We have had two recent approved Short Sales from SETERUS and OCWEN who have sent in Preservation Teams from (Safeguard Properties) to change locks and add their own combo boxes to the properties, without the knowledge of Sellers or the Listing Broker. When I confronted both Lenders they made nothing but excuuses and pointed fingers back to Safeguard. I just wanted to alert you all to be aware...
Unfortunately this is not new in our market, the lender has the right, per most notes, to secure the property if it is vacant and the seller is in default. Normally if you call them and ask them for a copy of the key they will overnight it to you.
If the properties are vacant, that's SOP, and to be expected. If they're not vacant, that's a different issue.
Been going on for a long time in my market. If the property is vacant, it is very common. They will give you the code if you call them. Save the keys because they use the same locksets. I have about 300 keys on a key ring from REO and short sale lockouts.
happened to me also..changed them back and called the guy who winterized..posted a sign on the door that the home is not abandoned and is under my control. he keeps it nice an plowed for me, but has not entered again..also asked him to please dewinterize it since the heat and water are on ..and he did.
As others have said this is not new and although the lender has the right to secure the property if it is abandoned / vacant sometimes they go too far.
I had a short sale about 6 years ago and the owner / borrower had gone into the hospital to have triplets - She was a new single mom. The property was NOT vacant. While in the hospital Countrywide changed the locks and boarded-up the property. "Mom" came home to a house she could not access with 3 new babies. She ended up at a relative's house while we got an attorney to "encourage" C-wide to do the right thing. They never did. So, a group of local agents got the locks changed and the house unboarded so she could bring her babies home.
Just recently, I had another - it actually was vacant. LPS Property Preservation never changed the locks but they did empty and cover the pool - and oddly turned-on the main water service without ever entering the property. Because of a broken pipe inside the home, the property flooded. This $1+ Million - "Desert location" home was covered with black mold within a couple of days in 120 degree heat. The Short Sale fell apart and now it's an REO and has been red-tagged by the City as a hazard due to mold. Over $70,000 in City Fines have been levied. This one was Chase servicin for Deutsche Bank.
Remember, the property is nothing more than an asset to the note holder - they do not care about anything else including humanity.
Ocwen recently did the same thing to me, with no notification. They left a sign stating the house had been winterized, but included no phone number or contact person!
That is absolutely insane!! The homeowner still lives in the property and does not want just anybody walking into their home. That's why they will always state "by appointment only" on thier listings. This way they know who exactly has been in and out in case anything go missing. Safeguard should not take these orders from the banks until the property is already been foreclosed on and legally recorded as foreclosure with the new name as owned by the bank. What's going on, is the bank has already determined to foreclose behind the scenes not informing the homeowner of the cancellation of the short sale process. This has to be done with legal steps which is through an eviction process. If the homeowner is aware of the foreclosure process with several notices and still does not want to leave, then again a sheriff still has to come with the listing agent for a "LOCKOUT" eviction. The banks just can't send a preservation service out to change locks. There are children involved here, these banks are so "RUTHLESS".
The lock out/lock changing has nothing to do with the bank having decided to foreclose as opposed to doing a short sale. They will secure the property, when they Think (mistaken or not) it is vacant. If the local contractor does a lock change on an obviously occupied home, that contractor is doing wrong.
Well I have one for the books. I have an approved Seterus short sale on my own home. We are closing in 2 weeks. I am in the process of packing. When I came home last week I found my front door lock changed and my fridge cleaned out. OH, and did I add that the Brinks safe bolted to the floor of my closet was pried open and all my valuables stolen and other closets and drawers pilfered..Safeguard said to call the police and get a police report. I did all that and now I have to send Safeguard an itemized list of what is missing....anybody out there had a similar experience?...curious to know what outcome to expect. I feel that when Safeguard entered the home they should have called Seterus and told them that the property does not look abandoned??? Seterus customer service calls me on my cell once a week to confirm that my contact and other data has not changed?? where is the screw up here??? P.S. crime lab found no fingerprints??
whoa..I would think Safeguard has some explaining to do..I would say unbelievable, but unfortunately, it is quite believable. I have left huge placards on homes saying "do not lock this house out, there are live animals inside and you will kill them" ..and 'do not enter this home, it is under my control and you must call me to gain entrance"...so far so good..but I do not think safequard is as active around here as they used to be.
Safeguard changed the locks on a property that was going to close in 3 days! They are "suppose" to call you if you number is on the For Sale Sign in front, but they have done this to me several times without ever calling. In fact, on one of our $500,000+ houses they put a huge sign on the front door alerting the world that "It has been determined that this house is Vacant." What? Just go ahead and invite the criminals and who is going to pay for the break-in and damages? I think both Safeguard and LPS Preservation are out of control. Wonder what they will do if the security alarm goes off?
They'll cut the wire to the siren and to the phone company............