Bank Reposseses Wrong House, Refuses To Compensate Victim


Katie Barnett, a resident of MacArthur, OH, claims that a bank she doesn’t belong to broke into her house while she was on vacation and either took or destroyed most of her possessions. First National Bank in Wellston had meant to foreclose and repossess a house across the street and blames its GPS for the mix-up.

Barnett says she has since presented the president of the bank with an $18,000 estimate to compensate her for the loss, but he has refused to pay her. “He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’” she told 10TV News. The bank president told 10TV that it is trying to come to terms with Barnett. The bank did not respond to ThinkProgress’s request for comment.

Barnett called the police after the incident, but the police told her the case was closed just weeks later.

Her tale would sound familiar to many Americans who have suffered from wrongful foreclosures and bank misdeeds. Jo-An Seipp told ThinkProgress in June that Wells Fargo sold her house in foreclosure even though she was current on her mortgage. Etienne Syldor is facing foreclosure from the same bank even though he not only made timely payments but overpaid on them. Bank of America foreclosed on a man two days after it approved his loan modification.

Banks have been accused of illegally foreclosing on members of the military and have been found guilty of “robo-signing” foreclosures without verifying the pertinent information. They were also ordered to end “dual tracking” in which they pursued foreclosure even as they worked with homeowners on modifying loans, but many continued the practice.

The Department of Justice and 40 state attorneys general announced a $25 billion settlement with five big banks last year over foreclosure fraud. Yet less than half of the funds meant to provide homeowners who had been improperly or illegally foreclosed on with relief had been dispersed as of October. Much of the money hasn’t even gone to helping homeowners at all.