Ohio bank repossesses woman's home by mistake

It also takes all the contents, and she's having a tough time getting the restitution she's seeking.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 25, 2013 12:50PM
Ohio bank repossesses wrong home and all its furnishings (© 10TV.com)This is a story straight out of "The Twilight Zone" or maybe Franz Kafka.

An Ohio bank mistakenly repossessed a house and emptied it of its contents. Even worse, homeowner Katie Barnett says the First National Bank in Wellston, Ohio, is copping an attitude with her about its blunder. According to 10TV in Columbus, the bank's president balked at Barnett's $18,000 estimate for her lost possessions.

"He got very firm with me and said, 'We're not paying you retail here, that's just the way it is,''' the TV station quotes her saying.

The bank apparently had meant to foreclose on the house across the street (pictured). A report in Gawker says the bank president, whose name wasn't not provided, is trying to come to terms with Barnett. The Police Department in McArthur, where Barnett lives, refused to investigate the matter, according to the gossip website. Neither the bank nor the Police Department could be reached for comment.

Sadly, Barnett's situation isn't as unique as people might think.

The same thing happened to Nilly Mauck of Las Vegas in 2010 and twice in 2012 to a retired California couple.

Last year, 49 states reached a $25 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and Ally Financial to compensate borrowers victimized by abuses in the foreclosure process. As part of that settlement, the banks agreed to send $2,000 checks to 750,000 people who were wrongly foreclosed upon. Of course, that settlement will be of little use to Katie Barnett.

Jonathan Berr doesn't own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.

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Jul 25, 2013 1:44PM
If they broke in, thats breaking and entering, and if the cops won't investigate it and arrest the guilty parties, there not doing their jobs and should be held accountable. Fire them all. Or is it OK to beak into homes there. The bank should replace ALL that was removed. If that means they go out of business, so be it. Sounds like they are all incompetent.  The Bank pres. should lose his job. And the cops.
Jul 25, 2013 1:48PM
Wow, is it me or when the bank entered the home and disposed of all her possessions and had no legal right to do so as they admitted the house was reposed by mistake, they committed crimes such as unlawful entry and theft. Just saying.
Jul 25, 2013 2:10PM

and pray tell, WHY won't the bank pay the homeowner "retail" on the things they illegally took??  SHE IS SURE AS ---- GONNA HAVE TO PAY RETAIL TO REPLACE IT!  idiots.

Get a lawyer. This is one situation where you actually need someone to act for you!
Jul 25, 2013 2:08PM
"We're not paying you retail here"

That's right, they're going to end up paying her damages.
Jul 25, 2013 2:36PM

I love the "we're not paying retail" comment.  It's going to cost retail to replace the items and quite frankly, there should be some sort of payment for emotional damages and for compensation for the items that are not replaceable.


Really stupid on the bank's part because it will end up costing them more now.  They should have paid her the $18,000 plus an extra $2,000 for good measure to make the mistake go away.  Most likely lawyers are going to nail them now.

Jul 25, 2013 1:55PM
which one of the banks got the bonus?  of course no one stands up for the abused home-owner.  Doesn't everyone in America realize that you are expendable and only the banks and the politicians matter?   They both have so much money and power that the "little" people are screwed 100%.
Jul 25, 2013 2:04PM
Why want the police help her, were they in on it? I would find a good lawyer see if he could work with you on payments, and get your stuff back and sue the city for not protecting you! Are we living in a martial law State or are we living in America? of course I know that depends on who you ask these days, They just had a mans house torn down and found out it was the wrong one. Maybe someone should go and recheck address before they do anything! Sounds like the WHOLE Dam system is broken! I wish someone would go destroy a bankers house and give them the same grief as they do other people see how they like it!
Jul 25, 2013 1:39PM

Ohio? Land of John Boehner and Gov. Kasich? Screwing over ar homeowner with a mortgage mistake and little or no legal recourse?


I'm shocked. Shocked!!


Well, not that shocked...

Jul 25, 2013 2:57PM
First get a good law firm,,[more name on the door the better]... Sue the financial company fro mental distress  and what ever the lawyer can think up.   Second sue city and police for derelict of duty and third put house up for sale and move .  
Jul 25, 2013 2:53PM

I am not sure how any law enforcement officer could walk away from that situation. The bank was wrong with or without a judges order,


Everyone in the string of deceptions should be prosecuted for criminal possession as they would surely do if the situation was reversed.


Ignorance is no excuse .......  

Jul 25, 2013 2:18PM

First National Bank would have been money ahead just to pay off the upset homeowner.

Jul 25, 2013 2:10PM
Interesting that the STATES can reach "an agreement" for MILLIONS of dollars, but the INDIVIDUALS who are affected by this don't get SQUAT......funny how all that works out... 
Jul 25, 2013 2:39PM

Someone needs to investigate the police department for corruption.  Here you have someone admitting to illegally entering & taking another persons belonging.  It doesn't matter if at the time they thought they had the legal right (remember OJ Simpson in NV). 


The contractor hired by the bank will be the one taking the fall.  But if he can prove he was induced to do an illegal act with false documents, then the bank could be culpable.  Given the size of the illegal taking, this would be a felony.  Most states do not allow those convicted of felonies to engage in activities such as banking.  7-Eleven had a similar problem in Texas when the lottery started because the company had a felony conviction.  It required a special law from the Texas Legislature to allow them to sell lottery tickets.

Jul 25, 2013 1:50PM
Jul 25, 2013 2:44PM
Get a lawyer!  Will see if the bank pays retail or wholesale.  Then will see about damages.
Jul 25, 2013 1:09PM
OH no......NOT another "mistake"....Does this make only three or four now?

Where is the Federal govt on all of this?

Oh, thats right- CONgress is trying to figure out how to further water down
the Dodd - Frank Act ( an Act we would not like to see anyway) and
Obama is playing footsies with Jamie Dimon on some golf course.

Get ready for more news like this.

Jul 25, 2013 2:56PM
It will be cheaper for the bank to pay the value of the retail cost. If she goes after them in court she'll get more.
Jul 25, 2013 1:30PM
congress is on vacation for a month
Jul 25, 2013 2:55PM

In order for the bank to foreclose on the wrong home a lot of the checks and balances in the system failed.  There needs to be a complete review and if someone was negligent in their duties, a firing would seem in order. 


As to compensation, the Bank needs to fire the President.  Anyone in that type of position needs to understand when his organization is standing neck deep in quick sand.  The idea is to get out, not thrash about.


I wish her well and all the luck in the world, she'll need it!!

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