Bank Takes Everything in Woman's House by Mistake
...And refuses to pay her back
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 25, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Katie Barnett knows who broke into her house and stole almost everything she owns, but the police won't do a thing about it. That's because the thief is First National Bank, which "repossessed" her house in McArthur, Ohio, by mistake—they'd intended to get the one across the street. The bank then sold, threw out, or otherwise disposed of what it took, and is now refusing to pay to replace it, 10TV reports.

Barnett sent the bank's president an $18,000 bill. "He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,'" she says. "Well I'm sorry, I'm not running a yard sale here. … They took my stuff and I want it back." As Above the Law points out, the president's alleged statement indicates that he recognizes the $18,000 quote as representing legitimate replacement value, but simply isn't willing to pay it. "It's all about not making the victim whole." (Daily Kos has started a petition on the woman's behalf.)

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Jul 30, 2013 10:31 PM CDT
I don't see how the bank could have made that mistake and taken her belongings. But to quickly sell them at yard sale prices is outrageous. The courts should side with this woman and they should buy brand new items at full price because it was their mistake. Maybe she and some friends could campaign for residents and businesses to pull their money from that bank and the bank president might have a change of heart. GREED!
Jul 27, 2013 9:14 PM CDT
I know in my state, case law is on her side. A mechanic I know had his fence damaged and a car taken out of the lot. The repo man actually did have a valid repo order from the court. But in doing the repo at 3AM and cutting the lock and demolishing the gate in the getaway, he violated the shop owner's rights. So the shop owner filed a case against the tow company and the large dealership and won. He got $15,000 plus legal fees. The tow company and dealer appealed and lost. They took it to the state supreme court and lost. Lesson to be learned is that you don't damage a third party's property even if you want to execute a legal repo order.
Jul 26, 2013 11:35 AM CDT
To me the worst part of this story isn't her actual loss, although that is significant. Sentimental items cannot be replaced. But any lawyer worth his salt should at least get her an adequate settlement. The worst part of this is the arrogant and dismissive attitude and the bullsh*t sense of entitlement displayed by this bank. It is representative of all of these scumbags and is at the core of our moral and financial decay. I know that I'm stating the obvious but if I don't, my head will explode, like in "Scanners".