Foreclosure Victims Becoming More Common

Foreclosure Victims Becoming More Common

The foreclosure crisis is bad enough, but it seems even worse when you think about individuals who are being wrongly victimized.

With the mortgage and housing crisis still looming over the American economy, there are many victims that put a face to the problem. These victims are getting kicked out of their homes and leaving things behind because they got into a situation that they simply could not afford.

One of the latest stories comes out of Pittsburgh and involves, of all things, a parrot. When 46-year-old Angela Iannelli defaulted on her mortgage payments, the bank sent a contractor to her home to change the locks. The contractor also shut off the utilities to the home and confiscated Iannelli’s 11-year-old parrot. It was more than a week before she had the parrot returned to her and the separation was so stressful on her that she had to start taking a prescription medication for her anxiety.

The big twist to the story, however, is that Iannelli was not in default on her mortgage payments, according to a Bank of America spokesman. One of the bank’s employees sent a contractor to secure the property because they made a mistake in thinking the property was vacant. However, according to the spokesperson, the employee should not have done that. A representative for Ianelli said she had missed one payment but she quickly caught it up and was current when the incident happened. Unfortunately, when Iannelli tried to call the lender in protest, they essentially gave her the runaround and told her she would have to retrieve her parrot herself. She also reports being hung up on and she said several bank employees told her that they were tired of hearing from her.

This is just one story in which a homeowner has been a victim to the foreclosure crisis, whether accidentally or as a result of non-payment. Banks and mortgage lenders have been trying to train enough people to handle one of the biggest foreclosures crises since the Great Depression era. According to recent figures, about 15 percent of homes with mortgages are behind in payments. That is almost eight million homeowners! That’s a lot of homes to keep up with and it is getting more and more difficult to hire enough people to deal with the vacant homes and properties efficiently.

In some areas of the country, mortgage lenders have received so many threats of suicide from borrowers who have defaulted on their payments that the companies have actually had to come up with procedures for when this happens. The most common procedure is to call the local police when a homeowner threatens suicide. The people working at the call centers of these mortgage companies are also going through a lot of stress and pressure as they are taking these calls and talking to these people who have sad stories about why they cannot make their payments.

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