WHAT: Already under fire for fraudulent documentation, the mortgage industry is now revealed as having locks changed on still-occupied homes long before foreclosure is completed. In some cases the lock-changers are accused of stealing residents’ property.
HOW BAD: One woman hid in her bathroom and called 911, thinking the lock-changers were a home invasion. Renters in Florida discovered their residence was in foreclosure when they came home to find new locks; and their laptop, MP3 player and wine stolen.
WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: In many states, evicting banks aren’t legally allowed to change the locks on an occupied home. But action against lock-changers has been in civil court, not criminal, because lawyers cannot establish that the banks have criminal intent.