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. Guest

    HAHA Chase bank went from trying to get the house back to paying it off for her. This will be one hell of a lawsuit.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jay Loop

    The guy is lucky his family isn't making funeral arrangements. In PA the guy would not have seen another day.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. mary.s

    i would've grabbed a rifle and started shooting, not call 911 1st!

    October 8, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. cavemanstyle

    IT'S ALL A SCAM. Banks have been scamming for years, and they will continue to scam... I got a four letter word to put in front of the word "banks" for you.. I think you can figure it out as to what it is.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. outraged

    She's home in the middle of the day, with a monitored home security system, talking on a cell phone and her mortgage is behind. What's outrageous to me is how she can afford luxuries .. including the luxury of not working ~ not that the bank is taking action against her. Get a job & pay your bills on time ... I bet the bank stops "harassing" you.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      EXACTLY. Thank you! If she's behind, the Bank is allowed an 'oops' too. If I were behind, I'd be thankful they hadn't foreclosed on me. And I'd certainly forgive them for making a mistake. Sad this turns in her favor. Hope that house isn't made of glass.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Let me guess .... you don't read? You're ignorant to what is occuring across the country? The unemployment rates are much higher than advertised. Did you know the government no longer considers you unemployed when you roll off the rolls? I've never been unemployed, but I see people with degrees (one even had a masters) come into our facility and apply for the $10/hr job as a security guard! Have some empathy for your fellow person. Some of the posts on here are incredible as to the nature of how self-absorbed and nasty our 'culture' has become. 25% of all mortgages are under water ... did we all become irresponsible overnight? or did the lending practices help create the 'bubble'?

      October 8, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • eli

      hey outraged. you are an idiot. do you not see the news? do you not understand what unemployment is? or are you so clod, callous, and trained by the banks to be their little slave that you have no compassion? guess what? a house is not foreclosed on until the foreclosure is complete. that is when a bank can take possession. the bank broke the law and will be sued. and she will will win. and you are still a moron.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mace

      You think you are outraged? I have filled out over 300 job applications in the last 6 months. I have dropped off hundreds of resumes. Do not sit in your cozy office when you should be doing your job and presume to speak to the masses about how all the lazy people need to get a job. Just because you haven't been experiencing rough times personally (I am assuming that because of the content of your post) doesn't mean times aren't hard for your fellow Americans. I have over seven years experience in retail, three of those years in management along with a few years of manufacturing/warehouse experience and the ability to use all of the machines involved. I know there's a lot more highly qualified people than me looking for work right now, but I would at least think out of several hundred attempts one would land a job... Before this recession I landed the last three jobs I had with only a few applications put out. I appreciate that you are outraged, you are however blaming the wrong people for it.
      For the record, if someone were to break into my home unannounced, I don't own a gun. If someone broke into my home it would be a race between the dog and myself, the dog armed with claws/teeth and me with a big stick with the name "Louisville Slugger" on the side. You do not break into someone's home unannounced and you do not try to take someones home when they have been working with you or trying to work with you in good faith on payment arrangements. Not when they've lived there for 20 years even if they refinanced. It's okay for the bank to say one thing to their customer's face and then turn around and make other arrangements behind their backs. This is why we bailed out the banks? So they could poo on us? I am no longer even allowed to call Chase Bank because I mentioned the bailout while on the phone with them. I was immediately transferred to a recording that said that, "any further business that I have with Chase bank should be done by fax as they will no longer accept my phone calls" What a wonderful company.

      October 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. I creepin

    Fact is she is behind, if she had been in the house for over 20 years then she should have a TON of equity, I agree, I would not change her loan at all now. Fact is CHASE had every legal right to inspect the property and if it looked empty they had the right to secure it. Now she is playing like she is the hurt one, if she sues then I think CHASE should counter sue for the back payments and there legal bills in trying to get her current would probably break even or force her to sell. There are so many people here in the USA that fall behind on there payments just so they can get help. I would be willing to bet she in the 3 to 4 months of being behind has went out to eat, bought something else she should not have when that extra money could have went towards her house. If I were CHASE I would fight this.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Zach

      You have no idea how things work so here is the list of things you should do:
      Read or if you can't read listen to the full interview.
      Use search engines to look up laws
      Go to public records and read a mortgage contract
      then come back and admit you are a 19-22 years old idiot.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jay In Florida

    Next time, show the bank how the second amendment can be used to protect your home. The fact is, until a judge puts up your home for sale, and until the day of the sale, your home is yours... not the bank's. Pull out your gun and shoot next time.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. whatutalkinboutwillis

    Banks are not supposed to be compassionate, they are supposed to make money for their shareholders. The shareholders just happen to be all our 401K and pensions not just a bunch of rich bankers. Guess what, if you can't afford to make your agreed upon mortgage payments after 20 years and cannot take out some equity to improve your cash situation then you have been an irresponsible borrower. Oh, and by the way, we live in a society where a business cannot apologize because it will be used to sue...let alone apologizing to someones attorney. Low Lifes

    October 8, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • cavemanstyle

      O dude I can't believe you're sticking up for those rat b@stardz on wall street man.. walking away with millions of dollars of your hard earned money and giving you scraps as cheap percentages back into what we call a 401K.. THE 401K IS CORRUPT AND ALWAYS WILL BE CORRUPT. I suggest you invest in a business, and don't EVER invest in a 401K. The only person you should trust with your money... is you.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    I don't doubt this happened. Chase absolutely sucks! The part about Chase not contacting her to let her know about this is par for the course for Chase. They played around for months with my and other's paperwork claiming we didn't send it in, when we did, then no communication from Chase, not even to let you know you were denied after 6 months! I can't wait to unbecome a mortgage holder with them. Chase has no morals, soul, or compassion during this recession.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Austin Rozzell

    911: whats the emergency
    Caller: please send the police and an ambulance, I have just shot an intruder.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Robert

    I'm reading way to many people confused about the guy having a gun or a knife. This is what she says:

    Jacobini: "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."

    Although the punctuation is a bit misleading, she clearly says the doesn't know anything about the person breaking in. She is speaking rhetorically as in "I don't know anything him. This person has a gun, a knife? Are there two, or three? All I knew was my life was in danger."

    October 8, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Hone Owner in Florida

      Reading comprehension skills can go a long way. I pointed out the same thing. Read the article, realize things are quoted. Lots of people ‘Jumped the GUN’ on that here.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. PARROT


    October 8, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Mace

      No, you are wrong. If I were to wake up to anybody in my house I have the legal right to shoot them. If I don't know them they should have felt obligated to call. It doesn't matter that the bank holds the note, if it did they would get a key and you'd have to report to them like they were your landlord. It doesn't work that way. The manager of the local bank can't just walk into your house while your teenage daughter is in the shower. That's called stalking. I am aware that the bank holds the note on the house, but when you close on it, they don't say, "thanks for buying us a house" They say, "congratulations on your new home purchase, thank you for choosing our bank" You also don't have to have bank approval to renovate the home, build a new deck or any other thing you would like to do. So no, it is not the banks house, the bank holds a note on a loan, the property is yours, not theirs. And if, by some chance, a banker comes to my house while I'm in the shower they better hope they are long gone by the time I have a towel and a baseball bat. Come to think of it, the towel probably wouldn't stay on that long if I were swinging a bat, you would probably find it appropriate if the police charged me with indecent exposure at that point though, because, after all I'd had the audacity to take a shower in the "privacy of my own home" Please, please do us all a favor and learn to think before you type. Thank you.

      October 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jrcolo

    first off- stick with FDIC approved banks and stop dealing with large banks. local credit unions have more loyalty to their customers than the big boys. secondly- get smart with your money. why have debt? why have credit cards? you were given a brain so use it and be smart. thirdly- i have no problem protecting my home/family if an intruder walks in. one view of a red laser on your chest and you better run. i will protect. the end.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cathy Rosas

    This is terrible. It's ashame that big businesses can do this to people. The banks better not do this in Texas, where most citizens own guns.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. picasso

    "Jacobini's home wasn't foreclosed". Ahem! as I always say it is not your home until you get done paying for it!!

    October 8, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
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