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. dk

    I too have got the collection calls from Chase and letters stating the mortgage is past due 0.00 dollars. It's always been paid on time and it gets really annoying. Is there anything that can be done about this? When they call it's some annoying guy from India who wastes my time on a Sunday only to eventually realize that I've never missed a payment and he hangs up without saying anything. This has happened numerous times.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Send them a certified cease and desist letter based on the federal law of fair debt and collection practices. Check the internet on form letters for this. They can not contact you them. Also file hassrsment on them.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Mortgage past due $0.00 – zero dollars
      Time wasted on Sunday talking to a collector from India – zero dollars
      Frustrating the mess out of an India call center guy by alternately speaking english, spanish, french and german – priceless!!!!!

      October 8, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      You can and should contact your state attorney general's office. There are laws that protect you from this type of behavior.

      October 8, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • diane

      A big reason that people cannot pay their mortgages is the fact that companies like Chase outsource their jobs to India. Here's an idea for you Chase, bring jobs back where they belong and people will have money to pay you. This country is ruled be a bunch of robber barons and they need to be controled. Voters, it is time to send a message to Washington, take care of us and let the rest of the world take care of itself. Make it cost big bucks for companies to do business overseas by enforcing haigh tarriffs and taking tax cuts away from any company with more than 2% of its work force overseas. Until we demand such action times in this country will not improve.

      October 8, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. kaye

    if you think the bank bailouts were a sham ,just wait for your new healthcare bailout!!.........baaaa baaaa we are sheep being sent to slaughter,and half of us are going with a smile on our face, thinking obama can do no wrong!! amazing huh?

    October 8, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      Another teaparty nitwit Obama-basher. STFU

      October 8, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sam the Sham

    I thought Obama had help for people in her condition. She needs to call Obama. CALL OBAMA.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • the truth

      F OBAMA

      October 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rustyshunt

    Chase is straight ghetto!
    Chase gotta git paid!!

    October 8, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lynne

    You blame the bank because of predatory lending. Well one of the reasons this country is in such a financial mess, is that people for years were buying homes they couldn't afford, and when balloon payments or re-fi's came up they were no longer able to afford the payments. Who's fault is that? The borrower. I have never been able to afford to buy a home, I'm single, and do not have the down payment. I could have years ago gotten one of those mortgages with creative financing but knew that it was not in my best interest. People want bigger and bigger toys that they can't afford. Now they blame the banks!!! Get over it!

    October 8, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      Lynne, the lady was in the house for 20 YEARS, since way before the recent lending practices by these banks started.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chris in Florida

    I live in Palm Beach County. What I wonder is: Given the lax gun laws in Florida enacted over the years by the far right wingnuts (basically, if you can fog a mirror and pay a nominal fee, you are allowed to go about armed like a terrorist and shoot just about anyone you suspect is committing or about to commit a crime of any severity) there is a good chance that many people in the same situation would have been armed like a cult in Idaho. If she had shot this man thinking he was an intruder – a reasonable assumption since he made no effort to determine if the house was occupied before beginning his break in – would she have been charged with a crime?

    October 8, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      I doubt it. Also, I believe breaking into a house when it is occupied is a Federal crime.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    Poor baby. Didn't pay mortgage and they toss you out. Are you stupid or just dumb.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • ACinRC

      The point is, the bank is doing so without due process of law. Try to keep up.

      October 13, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. capnmike

    If that guy had tried that on my home, without my knowing who he was, he would have met a load of 00 buckshot.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dixie Normous

    Looks like CNN forgot to report after changing the locks, he also beat her with an ugly stick..

    October 8, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    If this had happened in Texas, the person sent by the bank to change the locks could very well have ended up with a bullet or two in him, and it would have been perfectly legal. King's Castle law people...think about that before you walk into someone's house unannounced like that.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brian B

    The guy busting the lock out is lucky she didn't have a gun.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. prt

    Chase is the worst Bank!

    October 8, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. homeowner

    What's the difference btw a burglar breaking into to your home or a bank repo-man breaking into your home, none. They both are breaking the law by invading your home. You defend yourself. "Officer I was scared, he came out of nowhere and walked towards me, he had a gun and a knife. so I shot him". Better be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. david

    If the locksmith guy was black he would have been shot dead by the police

    October 8, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    She should of shot first and asked questions later. That would make them think twice next time.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      AGREED !!! That's what I would have done, no questions, just lights out, no pun intended

      October 8, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
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