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.

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.

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

Jacobini:
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.

Chetry:
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.

Chetry:
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.

Chetry:
Are you suing?

Weidner:
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. Stormvet13

    I read this article twice!! You guys are on CRACK!! There is NO mention of a weapon of any kind!! However; IF they tried to gain entry into my house, locked or not, without knocking, ringing the bell, or announcing their presence, they would have been met by my pit/boxer mix until i reached my shotgun!!

    October 8, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Stormvet13

    TEST...Where is my post?? HELLO??

    October 8, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. jimmy

    she would every right to pull out the Winchester 1200 and let it rip.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mr Concerned

    People need to be smarter, when is the last time we Americans had a riot, I think we need one against ALL BANKS, maybe then the government will listen.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. CCW

    I have a CCW up here in NH and up here it is justified to use deadly force to protect your home from ANYONE who breaks in and this person just walked into her house. Up here he would have seen my 40cal H&K pointed at him as I politely asked him to leave.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. buzz

    As the second wave of bad loans comes to fruition, I marvel at the behavior of both consumer and lender. To wit: the banks now treat mortgage holders as "subjects" not to be trusted, and the government treats banks as irresponsible teenagers who only think about today and not tomorrow. In the future, can we please keep more oversight on "everyone" so that human nature is kept in check (i.e. by laws)? E.g. Banks obviously will do whatever they can for the quick buck, even if it causes the economy to melt down 5 years later (and please don't tell me that they thought all those folks who paid 70% of their paycheck as mortgage payments would continue to do so). E.g. People will obviously buy homes that they cannot afford because they "get caught up in the moment" when a bank offers them a ridiculous loan on a home they know deep down they have no business buying. And then when it comes time to pay the piper (they can't make payments anymore), they destroy the house before leaving. C'mon people–grow up.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Larry

    Just a reminder that in the US none of us actually own our homes. We rent them from the government. Stop paying your property taxes and see how long they let you stay in "your" home.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. HoustonSteve

    Is this really a story? It sounds like a mix-up of the sort that can occur all the time in any business. I work for a big company where multiple people have to do their jobs to make the whole thing work right, and we have such mix-ups all the time. Its not like they took her house away. It seems weird to me that people are so freaked out about this. We have tons of people who essentially used their houses like cash machines and now that they are in trouble are just living in their houses for months on end without paying a dime. Finally, the banks get their act together to actually take back these houses, and when a simple mistake occurs, that's news? Remember that when someone refinances their home, uses the money to buy flat screen TVs and other stuff, then doesn't pay their mortgage but still lives in the house with no consequences, its not just a slap in the face to those of us responsible enough to not do these things, but the cost is actually passed on to us.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew

    Pay your bills on time, and then you won't have to worry about the bank coming to secure the property. She admitted to being 3-4 months past due, I do not feel sorry for her at all, and she shouldn't be expecting an apology either, the bank has let her live there for 3-4 months free. I am so sick of people not paying their bills, and then when the bank takes action, these customers are blaming the bank, and saying they need to take action to keep banks from doing their job. The customers don't uphold their end of the contract, so they expect the bank to do the same, not how it works.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      I pray that you never get sick or lose your job to outsourcing. Everyone not paying their bills are "deadbeats".

      October 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dyanne

    I've been a "HomeOwner" for over 25 years. Sick and tired of EVERYTHING going up. Our taxes and Homeowners Insurance offer us about next to nothing. Will rent from here on OUT!

    October 8, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Denver Vet

    I still don't get why the bank needed the physical mortgage. Anyhow, this woman should receive damages in the amount of several monthly house payments.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. KatieS

    I totally agree that what the bank did was wrong. However, I am so sick of people expecting to get something for nothing and then complaining that they were treated badly. PAY YOUR MORTGAGE! Then you don't have to worry about the bank. Now this woman is probably going to make out like a bandit in some lawsuit. Man, I wish I could be on that jury! I think foreclosure laws need to be modified to make foreclosing on a property quicker and cheaper for the banks. That way, they won't have to resort to these desparate acts to recover what they are rightfully owed.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. ted

    This whole things seems a bit abnormal. She's behind on her mortgage and probably just through the foreclosure notifications in the trash along with her other bills. Probably not answering the phone because of the debt collectors. This just doesn't seem straight up, I think she's lying in a effort to get a lawsuit settlement.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. shelly

    this is about money. After 20 years, the bank will make a huge profit foreclosing on this house and re-selling it.The banks received bail out money and yet the people do not have the same rights? The banks always make a profit and win in any situation. This is very sinister and abusive. We need to elect people who will actually stand up to these elit few who are calling the shots, abusing power , and taking our tax monies and our dollars from our pcket.We need help!!!

    October 8, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. KatieS

    It should be noted that this woman has lived in this home for 20 years. This means she was NOT a "victim" of the banks loose lending practices during the housing boom. She likely is now unable to pay her mortgage because she used her house like an ATM machine and, somehow, never anticipated having to pay it back.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • forwardbias

      Most of the ppl who defaulted have mostly taken out money when the property was at high value. For example, you buy a house in 90s for 100k. In 2005, the house price climbs up to 400k. She refinances by taking another 200k out and puts in some other place or spends it. Today, the house is back to 200k but she could be owing 250k. Did you not hear similar scenario?

      October 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
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