If you ever buy a distressed property, just make sure the previous mortgage lender knows you’re not the original borrower or you may get an unpleasant surprise.
A family in Austin, TX recently purchased a property that had been caught up in the foreclosure process, but unbeknownst to them, former mortgage lender EMC Mortgage had hired Field Asset Services to drill the doors open and seize the belongings inside.
The property management company proceeded to enter the home and remove all personal belongings, including furniture, jewelry, clothing, family heirlooms, a child’s piggybank, and even food from the pantry.
When the family arrived home after work, they thought they had been robbed, leading them to file a police report with the Cedar Park Police Dept.
After filing the report, they came to find out that there was a little “mix-up” regarding the status of the property, and that their personal possessions had been seized as part of a court order related to a foreclosure concerning the previous owner, a California speculator.
Field Asset Services said the belongings were taken in good faith and delivered to local goodwill stores, although after searching five local shops, the family came home empty-handed.
The family is now suing Field Asset Services for failing to return its property, seeking compensation for both lost property and grief related to the incident, according to local paper Statesman.com.
EMC Mortgage, along with parent company JP Morgan Chase, have since issued apologies to the family, vowing to make good on the situation.