The flagrant disregard of longstanding Florida law by mortgage lenders, appraisers, title companies, banks, and law firms continues with this week’s news, perhaps setting new lows in the foreclosure mess.
A New High in Lows for Bad Acts Done by a Mortgage Lender in Florida
Last week, when Brooksville, Florida homeowner Chris Boudreau went away on vacation for a few weeks, 21 Mortgage Corp. of Knoxville, Tennessee, hired a local Florida company to go to his home, clear out all of his possessions — that’s right, the family photo albums, the sofa, the silverware, EVERYTHING — and change the locks on his doors.
When Mr. and Mrs. Boudreau returned to their Brooksville home, they were surprised to learn that their keys would not work in the locks and all of their belongings were tossed into a dumpster.
One particularly egregious item: these evildoers had taken Mrs. Boudreau’s wedding dress and shredded it before tossing it in the trash heap.
Criminal Trespass, Theft Not Investigated by Law Enforcement, Homeowner Turns to Media for Help
The homeowners called the police, but the Hernando Sheriff’s Office declined to arrest anyone because they said it was a civil matter and not a criminal one. They labeled the event another bad story in the Florida Wrongful Foreclosure annals, even though this mortgage company had taken these steps without any foreclosure proceedings in place, and no court order allowing the lender access into the home.
So, the victims called the media and soon this wrongdoing was made known in local television (WSTP in Tampa) and newspaper coverage.
Perhaps both the criminal and civil courts will ultimately provide these victimized people some justice. Hopefully a civil lawsuit will be filed very soon that will include personal injury claims (intentional infliction of emotional distress) as well as property losses and trespass. And, hopefully the Sheriff’s Office will reconsider investigation of this horror as well.