Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The New York Times details continued problems with the property management companies that do most of the scut work during the foreclosure proccess:
Faced with more than 10 million foreclosures that have piled up since the start of the mortgage crisis, the nation’s largest banks are turning behind the scenes to property management firms, with the Ohio-based Safeguard the largest, to help them navigate the wreckage, determine the occupancy of the troubled properties and preserve them until the homes can be resold. As part of the alliance with the banks, the property management firms are dispatched to guard against the problems endemic to vacant properties, like weather damage, mold and vandalism, by winterizing the properties, changing the locks and performing other critical maintenance tasks. In turn, the firms hire lower-paid smaller companies to handle the deluge of work.
But the firms are coming under fire for using questionable and possibly illegal tactics. [...] [H]omeowners across the nation have lodged complaints with state regulators and filed lawsuits of their own, contending that Safeguard tried to forcibly drive them from their homes in a campaign of fear that involved damaging possessions, changing locks and shutting off electricity. In North Carolina, homeowners said that they had returned to find their houses padlocked and their personal property, including family photographs, destroyed. In Bedford Corners, N.Y., Susan Salzberg Rubin said Safeguard broke into her property multiple times and tampered with the alarm system. In Bethel Park, Pa., Alexandra Hlista said she was forced from her home after multiple break-ins.
(HT: Chris Odinet)