Ohio Bank Forecloses Wrong Home, Refuses To Compensate Victim

When a bank forecloses on the wrong home, you’d think they’d be tripping all over themselves to ensure the victim of their mistake is fairly treated, right?

Actually, in the case of the Ohio bank foreclosing on the wrong home, we’re sadly not surprised at the insult to injury 36-year-old Katie Barnett claims occurred when she returned from vacation to find her locks changed and all her family’s possessions gone — tossed in the trash or sold to cover a debt that didn’t exist with a bank where she had no account or business.

Barnett lived across the street from a bank owned home, and First National Bank of Wellston admits it foreclosed on the wrong home and caused a massive headache for an innocent family. But, she explains, representatives of First National Bank not only have not tried to fix their grievous (and really, how is it not criminal) act, and even mocked her requests they replace furniture.

She said:

“A GPS had led them to my house, the president of the bank told me… They also said my grass hadn’t been mowed so they just assumed that was the house.”

If you’ve ever been on the wrong side of a corporation or big business, you probably know that no one you can reach is really ever very concerned with your plight. Katie Barnett knows too, saying the bank’s president had the gall to ask for receipts — receipts, we’d all assume, that would have been stored alongside all the family’s possessions had they been kept at all:

“He told me that I would probably need receipts for everything that they took and they were not paying retail… I told him I wasn’t running a yard sale and asking them to make me an offer. I told him I don’t keep receipts around for everything I have just in case a bank comes by and steals my stuff. And if I did, where do you think it would be? With the stuff that you threw away.”

The bank’s CEO Tony Thorne said in a statement that the amount requested by Barnett to re-furnish the home — $18,000 — did not line up with the estimate of the bank as they tallied the items they tossed. Given that Barnett never consented to transact with the bank, nor did she consent to any business with the bank that foreclosed on the wrong home — it seems they are in a lesser place to bargain.

Still, Thorne says:

“In addition, we communicated to the homeowner our desire to compensate her fairly and equitably for her inconvenience and loss. However, the written list of items that she provided to us – and the value she assigned to those items – is inconsistent with the list and descriptions of items removed that was prepared by the employees who did the work, and with the list and values of missing items provided by the homeowner herself as recorded in an earlier telephone conversation with one of our representatives.”

After her experience with the bank foreclosing on the wrong home, Barnett says she plans to sue First National Bank of Wellston. But, she adds, her children’s summer has been ruined by the removal of pool chemicals and her inability to afford to replace them, and the family is living in a home with few possessions after the error. Would you be able to totally re-furnish your home for $18,000?