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Jack R.
Jack R., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  OH/TX Practicing Attorney focusing on Family Law, Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant Issues.
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I own a summer condo in MIssouri. I have the condo up for

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I own a summer condo in MIssouri. I have the condo up for sale for the past 9 months. I have not been there in one year. I am up on my mortgage and it is not in foreclosure. Just found out that the mortgage company put a lock on my door. Found that out by my realtor who had not been there in months. But he had other realtors who were trying to show the property but couldn't because of the lock and couldn't get in. I called my mortgage company and they said they did that because they heard the property was vacant and they were trying to preserve the property. Doesn't make sense because the property manager didn't know. I could have missed out on sale of property.... Do I have a recourse???

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While it is odd that your mortgage servicer did this it is not unheard of. You should check you loan documents in many cases there is a clause which allows them to secure the property if it is vacant or abandoned over a period of time. This is to ensure that the copper, appliances, fixtures are not removed while the property is vacant. The mortgage company typically also has a security company do a drive by periodically to make sure the property is secure. If you inform them the property is for sale and a realtor is involved they will be satisfied that is it being looked after.

 

As a positive note if you have not been in there for a year they may be providing you a service making sure it is secure. There have been numerous incidents of squatters taking over vacant homes.

 

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Jack R. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand stand that but the condo is in a building with other condo's and there is a building manager on site. They didn't check with them...

What I have done in these situations is send letter to the mortgage company advising them that the property is under observation. I have also indicated their changing of the locks interferes with the owners use of the property.

 

You should clearly state you do not wish them interefering with your access to the property. I also suspect it was the building manager or condo assocaition that told the mortgage company yhe property was vacant. You can demand a key to the property or if they still have it the original lock reinstalled.

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know the building manager or condo association did not contact the mortgage company that the property was empty because I spoke with them. They were in shock.... This property is vacation property. The tenants are in and out during the year. Very view of the tenants remain there all year round... The property is tucked away in the woods and it is not easy for one to just drive by the property... The property has been on the market for sale and this lock has interfered with my ability to sale the property. What are my damages???

Someone must have disclosed that the property was abandoned.

 

As far as damages, if you can show you lost a sale you may have damages. The cost/value of the removed lock itself are damages. Lost rental if any are damages. Any costs incurred to remove or replace the new lock currently on the door are damages.

 

If you could not get into the unit cost of alternate housing or a locksmith are potential damages if incurred by you.

 

You will need to compute the out of pocket costs you suffered as a result of the mortgage company's actions and the value of the lost opportunity... these are the damages.

 

Keep in mind you need to review your mortgage agreement to see if the mortgage company was within its rights to secure the property. If they were not in addition to the above you could try to challenge the entire mortgage ( highly improbable to win) as a breach of the mortgage agreement. As I stated many mortgage agreements provide for the ability of the mortgage company to secure the premises .

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It has been a month and the mortgage company has not taken the lock off my condo..... I am now one month behind on my mortgage because of this situation because they told me they would... When I spoke to someone yesterday they told me they would not take the lock off because of they had to protect the property. It's my summer condo and I was planning to go last weekend. All they want to do is give me the combination and not remove the lock... I have my personal stuff in there and was planning to spend more time this summer at my lake condo. Also, my children were to. This is in Missouri what can I do. I have been asking them to remove it for a month...

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