Foreclosure nightmare: Hannibal woman sues bank for false eviction
A Hannibal woman is suing a bank and property management company claiming they "jumped the gun" on a foreclosure and ransacked her home.
In a claim filed in State Supreme Court, Mattia McIntyre accuses Safeguard Properties LLC of illegally breaking into her house at 24 Cemetery Drive while she was away on December 21st, 2010 and removing "each and every item of personal property... as well as fixtures" and the "contents of a large storage building located into the backyard." McIntyre claims her belongings were thrown into an exposed dumpster in the middle of winter and later "hauled away to whereabouts."
The lawsuit claims Safeguard Properties was hired by Citimortgage Inc. at a time when she was negotiating a refinance on her home for falling behind in her payments. The lawsuit claims at the time Citimortgage had not formally foreclosed on the property.
McIntyre TMs attorney, Alan Willmes, said that city mortgage had a right to inspect and protect their property, but failed to communicate with those who were renegotiating the mortgage.
Representatives of both Citimortgage and Safeguard Properties have not returned our calls for comment. Both companies have filed responses to the lawsuit in which they deny wrongdoing.
Willmes said that there was a communication error and a lack of compassion and caring that led to the ransacking of the home. He also claims that Citimortgage did not follow proper procedures for a foreclosure when it prematurely contacted Safeguard Properties to secure the property.
McIntyre told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "I have nothing." She said she was in a "state of shock. I walked around in the house for two hours" when she returned home to find her home had been torn apart. She's especially upset that treasured family photographs were taken or destroyed.
Both McIntyre and her attorney feel the ransacking of the home could be criminal, but Willmes says State Police told him it a "contractual issue" with no individual to pin it on.
McIntyre is suing for $1,200,012.90 in compensatory and punitive damages. The additional $12.90 is for a snow shovel that was allegedly taken in the dead of winter when she could no longer get to her house.
Willmes told CNY Central that since the incident, Citimortgage has not moved on the foreclosure of McIntyre TMs home. She continues to live in a house that had been nearly destroyed.
Download the full court documents.