Bank Forecloses on Wrong House Destroying Woman’s Possessions and Memories

Katie Barnett lives in McArthur, a small town of 1,700 people in south central Ohio.  She went away for two weeks.  When she returned, she tried to unlock the door with her key, but it wouldn’t open.  She walked around and managed to climb in through an open window.

Once inside her small home, she discovered that many of her possessions were gone and the house had been completely ransacked.  Some of her things lay destroyed on the floor.  She was shocked and horrified and called the police.  They came and launched an investigation.  A few weeks later, the McArthur police chief told her that the case had been closed.  They discovered that her house had been foreclosed by the First National Bank of Wellston.

Barnett was shocked, since that wasn’t her bank.  When she started to find out why a strange bank was foreclosing on her house, she learned that it should have been the house across the street.  Her address was 514 and the house across the street was 509.  The bank sent someone to the house to serve the foreclosure and take possession.  The person later admitted that yes, he had the address of 509, but his GPS took him to Barnett’s house and since the lawn hadn’t been mowed while she was away, he assumed that her house was the foreclosure.

They literally broke into her house and removed all of furniture, most of which was sold.  Many of her other possessions, including photos and keepsakes were also sold or trashed.  The entire house had been completely ransacked and then they put new locks on the doors.

By now Barnett was furious.  She made a complete inventory of everything that was missing or destroyed and went to see the manager of the bank and presented him with a bill for $18,000 to replace everything that had been stolen from her.  Instead of apologizing, the bank manager copped an attitude and refused to pay her the $18,000, saying he was not going to pay full retail to replace everything.

Supposedly, the bank is trying to negotiate with Barnett on a settlement.  Doesn’t he realize that she will have to pay full retail to replace everything that they stole or destroyed?  It was their mistake, not hers, so it shouldn’t cost her a penny out of pocket to replace everything.

I don’t know about you, but that is breaking and entering, grand theft and invasion of privacy.  I would press charges against the bank and the idiot that can’t read an address on a mailbox.  I would also sue the bank and that person for a lot more than $18,000.  Even though she lost possessions that can be replaced, she also lost keepsakes, mementos and memories, none of which can be replaced.

I hope that Barnett does take legal action against the bank and that they are made to be accountable for their mistake.



  • Screeminmeeme

    Why would the bank manager ''cop an attitude'' when presented with the facts?
    Because the little man/woman means zero to powerful financial hustlers.

    I hope she sues and wins a bundle..... and a public apology by the arrogant little manager.

  • Uptite

    Inconceivable...this was a huge mistake on the part of the bank. I would not be as kind as she was about it. Not only is it about the "stuff" they took, but all of the aggravation that goes along with it. Get a good lawyer and sue for at least 100k.

    Would be curious to know how this pans out for this poor lady...

    • Steven

      I dispute calling this a mistake. It seems to be a clear case of the foreclosure agent not CARING. Your average pizza delivery driver is faced with GPS showing the wrong side of the street several time per shift and has the brains to figure out where to deliver.

      • Uptite

        The Bank holds SOLE responsibility for hiring an illiterate to complete the task.. What, you want to sue GPS provider??
        I fail to see your stance!

        • Steven

          I didn't say the bank isn't responsible. I said calling it a mistake is letting them off easy.

        • Uptite


  • Jeff Anselmi

    That sounds like breaking and entering she needs to get a lawyer to sue them since they are being jerks about it and the one who broke in should be facing charges also. Very sad.

  • 1775concord

    This bank attitude of ignoring, demeaning, and stepping on the "little man/woman" is prevalent among almost all banks. I can give you recent stories of abuse by Wells Fargo...with its haughty employees saying essentially "tough xxxx, every bank does it" as they stole from a 17 year old girl... to US Bank cashing forged (obvious forged signatures, for which the bank could have easily checked with what they had on file) stolen checks and saying it was the fault of the business owner for having such an employee. Banks reportedly collected (stole?) some $32 billion in fees last year.
    This story of gross incompetence and non-caring angers us all. I hope she sues for the value of lost items, plus emotional distress, etc., and has a good lawyer.

    • Hoodoo H

      Absolutely. ..Been there done that.
      My sympathies to Katie Barnett.
      Mam, I'd fight'em tooth and nail and take'em for everything they got.
      Greedy bastards.

  • Hooch

    Banksters, the people should march on all the banksters and hang em high from the nearest tree, they're all crooks without regard for anything but their bottom lines, and yearly bonuses.

  • Jude O'Connor

    Banks have been stealing for decades and nearly everyone has a story about this happening. Years ago banks would hold deposits for a period of time before entering the amounts into the proper accounts. There was a time here in NYS when you could not have your checking and savings account in the same bank. How many times have you deposited your paycheck and within a few days write a check thinking it would not bounce and it did? You pay, plus the fines and a mark on your credit record. They are slippery and the government allows them to be just a little bit against the law.

  • posthuf

    >"the bank manager copped an attitude and refused to pay her the $18,000, saying he was not going to pay full retail to replace everything."<

    Ok, fine. See you in court. Your bank, and you personally will be sued from $18,000,000. Lawyers will be beating down what's left of her doors to get their 'fair share' of that!

  • Mac Boy

    Chemical Bank in Michigan (Beaverton) foreclosed on my home 4 YEARS after i paid CASH for it !!

    They foreclosed while i was away in the Navy 3 weeks, broke in, harassed my two children, took the keys from them and put them in the street!!

    When i returned, they "Apologized" ...i took possession, & sued them ..
    The bank president was also County DA, so the case was dismissed against Chemical..... Small Town Politics...


  • aemoreira81

    This is highly disturbing...they knew or should have known that 509 was the house to go to and not 514. I'd want to know who actually performed the foreclosure and who should have confirmed that the address was 509 and not 514, and press charges of robbery and grand larceny, and then sue the bank which knew or should have known that the service was at the wrong address.

    Unfortunately, memories cannot be replaced. This story needs a follow-up. Here, if the settlement isn't for at least full retail, I'd reject it.

  • shannon853

    have the bank officer arrested for breaking and entering, the amount makes it a felony. he is responsible for the forclosure and upon his orders the chain of events started making him the "mastermind" of the breakin operation!

  • $2398599

    Burglary at the very minimum, by the bank, the sheriff's office et alii.

    • Steven

      Correction: The Sheriff's department was NOT involved in this case.

      • $2398599

        I am very sure that we ARE hearing the whole truth , and NOTHING BUT the truth.

        • Steven

          If you believe we are hearing the WHOLE truth, you AGREE the Sheriff was not involved.

  • CharlieFromMass

    This is disgusting. At least in Massachusetts, there are some laws that protect homeowners against actions like this. If a bank cleans out or trashes the wrong house (or their agents), they not only have to pay ACV on like or better items, but they get fined and their foreclosure rights are placed on hold while the complkaint is investigated, which could take months. If they make a habit of this (like BofA did), the fines become monumental and they all but lose their right to foreclose, unless they have a serious problem and a judge okays it.

    The bank and officers, as well as their process server should be sitting in a cell and the bank should cover whatever insurance doesn't, up to treble damages.

    Additionally, all those who bought her stuff should have to return it and have their money returned to them, or face jail for aiding and abetting a burglary. The bank should also absorb the cost of of transportation of the goods.

    I hope this also underscores the importance of not soley relying on GPS or other dumb electronics. Your brains and a street atlas still function better.

    Lastly, I hope the Ohio's banking regulators shut this mismanaged, incompetent institution down. It's behavior like this that has cost the banking industry the confidence of consumers, government and business.

  • A concerned american

    I think there is mental anguish, shock at seeing her home was violated, loss of personal property, the refusal of the bank to accept full responsibility and repay her replacement va,lue for time lost, stolen, sold or otherwise missing-plus, there are many, many small items gone that she can't remember at present.
    I would imagine she has already been contacted by an attorney-it's an easy case for a sharp lawyer.

    • CharlieFromMass

      Or even a not-so-shrp lawyer. This one is so cut-and-dry from the facts relayed here that anyone could win this case. You could even win it pro se if you have a good head on your shoulders.

      • Uptite

        too true!

  • jong

    This is a crime period. Every thing from illegal entry to theft and everything in between. Arrest those that made the mistake And fine the bank for hiring morons.

    • Uptite

      Good post! 😉

      • jong

        Thank you.

  • JJM123

    Sounds like she was more than generous only requesting replacement of confiscated/stolen goods!!! In addition to lost goods, uncomfortable/unlivable conditions, mental anguish, etc, etc, I suspect the irreplaceable momentos and memories should now be worth at least another $18K.

  • mogul264

    She should sue for at least TREBLE damages: the irreplaceable mementos, the personal shock of discovery and the sense of invasion and loss! And, not to mention, PUNISHMENT! To a bank, this is ALWAYS MONEY!!!

  • Steven

    They shouldn't pay full retail. They should pay full REPLACEMENT cost of the ORIGINAL items. Another version of the story stated that the bank sold some items from the home. They should be required to BUY BACK those items at whatever price is needed, even if it is significantly ABOVE full retail. Anything they can't buy back, they should be required to replace with BRAND NEW items. In addition, they should have to pay punitive damages. If Katie Barnett ends up with replacements for everything and no mortgage, perhaps the next person a bank sends out won't 'assume' anything.

  • Steven

    For what its worth, Glenn Beck reported this story yesterday. I hope he follows up on his considering a followup report from the bank's parking lot Monday. He also said he is considering running free ads for every other small bank in the area.

    • CharlieFromMass

      Hit 'em were it hurts...right in the wallet! And then charge this bank double!

    • danimal

      I, also heard Glenn speak on this, and I hope that he does what he said. Time to put the boot in the ass of who did this to that poor woman. I have a house full of antiques, that I have been buying since I was kid, working in an antique store, including several OLD weapons that ARE in perfect working order. Try that stunt on me and see how big of hole a 1700's firearm will make

  • neomatsu

    wow i feel sorry for this lady, its just not right!!!!

  • njout

    She deserves more than 18k, if you ask me she is giving the bank a deal they don't deserve.

    • Average Joe

      Ya I'd say tack on one more 0 to that at A least

  • ArtF

    How does she explain this to the bank that actually DOES have the mortgage on her house? This is not new though, as the banks are becoming much less competent from a very low starting point. It also occurred in Florida with an even bigger bank, Bank of America, and the law suit was tremendous, but the bank refused to pay the full judgement. That owner got a lien on the bank branch assets and enforced it on the bank during business hours with the Sheriff present as they started to remove the furniture, computers and paintings. The bank immediately wrote a check. This no nothing small incompetent bank in Ohio, may well wind up going out of business and the manager should be going to jail for breaking and entering and robbery. There are responsibilities that must be followed, even for lowly bank managers.

  • TBJWebmaster

    I'd say she deserved a heck of a lot more to part way compensate her for the massive mental trauma of having her home trashed and possessions, many of which will have sentimental value and which can't be replaced, destroyed.

    And yes, sounds like housebreaking and theft to me, someone should be at risk of serving time in the "big house." Obviously the person breaking in and committing the damage was primarily responsible, as he ignored the house numbers for silly reasons, but the bank is responsible too as he was acting as their agent.

  • David

    The Bank wants to be a jerk? Sue for triple the amount plus court costs. Community members need to take their money elsewhere in protest!

  • Robert12Disqus

    wow love how the bank acts when they're in the wrong. yep sue them big time and criminally charge the person who started the whole chain of events. yep get them for four times what they did and then another couple hundred thousand for penalties, time wasted dealing with their stupidity and arrogance and as punishment for such a grave error they made. yep sack their butts after all it's not personal it's just right!.

  • Jerry_Morgan

    As a Real Estate Appraiser, the thing I fear most is entering a foreclosed home that is the wrong house. I'm always careful to find the house number posted before I do but sometime my work order has the wrong number on it. I then search property records to be sure before entering but there is always a chance I'm wrong so I look for the paperwork on the door. I only put a value on the property and others have cleaned it out before I get there so the damage is already done.
    I've made mistakes as all people have but believe me I've paid dearly for every one. The bank made a mistake so they should also. If that lady takes them to court, the bank will wish they had given her anything she wanted to settle. A jury will not look favorably on what they're mistake has caused this lady. She may own a piece of the bank before it's over.