They don't deserve to stay in the house

Victims

It was the borrower's fault

The banks didn't do anything wrong
The banks claim they didn't do anything wrong, still four million people were reportedly wrongfully foreclosed.

They don't deserve to stay in the house
Bank hearings in the Congress have disclosed some interesting information and, especially, disinformation from the side of the banks. About trying to avoid foreclosure. About not profiting from foreclosure. About treating customers with respect(!). About fixing mistakes, if any, as soon as they hear about them.
When asked about the problems in the foreclosure process, a common response from the banks was that it didn't matter because the borrower had defaulted. As JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said: "for the most part... we're not evicting people who deserve to stay in their house." The banks behave like they don't have to follow the law. And should some innocents lose their homes in wrongful foreclosure, it does not matter as long as "for the most part" the borrower is in default.

The seller does have some responsibility
You can't just say that if the borrower is stupid enough to buy what the bank sells, the bank has done nothing wrong. The borrower only himself to blame. If a seller presents something as a bargain and it is not, he does have some responsibility. That goes for selling those Ford Pintos that turned into fireballs when rearended; that goes for selling that deadly melamine contaminated pet food from China. That goes (not?) for those peddling loans and financial instruments.
Maybe in the beginning they all thought they had a deal. Borrowers, brokers, banks, servicers. Everybody involved. When the banks lie, when they charge unwarranted fees, pyramiding them, it is a case of evicting people who might deserve to stay in their house. Had people got what they deserved, many on Wall Street had faced bankruptcy.

Deadbeat borrower not necessary deadbeat
You might think loan modification is wrong; if you borrow more than you can afford, you should take the consequences and not fight. But most of those who in court fight foreclosure are victims of bank abuse; if it was not for the acting of the banks, the borrowers might have had a decent chance to pay. Many borrowed more than they could afford, mostly on advice from the bank; most of them don't go to court.
Some "mistakes" are "honest", like somebody entering the wrong street number on a foreclosure document. Maybe there really are cases where the banks do the right thing when they discover they have made a mistake; withdrawing the foreclosure and paying the victim's ensuing costs. Maybe such cases are just not written about. What you can readily find on the net are stories of innocent people caught in a nightmare of juridical hassle; banks refusing to listen when you tell them they made a mistake, banks trying to enforce the case in court, banks trying to dodge responsibility when they lose.

Banks refuse to correct mistakes

Foreclosing fully paid
You cannot legally foreclose somebody without a mortgage. You cannot legally foreclose the wrong house. You cannot legally sue for foreclosure if you are the wrong bank. Still it happens. With existing safeguards, this cannot be some unfortunate snag by some unfortunate sap; it cannot happen without deliberately disregarding necessary routines.
A Massachusetts couple paid their home in cash; five years later Bank of America sized the house. The bank had the wrong address; when it was told so, even the bank's own real estate agent told it so, the bank wouldn't believe it. The bank also removed personal belongings that are presumably lost; it turned off water and electricity with the result that the pipes froze.

Break and entry
Bank "mistakes" can be entering and changing locks on homes that are not foreclosed. In one case, a women found the lock changed on her mountain chalet. The house was empty, furniture, clothing, personal belongings gone. Without telling her, the bank had wrongfully foreclosed on her house.
Looks like a clear case of burglary? No. When reporting such break-ins as burglaries, it's considered a civil matter because the contractors do not display criminal intent. A commentator suggested that the woman broke into the bank and cleared the till to get her money back. Of course this would not be the same thing. She would have a valid claim.

Chase abuse in Alabama
Two families in Alabama got into bad trouble with Chase bank in two similar cases. They had made every mortgage payment on time when their houses burned down. Both had home insurances, the insurance companies sent a check but Chase put the money in suspense accounts. With the money on the suspense account, Chase harassed the families, calling several times a day asking for a payment that had already been made. One family was even charged $8000 in late fees for money that already was in the suspense account; the other was charged a forced insurance of $2317; all because the money had been misdirected by Chase. Both families were reported to the credit bureaus, affecting their credit. In one family the wife miscarried, in the other the husband died in a heart attack. Maybe just coincidences but it is difficult not to suspect a connection.

Do banks correct their mistakes?
I am just curious. About banks fixing mistakes, if any, as soon as they hear about them. On the net it is easy to find cases where the banks refuse to fix "mistakes". When I googled for "bank corrects mistake" I got 4 hits ("bank correcting mistake" got 0 hits). The first was about somebody asking what to do when the bank made a mistake. The second and third was about a (British) bank that actually did correct a mistake. The fourth hit was a report in Steubenville Herald Star, Steubenville, Ohio from October 28 1967, about a Church worship service in observance of a bank correcting a mistake.
It does not necessarily mean that much. Other searches might give other results. Maybe the banks really do correct their mistakes so often it is not worth writing about. Or is it something so rare it deserves a Church worship service? I really would like to read about big American banks correcting their mistakes, correcting them without being forced to.

© Anders Floderus