Apparently a Bank of America contractor who mistakenly thought a house was empty when the owner was away, padlocked the home and cut off the utilities.
Angela Iannelli, who lives near Pittsburgh, says the worker also stole her pet parrot, Luke, causing her emotional distress during the week she couldn't find him, according to the Wall Street Journal. She said she was prescribed medication for the anxiety.
Iannelli has filed a suit against the bank, which says it thought the home was vacant. Bank of America sent to contractor there even though she was not in default on her mortgage and the house was not vacant.
Iannelli's lawsuit charges that the contractor cut water and electrical lines, damaged flooring and furnishings, and poured antifreeze into sinks and toilets.
She says when she called the bank to complain no one would tell her where the bird was at first, but later she was told to go to the contractor's office. The Bank has apologized to Iannelli, but she is seeking $50,000 in damages in the suit.
This is a bizarre story on several accounts. First, why was the contractor sent to the home in the first place if the homeowner wasn't even in default on the mortgage loan? Had they called her about being late with a mortgage payment? Second, if the contractor did in actually damage her home and cut utility lines, what was the reason for doing so?
It's pretty common knowledge that homes that end up in foreclosure sometimes are damaged or need a lot of repairs. The assumption is usually that any damage in foreclosed properties was inflicted by homeowners angry at being put out of their homes. It's disturbing to think that a contractor hired by a bank to secure a property could actually be the one trashing the place.