Bank Issues Statement About Home It Wrongfully Foreclosed Upon, Balks At Paying Up


UPDATED: Friday July 26, 2013 6:27 PM

A Jackson County bank is defending itself after a Consumer 10 report that it repossessed the wrong house.

Consumer 10 reported on July 22 that the First National Bank of Wellston wrongfully foreclosed upon a woman’s Vinton County home.

Homeowner Katie Barnett, who said that she had been away from her home for about two weeks, said that she has yet to receive a dime from the bank that mistakenly emptied all of her belongings from her house.

She said she was forced to climb through a window to get inside the home that she shares with her children.

“They came in and took all of my stuff,” Barnett said. “They locked me and my children out of the house. I think there should be more than just an apology.”
Consumer 10 asked the bank for an on-camera interview since reporting the story earlier in July.

Instead, the bank released a statement on its website, apologizing for what happened but disputing the amount of money it should repay.

In the bank’s statement, officials said they wanted to compensate Barnett fairly and equitably for inconvenience and loss.

Read the previous story here.

But the bank has balked at paying the $18,000 Barnett is asking for.

“(They) demanded that I had receipts for all my stuff that they threw away,” Barnett said. “And I said, ‘Well, you know first of all, I don’t have receipts for all of my stuff. I wasn’t expected a bank to come and to accidently repossess my house and throw it all away. And second, if I did, where do you think it would be? In my house with all my belongings?’”

She said that everything from clothes to patio furniture to pool supplies was disposed of.

“This is the basketball hoop. They actually gave it to one of our neighbors, and the neighbors ended up giving it back to us. That is the only thing we’ve gotten back.

The bank has tried, though, Barnett said.

The homeowner said that one of the most expensive items she lost was a Bowflex home gym.

“And then they called me saying they found a Bowflex on the side of the road if I wanted it.  I said no.  You know my Bowflex was a Bowflex Ultimate.  We paid, like, $2,300 for it; had all the attachments and the feet pieces and stuff.  You know I said ‘no, I want it replaced.  I don’t’ want – you know – trash found on the side of the road,” Barnett said.

The bank insists that it acted in good faith.

The grass at the home was overgrown, the door was unlocked and the utilities were turned off. Officials said they simply discarded what was assumed to be trash and abandoned items.

“I have years and years of my belongings of me and my kids’ memories just thrown away because somebody assumed, and I’m very angry about it,” Barnett said.

Barnett said that she has tried to resolve the issue herself for a few weeks before contacting Consumer 10. She has now retained an attorney.

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