Polly Want a Crack Lawyer?: Bank of America Again Forecloses on Wrong House and Then Takes Woman’s Parrot

We have been following the astonishing list of cases where the Bank of America forecloses on the wrong homes and then litigates cases insisting that it acted reasonably. Now we have a Pittsburgh woman who has sued the bank after it allegedly improperly seized her home, damaged her property, and kept her pet parrot as an effective hostage during the dispute. Presumably, the parrot now says “punitive damages, punitive damages’ over and over again.


BoA instructed Snyder Property Services to “enter, seize, padlock, ‘winterize’ and take possession” of the plaintiff’s home. Her water and power were cut off and her drains filled with antifreeze. She came home to find new locks, damaged furniture and carpets, and her parrot gone.

She claims that she called repeatedly but was told that the bank was “tired of hearing from her.” Only after a week, she says, the bank admitted that they made a mistake and finally told her where she could find the bird — a three hour drive.

What is amazing about these stories is how easy it is for BoA to seize these homes — leaving people at their discretion and mercy.

For the full story, click here.

22 thoughts on “Polly Want a Crack Lawyer?: Bank of America Again Forecloses on Wrong House and Then Takes Woman’s Parrot”

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  2. I must be getting old. I omitted the word “hope” in the first sentence of my last post. I hope I don’t end up in the Corrections thread!

  3. If’n BOA keeps a’takin’ peoples’ homes ‘n birds *they* will directly have…

  4. I sure BOA has saved some of that TARP money because after reading this article, they are going to need a large 6 figure sum to settle this boondoggle.

  5. The civil damages make sense. Could a criminal suit be filed in her county by her prosecutor (against Bank of America or the contractor?)? I know I, as an individual, would get the book thrown at me if I filled someone’s gutters up with anti-freeze, stole furniture and pets, and changed locks on a house that I didn’t own.

  6. The other half of “everyone makes mistakes” is taking responsibility when you do make a mistake. People are suffering when you damage their property and force them to say in hotels. They’re suffering because of the time they must waste fighting that bureaucracy instead of doing things they want to do.

    The bank’s response? Tough.

    Uh, no. I would have a lot more sympathy for the bank if it had a policy of an immediate $10k + $1k / day + specific types of damage. No argument just “we screwed up and we’ll give this to you now if you agree that this settles the matter”. Besides to obvious financial and management reasons for this it also shows that the bank realizes its mistakes have real costs. Saying “mistakes happen” while blowing off the victim just hardens opinions against the bank.

  7. Maaarrghk!.

    Maybe BoA is just shagged out after a long squawk. Have you checked their feet for nails?

  8. The problem is that all of these re- or dis- possession acts are in different jurisdictions. No body cares.

    It happens once in AZ, once in FL, another time in PA and just who is there that can take pre-emptive action to halt these actions. i’d venture that BoA forcloses on at least 200 homes a day. One mistake a week is a mistake rate of one-tenth-of-one-percent.

    Not good enough, especially if you are the “one-tenth.”

  9. Perhaps they thought it had lovely plumage and might be worth something. Lovely plumage, the Norwegian Blue.
    Perhaps it was pining and they intended to take it back to the fjords.
    Sorry, just thought we’d better get that one out of the way sooner rather than later.

  10. It is amazing that they are having this same issue again so soon after the last. One would think after the incident in Florida, there would be memos generated and some training put into place to try to stop it from happening again. I understand they are dealing with a lot more foreclosures than normal, but that is no excuse.

    http://consumerist.com/2010/01/bank-of-america-seizes-wrong-house-causes-big-stink-no-really.html

    In this article, I found this part to be the most disturbing:

    Dr. Schroit has filed suit against BoA, saying that “he has neither a relationship nor a mortgage” with them. A Bank of America spokesman told the paper that the bank feels the lawsuit “has no merit.”

    No merit! It is incredible to me that they can possibly believe that. Apparently they do believe it though, because here we are again.

  11. Can’t believe the cops were not called and charges pressed.

    And I have to wonder what will happen when this outfit runs up against the wrong guy trying to break into his house??

  12. At least in this case BofA actually held/processed the mortgage on the property. I think that there have been other cases where BofA didn’t have anything to do with the mortgage and sent people out to “lock down” a house. Those are the situations where I can’t imagine that there wasn’t a crime committed.

    In this case, taking the parrot out of the locked-down house was the responsible thing to do. Making this person drive 3 hours each way to retrieve it, though, was just adding insulting stupidity on top of injury. BofA should count their blessings that I am not on the jury hearing this case.

  13. Perhaps some of the more educated folks in law on this blog can share, but couldn’t she file criminal charges for trespassing and theft? This is not just a simple case of an honest mistake, this is full blown neglegence on thier part, isn’t it?

  14. How the heck can that be legal? Isn’t supposed to be some rule about not taking living beings in property-related issues? Or at least some provisions to ensure they don’t end up with people who have no idea of how to care for them?

  15. Is BoA really still private or is it a sub department of the treasury or military affairs?

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