our Goverment is every one should not pay make there house payments at all that includes businss as well what would it be like ? everone that had a morgage payment just stop paying this would then give us the control

    October 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. January 2011

    Time to send a message to the Banks. I propose everyone stuck in a crappy mortgage contract who sincerely wants to renegotiate the terms of their loan, to NOT MAKE there January 2011 payment.

    Spread the Word...

    October 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    Blame the banks till the cows come home, and listen for your own echo. Until there is a complete audit of the Federal Reserve, none of these manipulated market cycles we go thru each decade will end. Imagine the mess your own personal bank account would be if it had never been audited. That's the mess you all are experiencing and posting about.

    October 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Splinter48708

    That guy is lucky the home owner didn't have a gun, the owner would have been justified in shooting first, asking questions later. Most states have it where someone breaks into a person's house, the people living there can take protective measures to prevent theft...and that includes justifiable homicide in self defense.

    October 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    If you cannot afford the house anymore... you CANNOT stay. Case closed, end of story! I have been in the foreclosure business for 10 years now, handling every aspect from the occupancy checks to the changing of the locks. The same process has been in place for years. The only reason anyone is even mentioning it is because it isn't just happening in the less desirable neighborhoods anymore.

    If you don't want it to happen to you, and you are even remotely unsure of your finances, GET AN APARTMENT!

    October 10, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. 1hippychick

    I think I would tell the bank either tear up my mortgage paperwork, or I sue....

    October 10, 2010 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. We Are Doomed

    The whole banking crisis was planned and executed with perfection. Those who voiced concern about the unethical practices lost their jobs. Not only does the crisis put everyone out of work, it allows banks to take homes. Banks now own more homes than people do. Then to add insult to injury, the banks scammed bailout money from tax payers so the banks could afford to pay excessive salaries to the people hired to take tax payer homes. The rich get richer and the poor become slaves. RepugnantCans and DemoRats (Obligatory spelling errors included) are all in on the scam.

    October 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. We Are Doomed

    Where is my bailout?

    October 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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