JPMorgan Chase Accidentally Breaks Into Your House And Steals Everything You Own

Bobo and Joy Dickson bought a house had been headed for foreclosure, but JPMorgan Chase apparently didn’t get the message that the former owners had moved out and the new owners were in residence. So, naturally, they hired a firm to drill the Dickson’s locks and take everything they owned, including their food. Now JPMorgan Chase is “taking it seriously.”

“We take this very seriously, and we are working with EMC [a mortgage company JPMorgan Chase owns] and the family’s attorney to make this right,” said Tom Kelly, a JPMorgan spokesman.

After the Dickson’s bought the house back in May, the foreclosure proceedings were supposed to have been stopped. They weren’t. That’s when the former owner’s mortgage company (owned by JPMorgan Chase) hired “Field Asset Services Inc.” to drill the locks and “empty the house,” according to the Austin American-Statesmen. Field Asset Services claims that the Dickson’s possessions were given to area thrift stores, but they have been unable to locate them.

Ordinarily, when personal possessions are left in a foreclosed home a court order is needed to remove the items and the owners are given the opportunity to reclaim them within 24 hours. JPMorgan Chase says its not sure if there was a court order in this case.

Elizabeth Bradburn, the Dicksons’ real estate agent, is organizing an effort to collect donations for the family. She said gift cards to furniture and household goods stores are preferred and may be sent to the Dicksons’ business address: 9800 N. Lamar Blvd.,

No. 315, Austin TX 78753.

“It’s been awesome to see people mobilize and want to help out,” Hance [Dicksons' attorney] said. “The Dicksons are, of course, very grateful and touched by the outpouring of support from the community.”

Cedar Park couple sues Austin company in foreclosure mix-up [American-Statesmen](Thanks, Ron!)

Comments

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  1. Starfury says:

    I think Bobo and Joy are going to have no problem finding a lawyer to “take this seriously” and sue JP Morgan for a large amount of money.

  2. TechnoSmurf says:

    i have a feeling JPMorgan’s gonna be funding them a new house once the litigation settles

  3. lalaland13 says:

    It was obviously their fault for not taking everything they own with them to work that day.

    Seriously, this foreclosure crisis gets more and more ridiculous everyday.

  4. Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver says:

    They shouldn’t need to accept donations. JP Morgan seriously (and possibly illegally) screwed this up and they (JP Morgan) needs to make this right ASAP.

  5. hhole says:

    Oh! The places you will go! Chuckleheads on and all at EMC and Field Asset Services.

    Absolute dumbasses. Would love to see what the settlement amount is for this fiasco.

  6. Are we sure this wasn’t JT Marlon Chase?

  7. Jabberkaty says:

    Nice. Without a court order even. My head is at risk for exploding every time I read something like this…

  8. ChrisC1234 says:

    If I were in their shoes, I’d go straight to a lawyer and go after both JP Morgan Chase AND Field Asset Services. Field Asset Services should’ve make sure everything was legit before they did that.

    I really feel sorry for the people though. Money can replace many things, but there are probably other things with sentimental value that are gone for good.

  9. HighontheHill says:

    This is a burglary. Period. There should be charges, people jailed, and a mind-numbingly huge settlement.

  10. nursetim says:

    @Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver:
    So they get to sleep on the floor until JPMorgan stops “taking it seriously” and “makes it right”? Personally, I would offer to pay back anyone who donated to us or donate a portion of it to charity.

  11. raleel says:

    I’m thinking a sue the holy crap out of them would be in order here. at least 7 figures.

  12. zentex says:

    @Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver: you are so right. They are gonna look foolish after all their stuff is replaced by JPMC.

  13. laddibugg says:

    @Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver: They need stuff in the interim, don’t they? But yeah, they should sue.

    Who names their kid Bobo, or who continues to go by that name even if it is their given name?

  14. jeffs3rd says:

    Wow, what a horrible thing to do to someone. I would sue the pants off of both companies.

  15. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    UN-freakin-believable. Well, at least it ought to be. It’s truly sad what has ceased to be shocking, out of the ordinary behavior, these days.

    Hope the Dicksons’ found an excellent and appropriately outraged attorney. There is just no excuse for this. Ditto what ChrisC1234 said; there are undoubtedly irreplaceable possessions forever lost to them. Money, while helpful, will never make these people whole again. Chase and Field Asset Services should fry.

  16. sleze69 says:

    @HighontheHill: I’m with you on this one. Not only should they sue for the lost property, the local prosecutor’s office should be involved.

  17. whatNameIsLeft says:

    I’d be very worried about all of the paperwork they had in the house. SS cards, passports, bank statements and what not. This is going to be a huge mess for them for years to come.

  18. Skiffer says:

    @laddibugg: Well, it’s better than Bobert…

  19. quirkyrachel says:

    Oh. My. Lord. That’s horrible. Can you imagine all of the personal effects they lost? They should be able to sue for more than just actual cost. They should be able to sue for emotional turmoil and loss of items with emotional value.

  20. Pylon83 says:

    @sleze69:
    The prosecutor declined to get involved. There was no criminal intent here. A large, stupid mistake, but no criminal intent.

  21. Raignn says:

    That is so messed up.

  22. henrygates says:

    It’s good to know that a major corporation can hire a firm to break into my house and steal everything I own and then take their own sweet time to “make it right”.

  23. theblackdog says:

    I think their kids will be able to afford med school when this is all over.

  24. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @sleze69: It looks like they won’t prosecute Field Asset.

    Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said the situation is a civil dispute because there was no criminal intent.

    “A terrible mistake is not necessarily a crime,” Bradley said. “Clearly, someone took their property without their permission. That’s easy to prove. But the question becomes is the removal of the property done with criminal intent.” Bradley said Field Asset had a “legally justifiable belief” that it was removing items in good faith.

    But did EMC Mortgage Corp. have a “legally justifiable belief” it had a right to take their stuff? Can’t they file criminal charges against them?

  25. durkzilla says:

    @theblackdog:

    Their kids will be able to afford several med schools when this is all over.

  26. shades_of_blue says:

    Instead of accepting donations they should get JPMorgan to agree to pickup the tab on any ‘rented’ items from a local rent-a-center until JPMorgan can either recover or reimburse them for all of their lost and irreplaceable possessions.

    Me, I’d sue them for everything I could think of and publicly slam them in the media, leaving one heck of a black eye. F**k JPMorgan, I had them claim they ‘never received’ or had ‘no record’ of receiving an online payment sent over 3 times for the remainder of my auto loan. They squeezed close to an extra 700bux out of me and caused me a great level of stress for 3 months before they finally ‘received’ it via certified mail. I hope this ‘error’ leaves them scared in the public’s eyes for years to come.

    To the family who got screwed; I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure there are a lot of irreplaceable memories which will be lost forever because of this ‘blunder’. I sincerely hope you’re able to recover at least some of it and receive some form of compensation for all of my emotional trauma.

  27. rellog says:

    I hope the Dickerson’s called the police and had the people running the service arrested. This is definitely a matter of breaking and entering and burglary. I would imagine because of the amount of stuff taken it could be considered grand theft. This is not a civil matter…

  28. Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver says:

    @nursetim: I meant JP Morgan should step up immediately and they shouldn’t have to depend on strangers because the people responsible should be acting well responsibly.

  29. shades_of_blue says:

    @shades_of_blue: edit: should read ‘I sincerely hope you’re able to recover at least some of it and receive some form of compensation for all of your emotional trauma.’

  30. Gokuhouse says:

    Donations? Why? Did all their old stuff get destroyed during the theft? Give it back, plus some serious compensation for trespassing and theft and if they are super lucky they won’t get sued for being thieves and breaking and entering.

  31. vdragonmpc says:

    Not one neighbor thought it was odd that someone rolled up to the house, drilled the locks and loaded up a moving truck?

    This being right after a new family moved in?

    What a sad place to live. I would at least get a couple of calls at work from not only the alarm company but the neighbors. Another good reason to be nice to your neighbors.

    I dont even want to think about what some of my crazier neighbors might do to them……

    I hope they sue the ever loving hell out of Chase. Their kid will have issues for a long time as will they. They are victims of a crime period.

    V

  32. unravel says:

    Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said the situation is a civil dispute because there was no criminal intent.

    “A terrible mistake is not necessarily a crime,” Bradley said. “Clearly, someone took their property without their permission. That’s easy to prove. But the question becomes is the removal of the property done with criminal intent.” Bradley said Field Asset had a “legally justifiable belief” that it was removing items in good faith.

    I’m sorry, but somebody needs to go to jail over this. It’s just so egregious, and I can’t imagine the amount of money that they’re going to have to pay this family is going to be enough to make them sit down and go “Wow, we were pretty stupid. We should XYZ to make sure this never happens again”, and argh.

  33. NumberFiveIsAlive says:

    Am I the only one here thinking, “Just give them back their stuff”? They took it, they still have it, just give it back to them. Whats the problem? We’re talking like a multi-million dollar corporation here. Put new locks on their doors, give them some money for their trouble, the end.

  34. henrygates says:

    @rellog: No, there was no ‘criminal intent’. See, if you came to me and asked me to break into some house and take all their stuff to the thrift shop, just type up a document that gives yourself permission and we’re both okay.

  35. morganlh85 says:

    @Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver: Who knows how long it will take for JP to “make things right” though? I’m sure they will drag this out and try to cover their asses for as long as possible. In the meantime, these people still have to go to work every day, and don’t have any clothes to wear to do so.

  36. legwork says:
  37. vdragonmpc says:

    Oh and if its no a crime can the owner go and seize the stuff at “field asset services” with no criminal charges?

    After all the family will own that company soon. Where was the paperwork or at least a local sheriff to identify the correct homeowner?

  38. AlexPDL says:

    No its not burglary. Burglary is well defined in every state. Not sure what the elements are in their state but common law burglary is “the trespassory breaking and entering of the dwelling of another at night with an intent to commit a felony therein.”

    Here we have no intent. So its not burglary. It’s still possible its trespass, conversion, etc. But its not burglary.

    PS: I am an attorney. I am NOT YOUR attorney. Always get your own counsel.

  39. Gokuhouse says:

    I need to add one more comment to everyone that keeps saying this is just a mistake and not a crime…

    If I am traveling 55 MPH in a 45 MPH zone and I honestly didn’t realize I was doing it, I am still liable for speeding. The cop will say I’m sorry, but you were going 10 MPH over the speed limit and my mistake will cost me the price of a ticket. That means a mistake can still be a crime and something this large should be considered something much larger than a civil problem.

  40. Fujikopez says:

    D:
    Holy Freakin’ Crap.
    When I move into a house that has been previously foreclosed upon, I’m going to booby-trap it, Home Alone-style. And then arm myself. I love Oregon and their “you can do whatever to whoever burglars your house” law.

  41. PHX602 says:

    Makes you wish vigilante assassinations were legal in this country.

  42. jwlukens says:

    @NumberFiveIsAlive: In the article it states that most of their things were given to thrift stores and unrecoverable.

    Honestly though how can a something like this happen and the company won’t be prosecuted. In my opinion a terrible mistake IS a crime if it’s illegal aka burglary.

  43. Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver says:

    @morganlh85: I agree with you. I was just saying JP Morgan SHOULD do the right thing so they don’t have to take donations. I doubt they will though.

  44. boss_lady says:

    golf claps

    Well done, JPMorgan-Chase. Very nice.

  45. techstar25 says:

    Is it too late to vote for worst company in America?

  46. unravel says:

    @unravel: why do i always fail to close my tags :(

  47. Pylon83 says:

    @Gokuhouse:
    Speeding is essentially a strict liability crime. Burglary is not. Speeding requires no intent. Burglary does.

  48. AlexPDL says:

    One possibility is conversion: “Criminal conversion, in criminal law, is usually defined as the crime of exerting unauthorized use or control of someone else’s property. It differs from theft in that it does not include the element of intending to deprive the owner of the possession of that property. As such, it is a lesser included offense of the crime of theft.”

    However, I have not looked at the jurisdiction in which this took place. So it depends on the State’s actual law.

    PS: I am NOT YOUR attorney. My post DOES NOT initiate a attorney/client relationship. This is not legal advice. I do not warrant the content. Always get your own counsel. For information/entertainment ONLY.

  49. Scuba Steve says:

    Many many people need to be fired because of this.

  50. ironchef says:

    you know those repo movers will do a number on damaging the furniture and pocketing stuff.

    I hope they sue Chase for substantial trauma and heartache.

  51. starshard0 says:

    Welcome to America, land of the free.

  52. 9900dude says:

    Sadly, what would have made this more newsworthy is if the family was at home while it happened, and the Bobo shot and killed some of the folks doing the repossessing after they invaded his house. IMHO it would have been justified, since it was a home invasion.

  53. Gokuhouse says:

    @Pylon83: I didn’t say it was burglary. I said it was a crime.

  54. kbarrett says:

    @nursetim: Nope … they don’t sleep on the floor.

    They go directly to a lawyer. Then they go to a hotel.

    The lawyer calls Chase, and asks those assclowns where to send the bill. If they don’t start paying for expenses immediately, the lawyer arranges a loan to sort out the immediate damage … and all loan expenses will be added to the damages sought in the lawsuit.

  55. Joedragon says:

    @Gokuhouse:
    for one thing you will need to find a hard ass cop on a quota to get a ticket for 10 over in a 45 zone.

    A better thing to say is you got a ticket for 10 over as they still had the old signs up and did not tell you that the new limit is lower.

  56. bobbleheadr says:

    @AlexPDL: You guys must take a class in message board disclaimers. I’ve got a couple friends who put crap like that on our fantasy football board.

  57. civis says:

    No criminal intent?! This prosecutor is a throbbing vag. A mistaken belief in the law is no defense to these crimes.

  58. vildechaia says:

    Simply a disgrace!

  59. MyPetFly says:

    I hope they (including the children in the family) can retire VERY well after this.

  60. hexychick says:

    @whatNameIsLeft: I was thinking about that too. What would they do with stuff that is personal like that, just shred it? throw it in the dump? I hope they file fraud alerts on all their stuff.

    @NumberFiveIsAlive: Do you really think they just kept things like photos? Wall art? Personal items? Do you really honestly think the majority of their stuff isn’t already sold from the thrift stores? How much do you think they could actually recover? Probably next to nothing and if they do the odds are good that it’s damaged in some way. They are going to have to buy everything and the personal items are lost forever. It’s as traumatic as losing everything to a fire or a flood or some other disaster except someone pretty much stole their entire lives. You don’t get that back. Think about how much money it would take to recover all of YOUR items from the push pins to the TV to the clothes and then multiply it by every member in the family. This isn’t a small case and I hope this family gets back everything and then some.

  61. backbroken says:

    I nominate the US Legal System for “Worst Company in America.”

  62. Gokuhouse says:

    @Joedragon: Thanks for making my post much better. Without you changing my story I would not have slept tonight, but I didn’t mean to say what you wanted to change it to. I meant to say exactly what I said. If I had meant for my post to say the old signs were still up and I still got a ticket I would have said that. Did you understand that the point of that post wasn’t to talk about cops giving out tickets for 10 over, but was to talk about what a crime is and isn’t? I’ve known cops to give out tickets for 10 over, it’s not far fetched at all, I’ve known cops give out tickets for 5 over. I’ve known cops to give out tickets from squealing your tires when leaving the high school parking lot. Cops can give out a ticket anytime someone breaks the law. They don’t even have to be that hard up to do it, some cops just follow the law to the T.

  63. rmz says:

    @Gokuhouse: RTFA. It even says that not all of their stuff could be recovered or located.

  64. Concerned_Citizen says:

    The civil side is very obvious. JPMorgan will be paying 10 times what their stuff was worth. The lack of a court order absolutely makes this theft. And considering no one currently knows if one exists, the company who took the items is guilty of theft even if it is found randomly on someone’s desk. Because they removed the items without that necessary legal authorization upfront. Repo businesses are the scum of our country. When they have authorization most people still see them as thieves. So if they lacked the authority to do what they did, they damn well better be in jail. If they are allowed to get out of criminal liability when they lack legal authorization, they will continue to make these “mistakes” in exchange for money. And the person that hired them should also be equally responsible and be charged also. The prosecutor has no right to ignore this crime.

  65. VeryPlainJane says:

    Something similar happened in my neighborhood. My neighbors shared the same street numbers but different street of a home that was being foreclosed. They were sleeping in one morning when they were awoken to a locksmith drilling their front door dead bolts. They believed they were being burglarized. They of called 911 and the police sorted it all out and the locksmith of course replaced the locks. They were so glad to be home when this took place they too would have lost everything too. They had a moving van and movers waiting to go to work.

    Thank God the home owners didn’t own a gun!

  66. katylostherart says:

    i hope they get everything back. but i can’t help but appreciate the irony that they’re nigerian.

  67. girly says:

    If only they were as fast to repay as they were to take everything.

  68. MissPeacock says:

    @laddibugg: I went to kindergarten with a boy whose given name was Bobo. :)

  69. Riddler says:

    @civis: This is not a case of “mistaken belief in the law.” Here, all of the elements of burglary are not present, particularly the intent (or mens rea). Here, if the proposed defendant didn’t have the intent to commit a felony upon entering the premises, it isn’t burglary (but as AlexPDL mentioned, it may be something else).

    I am not authorized to provide legal representation via this comment. I am making this information available as a general service. Making this information available is not intended to create, and the receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. How you like dem apples?

  70. randygbk says:

    @hexychick: So true, the sentimental items (photos, well worn childhood blankies and toys, paintings, gifts from family members, letters from deceased relatives, etc…) are the biggest losses. What about potentially embarrassing stuff, did the company that perpetrated this go through their underwear drawers, rifle through their medicine cabinets, go looking through their pictures? This is a violation on many levels; civil, legal, potential identity theft, and just plain and simple an infringement on their human rights.

  71. civis says:

    I didnt mention burgarly. I can think of plenty general intent crimes that would apply here.

  72. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Jabberkaty: Well that explains the pain in my head after reading the article.

  73. Gokuhouse says:

    @rmz: Okay, they can’t give them their old stuff back but why can’t JPMorgan pay for new stuff? Why on earth would people need to donate to them? JPMorgan has lots of money, they can/should replace everything if it can’t be found.

  74. Nytmare says:

    How did they get rid of all that stuff so fast AND make it disappear unless they took it all home for themselves to sell on eBay?

  75. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Riddler:

    mens rea FTW!

  76. Rachacha says:

    Here is what this family should do:
    * Go to a NICE Hotel, Send the bill directly to JP Morgan
    * Take JP Morgan to Court, sue and win for several million
    * Move existing mortgage over to JP Morgan
    * Don’t make a single payment – afterall, there is no way that JP Morgan would evict the same family from the same house twice would they. They would have so many people reviewing and checking the paperwork thinking that their system screwed up again that it would take YEARS for them to verify that the couple was not paying, and then, what executive would be willing to make the call to evict them again! :-)

    OK, perhaps not the best advice, but it would be interesting to watch!

  77. girly says:

    @Gokuhouse: actually they should probably pay for everything right off the bat since this is a major inconvenience, then try to help them find whatever they can

  78. jenl1625 says:

    @Gokuhouse: Maybe it wasn’t destroyed, but the posting says that the bank claims 1) it was all donated to local thrift stores and 2) they just can’t seem to find any of it.

    @VeryPlainJane: Why do you say “thank god they didn’t have a gun”? If they *had* a gun, exactly what difference do you think that would have made? The sound of someone *drilling your locks* is reason to call 911. There is some time for the police to respond. Then you either a) hide, with the gun, or b) yell to the drillers that you’ve called the police and are capable of defending yourself. The sound of someone breaking down your bedroom door, on the other hand, doesn’t leave time for the police to arrive. . . .

  79. rekoil says:

    @AlexPDL: “the trespassory breaking and entering of the dwelling of another at night with an intent to commit a felony therein.”

    So what do they call it if it’s done during the day? :)

  80. thefncrow says:

    @civis: It’s all the more frustrating because John Bradley is a tremendous scumbag when it comes to individual criminal defendants and the worst sort of “lock ‘em up and nevermind the consequences” prosecutor. Of course, when the crime is committed by a business and not some individual who’s poor and/or a minority, he starts blathering about a lack of intent and how there’s no crime here.

  81. girly says:

    there has to be some kind of criminal negligence here
    what about the lack of a court order to start? (it seems)

  82. Kurtz says:

    It’s the Austin American-Statesman, not “Statesmen”.

  83. Techguy1138 says:

    Going to a hotel or sending chase a bill for rental stuff may not be the best idea. If they do that and Chase complies then they can cite good will cooperation in any court case. That would come out of any potential future settlement.

    I sincerely doubt that if this goes to court that chase will pay 7 figures for this, maybe 6. With a good lawyer this could be the cost of replacement items and 5 figures. Taking 10k out for a hotel and some rent-a-center charges would be foolish.

  84. donkeyjote says:

    Foreclose on JPMorgan then have someone break into their vault. Turnabout is fair play.

  85. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @lalaland13: Best, mock, blame the victim post evar.

    You sir, win the internets.@Pylon83:

    What ever happened to intent following the bullet?

  86. jscott73 says:

    Whether or not they got the right house and/or right people the fact that this “take everything they got because they owe us money” stuff is allowed at all is highly offensive. What is the point? Isn’t it supposed to be “asset recovery”, if they donate all the stuff to charity how exactly is that asset recovery, are they getting any of their money back, they already got the house back through foreclosure, that was the asset. I am assuming they get a big tax write-off for the donations to charity though.

  87. Shadowfire says:

    @Rachacha: No, the lawsuit winnings will give them enough money to buy their belongings back, as well as pay for the house outright. ;)

  88. Tmoney02 says:

    @hexychick:
    It’s as traumatic as losing everything to a fire or a flood or some other disaster except someone pretty much stole their entire lives.

    I would say its worse. At least with fires and floods you might have a chance to save a few things, and perhaps somethings would survive. Here its all totally gone from the couch to the toothbrush and everything in between.

    @Gokuhouse: they can’t give them their old stuff back but why can’t JPMorgan pay for new stuff? Why on earth would people need to donate to them? JPMorgan has lots of money, they can/should replace everything if it can’t be found.

    JPMorgan should replace everything no questions asked no matter what their financial situation. I imagine the issue is that if they said “hey, just send us the bill for what you need”, It would be an admission of guilt and they could be brought to court and sued in an open and shut case for more than just the cost of setting up a house. So they lawyer-ed up and cut all contact and will try to maybe get a sweet deal on a settlement.

    The family needs the donations (rather than accept a meager settlement out of economic necessity) if they want to see this through the courts as these cases can drag on forever. Look at the Exxon Valdez oil spill, twenty years later people will finally get a little money.

  89. Shadowfire says:

    @jenl1625: “The sound of someone *drilling your locks* is reason to call 911. There is some time for the police to respond.”
    It is well established in the law that the job of the police is not to protect, but to take statements/evidence, and solve cases. Police are not liable for any damage or harm, which is why self-defense is such a big deal in the U.S.

  90. donkeyjote says:

    @jscott73: No, it’s actually, “Get their shit out of mah house… I don’t want it there any more”

  91. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Gokuhouse: RTFA

  92. anatak says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Never under estimate the laziness of Texas legal system. It’s amazing that they actually responded to the question.

  93. van_line says:

    area thrift stores= dumpster outside of the repo place.

    Unless they get some type of tax break, why would they waste time and money going and dropping everything else at the goodwill?

  94. Gokuhouse says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: Thanks douche, if you read the previous comments you’d have noticed that another person already said that. So, RTFC.

  95. fett387 says:

    Can you say “JPBOBO CHASE”?

  96. TechnoSmurf says:

    When the ligitative dust settles, I have a feeling JPMorgan would be buying them several houses

  97. 00447447 says:

    JP Morgan should couple with MTV and pretend it was just a big joke. Gotcha!

  98. Jhonka says:

    And that’s why I love naked shorting of JPM.

  99. aka Cat says:

    @laddibugg: Sounds like something a younger sibling inflicted on him. Those names end up etched in stone.

  100. Propaniac says:

    It does seem very weird that they haven’t been able to find any of their stuff that was supposed to be donated to thrift stores. It seems like the company that removed the items should easily and immediately have been able to provide the specific location where they were taken, quickly enough that there’s no way 100% of it could have been sold already. Just another angle for this poor family to exploit in their massively justified lawsuit, I guess. God, this story’s just horrible.

  101. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @jenl1625: I dont have kids, but if I did, hiding with a gun would not be an option. If someone was drilling my door, they’d walk in and then they’d check out

  102. TheBigLewinski says:

    I pity the poor bastards if they ever make that kind of mistake at my house as they will be greeted by a 9mm.

  103. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Gokuhouse: But did you RTFA yet?

  104. Charred says:

    Sounds like the Dickson’s will presently be moving to a new, more stately abode.

  105. Wally East says:

    @AlexPDL: Here’s the Texas statute:

    § 30.02. BURGLARY. (a) A person commits an offense if,
    without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
    (1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or
    (2) remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
    (3) enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.

    If the prosecutor felt like it, they could arrest the people who entered the house under subsection (3). They did not have the consent of the owner of the house and they actually did commit a felony, even if that was not the intent.

    The prosecutor doesn’t want to get involved. It might be hard to convict them if it went to trial. That’s sort of understandable but it’s still a pity.

  106. lalaland13 says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: I’m a lady, but thanks. I like winning things.

    Also, I really hope this family doesn’t have pets. Did JPMorgan Chase take the pets? “Where’s Fluffy?” “Well, uh, the shelter said they’d hold him for three days….darn, he must have escaped!”

  107. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    You, sir, have hit the lawsuit jackpot. I know it must have been terrifying to come home and see your entire house emptied, but lawyer up and enjoy your early retirement!

  108. MasonMacabre says:

    The thing that scares me is that there are two young children involved. What if they had been home alone when these “repo men” came and took everything out of the house? That would have been terrifying. I wonder if Field Asset Services Inc checks criminal records of their employees.

  109. donkeyjote says:

    @Wally East: What felony was committed?

  110. the dickinson’s “possesions” are probably in those field asset servicer’s living rooms

  111. ShadowFalls says:

    Really giant lawsuit waiting to happen here. Could be looking at an easy million for lost personal memories and such.

  112. LorneReams says:

    I was pretty sure you can’t secure a property without a sheriff for this exact reason. Everyone is pretty much fucked here from the bank to the contractor. I’m also pretty sure that the belongings need to be stored for at least 30 days…wow, even if this was completely above board (which it is not), most contractors actually record themselves securing the property so that they can’t be accused of lifting an expensive piece of jewelry or something of that nature.They are 100% totally screwed and the homeowners are going to get at least 3-4 times the worth of the stuff.

  113. Wally East says:

    @donkeyjote: Sorry about that. I meant to include that before. Here you go.

    From Penal Code, Chapter 31, Theft,

    31.03 Theft

    a state jail felony if: (A) the value of the property stolen is $1,500 or
    more but less than $20,000, or the property is less than 10 head of cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl as defined by Section 142.001, Agriculture Code, or any part thereof under the value of $20,000, or less than 100 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $20,000;

    [...]

    (5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the
    property stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, or the property is:

    [....]

    They almost certainly had more than $20,000 stolen. So, there was burglary AND theft.

  114. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Umm why aren’t the cops involved and making arrests? They committed multiple felonies.

  115. WakefulD says:

    @donkeyjote: In this economy I’d say there’s an 85% chance of that happening. I will be waiting with a giant sack, with a ‘$’ on the side. Consider it payback for all of those random charges to my account, JPMC.

  116. TPK says:

    This is the kind of story that sort of makes you wish Joe Horn was your next door neighbor…

  117. sncreducer says:

    @laddibugg: The family is Nigerian. So, you know, maybe you should pack up your American cultural bias and go be an ignorant asshole somewhere else.

  118. Pylon83 says:

    I love how people seem to believe that any time a lawsuit is filed and won/settled, that the plaintiff gets millions and millions of dollars. This is simply not the case. The commenters who stated that they are likely to get cost of replacement + a few thousand extra are a lot closer to reality than those who see “Million dollar lawsuit”. They’ll get a generous cost of replacement and $50-100k for their trouble. I’d say that’s pretty fair. They get all new stuff, and some cash to make up for the sentimental loss. They don’t deserve millions and millions of dollars because JP Morgan made a mistake. They are entitled to fair compensation, but they don’t get to fleece the company over it.

  119. sncreducer says:

    @NumberFiveIsAlive: Keep working on that reading comprehension. The companies involved DON’T still have their stuff. They gave it to thrift shops and now they can’t find it.

    My God, these comment threads would be so much shorter if people would actually READ before commenting.

  120. Crymson_77 says:

    @Pylon83: Considering just how royally fucked up the actions taken by said companies are, I would consider a $5mil lawsuit cheap compared to the jail sentences that SHOULD be imposed on all involved. JP Morgan should pay up and then turn around and destroy Field Asset Services for fucking up that bad. Then, at least, the family would be set and JP Morgan would do the whole world a service.

  121. AlexPDL says:

    @Wally East: Excellent! So the DA is either (i) a moron or (ii) trying to deceive the general public with his “intent” argument. I vote for the latter.

    @backbroken: Totally unfair. The same system you are upset with is the SAME system that will SPANK JP Morgan if it doesn’t compensate. JUST because the movers may get away with it, the civil liability on JPM is likely to be sufficient for it to “make things right.”

    PS: I have to say it… I am NOT your attorney. Please get your own counsel. This post does not initiate an attorney/client relationship. For entertainment purposes only. The opinions do not reflect those of my employer.

  122. Pylon83 says:

    @Crymson_77:
    Again, why do they deserve to come out miles and miles ahead just because JP Morgan/movers screwed up? I agree they need to be made whole, but $5 Million is way beyond being made whole for the loss of replaceable possessions, not the loss of a life. It doesn’t matter how “royally” JP Morgan screwed up, it doesn’t justify a windfall for the plaintiff. The intent of the legal system is/should be to make people whole after a loss, not to make them rich at the expense of another.

  123. Gopher bond says:

    Oh man, I wish something like that would happen to me on a day I’m off. Nothing emphasizes your argument like the sound of pump-action shotgun chambering a shell.

  124. picardia says:

    I can see them not pressing criminal charges. However, at the civil trial, when JPMorgan gets sued as they richly deserve to be? These people are going to CLEAN UP, and rightly so. Not only have they been massively inconvenienced, not only have they been wrongfully deprived of their property, not only have they undoubtedly lost many personal items of sentimental value, but there is also an incredible sense of violation that comes after losing your possession. I lost mine in a fire — not like this, thank goodness — but after you’ve come home to find out you have no home and no possessions, you are seriously, seriously shaken for a long time.

    My fire was ten years ago, and I STILL have moments of paranoia about whether or not my apartment is going to be there when I return. These people are going to have to deal with similar trauma for a while.

  125. Wally East says:

    @AlexPDL: Thank you. My work here is done.

    I’m not a lawyer or an attorney or a solicitor or a barrister blah blah blah disclaimer cakes.

  126. GearheadGeek says:

    Well, the Williamson County government is all about supporting conservative white corporate America… they’re not going to go out on a limb for a black immigrant family, no matter how wrong the corporate entities involved were.

    I think (I HOPE!) the Dickinsons will prevail handily in a settlement. I’m sure it’ll never make it to a court of law, but if it does, I’d think Travis County as a better venue than Williamson.

    I try not to spend money in Williamson County. I’ve had that policy since they passed on the chance to be the home of a big Apple Computer facility in the ’90s because Apple offered same-sex domestic partner benefits. Our governor at the time brokered a deal between Apple and Travis County so that Apple could put the facility there even with the higher cost of real estate in Travis County. It’s not that the RESIDENTS of Williamson County are all dumb rednecks (at least not anymore) but the county government seems to be full of them.

  127. Crymson_77 says:

    @Pylon83: The simple fact is, the family has been subjected to a lot of pain and heartache because of several reasons. The primary among those are:

    1. They have NOTHING left.

    2. They have been violated by companies that should have known better.

    3. They have every right in the world to feel “unsafe” for a long time.

    These reasons alone are enough to support a $5 mil case. Remember that your common lawyer will smack 33% of that out of their hands (sorry AlexPDL, it’s true). Take out of that the court costs and such in addition and you end up with $1.5 mil to the family. Take taxes out of that and the family receives a WHOPPING $750,000. Frankly, I think a judgement of $5 mil against JP Morgan smacks of just the right amount. Thanks.

  128. GearheadGeek says:

    @Pylon83: I think that in general in Texas, they are due 3x the value of what was improperly taken from them if they prevail in a lawsuit (treble damages) IF there are no extenuating circumstances.

    If someone came into my home and stole all my worldly goods (that’s assuming I wasn’t home and the dog didn’t dispatch them) I would want at least $200k and a personal apology from the CEO of each corporate entity involved to feel I had been fairly compensated. I agree that $5M is excessive, but to pay off all the lawyers and such I’m sure the check these corporations would have to write would be pushing $1M before all was said and done.

  129. attheotherbeach says:

    To all the commenters advising them to “lawyer up.” DID YOU RTFA? They filed a suit. Ergo, they have counsel.

  130. jswilson64 says:

    @Pylon83: It’s called *punitive damages* for a reason – to punish the company that screws up. So maybe they won’t do it again, and others will think about it.

  131. Pylon83 says:

    @GearheadGeek:
    I think you and I are closer to the same page. My issue is really with the people who think the family should be able to retire because of this incident. Those are the people who perpetuate a lawsuit culture, create a massive drain on the legal system and drive up prices for everyone.

  132. jswilson64 says:

    @GearheadGeek: Actually, it’s 4x – actual damages (1x) + punitive damages (3x) = 4x. Score!

  133. Pylon83 says:

    @jswilson64: @GearheadGeek:
    Either of you got a cite for that Texas statute that says you get treble damages in a suit for conversion?

  134. jswilson64 says:

    @Pylon83: No cite, but seems like every suit filed in TX involves treble damages. You got a cite that says they cant? :-)

  135. JustinAche says:

    @Techguy1138: I disagree. If someone did that to me, in the shape my house is in, with all my confidential documents, hand made quilts, ect. I would not settle for less than 16 million. I mean, I should just make it the magic number of 54 million (pants judge, riaa lady), and it is kinda pseudo random, but I’d want more than 5 million for the pain in the ass it would cause. I have irreplaceable crap, and while it’s crap, it’s my crap.

    Though I work from home, so this would never happen to me. In fact, I’d probably just shoot through the door once they started drilling it

  136. MrEvil says:

    Chase is going to have their collective asses in a sling over this one. To the best of my knowledge a mortgage company cannot forcibly remove someone from a property without court order and on top of that an officer of the court I think has to be present during the removal (in most cases a Sheriff’s deputy.) Really the law-enforcement officer is there to keep the peace in case the former occupants get pissed off at the removal guys.

    I think the Dicksons are going to have themselves a mighty fine new house in Round Rock or Georgetown when this is all said and done.

  137. snowburnt says:

    I hope these people don’t actually take any offer from JP Morgan without consulting a lawyer, after the car stereo story from yesterday…

  138. GearheadGeek says:

    @Pylon83: A little research suggests that my impression is probably from business law classes (a long time ago.) The treble damage provisions I’ve come across are specifically for private lawsuits under consumer protection statutes. I’m not sure this would qualify under those statutes but I’d tend to doubt it.

    I think it’s likely they could do much better than 3x in front of a jury. Even as a very conservative person who thinks our tort system is out of control, this would strike me as a case in which “sending a message” might be called for. If it’s found that the mortgage payoff was duly received by EMC when the Dickinsons bought the house and nothing was done about it, the corporations need a hard enough kick in the crotch to be sure the jury has their full and undivided attention.

    Texans are pretty grumpy about being secure in our homes and our persons. If this happened in my house and I put a .40-caliber hole or two through the first person through the door, I would most likely not be charged. That’s illustrative of how Texans feel about home-as-castle, though it’s tangential to the issue at hand.

  139. TechnoDestructo says:

    @AlexPDL:

    Did you ever see that 80s Twilight Zone episode “The Shadow Man?”

  140. Pylon83 says:

    @GearheadGeek:
    I would agree on the shooting the guy issue. Generally, one is allowed to use deadly force to protect themselves from perceived severe bodily harm. This presumption is heightened when it is an intruder in your home. So as long as the guy has come through the front door, and you did feel as though you were in danger, shoot away. I fully support that. However, if you knew there was no danger and shot anyway, that’s another story.
    With regard to the damages, first, it’s unlikely it will EVER get to trial. Second, we aren’t privy to any mitigating circumstances that might exists, such as the reason WHY they went into the home, etc. Maybe they thought they had a court order, etc. All of that can effect the jury instruction, and their ultimate verdict.

  141. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I think we’re far too quick to file lawsuits in this country, but I think this is screaming for a huge lawsuit.

    I would also file criminal charges.

  142. Kudzu-Cottage says:

    I think this account is a bit fishy — or, at the very least, some key facts are missing. The article quotes an expert on foreclosures: ‘”under no circumstances” should the Dicksons’ property have been disposed of so quickly.” ABSOLUTELY! Some guys in a truck EMPTIED the house and NONE of the items have been traced? Surely many of the items (used toothpaste, opened cereal, family photos, laundry) with no resale of reuse value– went directly into a dumpster — and dumpsters are traceable. Either the family had nothing to take in the first place or they had items so desirable the ‘Re-Po’ folks claimed them for their own.

    Suing the ‘Deep Pockets’ in what seems to be a fiasco involving missing paperwork appears to be the overwhelming reaction!

    Why?

    If you mistakenly took home a bag of someone else’s groceries should YOU be arrested? It WAS NOT intentional. If fault is what we must assign then we should assign it to the Re-Po team who disposed of property incorrectly.

    But it is wonderful that neighbors have stepped up to help. Bobo and Joy are being helped at a human level, and that is the only real salve for the outrage reported.

  143. incognit000 says:

    Yet another reason not to buy a house in this market. The jerks who kicked the last group out may show up and take all your stuff, then say “Oops! So sue us!”

    Yeah, I bet living in a house with nothing in it and no locks on the doors will make it real easy to find and coordinate with a lawyer, and having to replace everything won’t at all interfere with your ability to pay for said lawyer, who will no doubt have to fight an uphill battle through a stacked legal system to get you compensated for the stupidity of others.

  144. sonneillon says:

    This one is really simple to solve. Give the people back their stuff, fix the locks and toss them some cash to cover the extra expenses while making them file a waiver of liability and Nondisclosure agreement. It’s been less than a month they could probably get off with a thousand bucks and a public black eye, probably less if they had been faster.

  145. Pylon83 says:

    @CaptainCynic:
    Good thing individuals can’t file criminal charges, only a DA (or whatever your state/city calls it) can do so.

  146. Sanveann says:

    Wow … I can’t even imagine how horrible that would be. Just looking around at the stuff I could never replace — the piano my godmother gave me, my engagement and wedding rings (I don’t always wear them), the pictures of my son that are on our computers, the pregnancy journal and baby book for my little boy — I would be heartbroken to lose it forever. And that’s just the stuff I can see right where I’m sitting!

    I hope this family takes takes JPM to the cleaner.

    Btw, I agree that this story sounds awfully fishy. I’m guessing the repo folks pocketed a lot of the possessions.

  147. Crymson_77 says:

    @GearheadGeek: That is why we have the castle law here in Texas now. Recent addition to the lawbooks, look it up. Anyone breaks into your house here in Texas, they can be killed on the spot with no legal implications against the owner.

    @Pylon83: Maybe they should be able to since the asshat fucker in Austin wont.

  148. wow, I gfeel bad for bobo and not just b/c of his name….

  149. Ein2015 says:

    PLEASE SUE!

    Companies need to be a LOT more careful when they do this.

  150. Eliamias says:

    The lack of criminal charges doesn’t sit well with me. If I get into a fight and push someone down to the ground and he subsequently dies, it’s manslaughter. If I get in a car accident and kill someone while speeding, it counts as vehicular manslaughter.

    Screw ‘the lack of criminal intent’ (*rolls eyes* which ie exactly why they have a court order backing them up, clearly. What? They didn’t? You don’t say) and nail them to the proverbial wall.

  151. girly says:

    @sonneillon: if you read the article, you’ll see ‘giving back their stuff’ IS the hard part!

  152. girly says:

    @Eliamias: there’s got to be some kind of malpractice or negligence thing that covers this?!?!

  153. trujunglist says:

    The whole “criminal intent” argument is fucking weak. Most people that wind up in jail over mistakes did not have criminal intent, that’s probably why they’re called MISTAKES. Wouldn’t involuntary manslaughter be that? Well, that’s why there’s something called CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE, which is exactly what these two companies are all about apparently.

  154. trujunglist says:

    @Eliamias:

    Exactly. This shit is completely outrageous.

  155. donkeyjote says:

    @Pylon83: Wrong. Citizens can file criminal complaints, and hire private prosecutors.

    @sonneillon: Right, because everyone is so quick to sign a NDA. And JPM&C offing would be seen as admittance of fault.

  156. mythago says:

    Burglary doesn’t have to be “at night”. Somebody is apparently still in law school and isn’t past the difference between common law and modern law.

    Why on earth would people need to donate to them?

    Because JP Morgan is dicking them around and in the meantime, they need food and furniture.

  157. mythago says:

    @donkeyjote, in the United States there is NO SUCH THING as a ‘private prosecutor’. You seem to be mixing up hiring a private attorney for a civil lawsuit with what a prosecutor does in a criminal case. That’s why in a criminal case, it’s called “People v. Defendant” – because the People of the United States, or the People of the State of Ohio (or whatever state) are prosecuting the case. In a civil case, it’s Plaintiff v. Defendant, because the plaintiff is asking the civil justice system for a remedy against the other side.

    Y’all who are talking about speeding tickets and manslaughter need to realize that crimes are not fungible. “Well I don’t need intent for statutory rape!” Yeah, that’s because each and every crime has different and specific requirements. If the criminal law IN THEIR STATE does not make what the company did illegal, it’s not a crime. Even if it is, the prosecutor may be saying that it is very very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, in a crime where ‘intent’ is part of the package, to prove that the company acted with intent. (Here, I’d bet the repo company is saying “but we thought it was legal! JP Morgan said so!” which will make it a bit tough to prove that they meant to be thieves.)

  158. krispykrink says:

    What the hell! If I were in their position I would be too livid for a lawyer and courts. JP Morgan’s employees homes would be burning to the ground.

    The last time something similar happening to me was a repo guy on my property “accidentally”. He screwed up and had the wrong address, but instead of leaving he actually tried to attack me with a bat when I went out to see what this mystery guy was doing. Needless to say, I shot him.

  159. Gokuhouse says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: How would they check out? Do you have a sign-in/sign-out sheet by your door?

  160. godlyfrog says:

    @AlexPDL: Even if the law in Texas required intent, couldn’t the DA argue that as a company who specializes in this sort of thing, it is their responsibility to know the laws governing the job they do, thus the act of entering the premises and removing property without a court order shows willful intent to break the law?

  161. ludwigk says:

    @AlexPDL: Er “at night”? Is that why most burglaries happen during the day?

  162. ThyGuy says:

    So according to what people are saying, it isn’t a crime if I break into your house and steal everything, just as long as I will myself not to believe it is a crime.

    So I can break into a house and rob them blind just as long as I’m thinking about how cute puppies are and not about how I’ll sell all the stolen goods.

  163. LostAngeles says:

    If I was anyone in any kind of power at JPMorganChase, I would be throttling my way through the folks at Field Assets until I found someone who could cough up a name of the, “thrift store,” where this family’s stuff is, starting from the top down.

  164. fjordtjie says:

    why is JP Morgan Chase making public statements instead of reimbursing them immediately?–with massive quantities of interest to prevent the obvious lawsuit that is going to occur?

    and you know even if they pay the family, it’s not even a fraction of the profits the ceo’s have been swimming in, they won’t feel a thing.

  165. AlexPDL says:

    @ludwigk: I didn’t write the law. Look at the Texas statute. It no longer requires “night” to be one of the elements. Traditional “burglary” always required night. But that’s just common law, each state modifies and builds upon that. The origianl purpose was to examine “intent” as it relates to the crime.

    @mythago: I was 100% clear. Our starting point was common law. Wally East got us the Texas statute and we were then able to look at it more precisely. Jeez!

  166. jenniferrose76 says:

    I think it would be a travesty if this family didn’t make out REALLY well on a lawsuit!
    For all of you who act like the victims of this crime aren’t completely justified in shanking this company, imagine for one second that you head home after a long day at work…you arrive home to find your locks changed and EVERYTHING YOU OWN gone…everything…
    Why would they need donations? hmmmm….think for one second about replacing everything in your home-food, toiletries, clothing, etc…think about how many of those things you would need over the course of months (because we all know this suit isn’t going to be wrapped up anytime soon)-do you think you could purchase all the things you need, that you owned before these idiots abused their power and stole them? and not even considering sentimental things, and luxury items-just the essentials…
    this story is awful, and I am disgusted that commenters think these people should be able to deal with this without any help
    until the company replaces the items they STOLE.

  167. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @ThyGuy:

    No, you can’t, because there’s no scenario in which you didn’t intend to steal those goods (unless you’re sleepwalking) at some point (otherwise you wouldn’t have been in the house. If you accidentally pick up the wrong identical green backpack from the bench, mistaking someone else’s for yours, that’s very unlikely to be deemed a crime, since, while you did take someone else’s property, there’s strong evidence that you weren’t intending to do so. Now, if you open the backpack, discover that it’s filled with cash, and decide to KEEP it, rather than trying to contact the owner, that’s just become theft.

  168. afrix says:

    This happened in Texas?

    Fascinating.

    Imagine if they had done it to this guy:

    [www.chron.com]

    Texas is absolutely the WRONG place to pull something this badly.

    All the talk about hiding behind closet doors while you call 911-well, Texas doesn’t cotton to that.

    Those repo guys should be buying lotto tickets right now, because they are the luckiest sumbitches in the world.

  169. afrix says:

    “These reasons alone are enough to support a $5 mil case. Remember that your common lawyer will smack 33% of that out of their hands (sorry AlexPDL, it’s true). Take out of that the court costs and such in addition and you end up with $1.5 mil to the family. Take taxes out of that and the family receives a WHOPPING $750,000.”

    No taxes are collected on court judgments. They would keep everything that was left over after expenses.

  170. purplegrog says:

    @Crymson_77: Austin != Williamson County. I felt the need to draw the distinction because I live here (Austin).

  171. bwcbwc says:

    @Riddler: IF they knew they didn’t have a court order and went in to take the stuff without the court order isn’t that a felony? There wasn’t the intent of “theft”, but they would be knowingly performing the “conversion” of property, since they knew they were without proper legal authority. So if criminal conversion is a potential charge, doesn’t that bring in the burglary charge as well? Or is conversion usually a misdemeanor?

  172. baristabrawl says:

    I am glad people are helping, God knows they need it. However, this wouldn’t have happened if Chase would have just given them their shit back.

    Why are they collecting giftcards? Why aren’t the police treating it like it was stolen and then their insurance would replace the things they lost? Or at least until EVERYONE and their dog could sue?

    I so don’t understand how these things happen. If you can get people to steal a bitche’s furniture, electronics and clothing, why can’t you get the same people to bring the shit back and set it up just like they left it?

    Also? Where the hell were they that they didn’t notice that they were being robbed?

  173. Carrnage says:

    And now, my impression of all the worst commenters on Consumerist:

    OMG people, Bank of America didn’t screw up that bad!!!!1111Eleventy!!!! Why don’t these ideots just go get their stuff back.

    Also, arbitration is completely fair.

  174. agency says:

    I don’t know about treble damages (or enough about the difference between treble and punitive damages) but this sounds like a case that could see large-ass punitive damages like the kind that makes Phillip Morris launch anti-tobacco ad campaigns.

  175. JessicaJessica says:

    Unfortunately, these people are not going to get a big settlement.

    Unless everything was brand new in the house, they are only going to get actual cash value, meaning that they only give you what they consider the item to be worth, after depreciation. They will not get replacement value, which is the amount it would take to replacethe items with those of similar kind and quality, without deducting for depreciation. This goes for everything except items of a special value, such as antiques or collector items, but they would have to prove the authenticity of the item, which would be difficult since they no longer own anything.

    So they will be paid about 40 cents on the dollar, and will end up paying the difference out of their pocket to replace the items.

    Also, the “we’re taking it seriously” comment means that they are buying time so that their lawyers can determine what legal liabilty they have. Then they can low ball the number and make a settlement to the family, who will probably take it just so they can start replacing items.

    I feel bad for this family.

  176. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Not when they ditched the items without following their 24 hours rule. This means hey had no intent to allow the person the opportunity to reclaim the items. And thus this is absolutely theft.

  177. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Concerned_Citizen:

    Again, depends on the circumstances. If they had had a court order, and followed the 24 hour rule, but then disposed of the stuff in a blue dumpster, when their rules said use a red dumpster, would that make it theft? Whether they followed an internal rule or not has very little to do with whether this is theft or not. The key issue would be whether they knew, or reasonably should have known, that the property wasn’t theirs.

  178. Ben Popken says:

    @laddibugg: What their names are is irrelevant.

  179. Jim says:

    Question for Texans: Don’t you have a clear title search as part of the home-buying process? I don’t know if that varies state-to-state, but in Indiana the seller has to prove to you that it’s a clear title (i.e. no one in an official capacity waits for you to leave and then takes your stuff).

    That would have cleared up any problems with who owns the house without the hassle of losing everything you own. It isn’t just JP that needs a suin’, I’d be after the listing agent and title company as well. You know, put the grandkids through life too.

  180. Wally East says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Read the statutes. The people who actually went into the home committed burglary AND theft. They did not have the consent of the homeowner to enter the house. They should’ve been arrested and prosecuted.

  181. BankOfFees says:

    This is a crime. I would pursue criminal charges.

  182. JustaConsumer says:

    JP Morgan Chase is one of the worst companies in the U.S. They just do a better job of covering up. They should have been in the final four based on their loan shark tactics.

  183. Crymson_77 says:

    @purplegrog: Wife and her family is from Austin. I never said it was Williamson county :)

  184. Crymson_77 says:

    @Wally East: I agree with you so completely it should mystify the f-ing prosecutor in Austin…

  185. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Wally East:

    If they reasonably believed that they DID have the consent of the homeowner (i.e. believed that JP Morgan Chase was the homeowner), then, no, they didn’t have the intent to enter without the consent of the homeowner. If someone hires a moving company to move them out of their house, the moving company shows up, the person opens the door, shows them around, and they pack up the person’s stuff, how would it be the moving company’s fault if the person was impersonating the actual homeowner, and had broken in earlier? Unless there’s some reason that a reasonable person would have been suspicious, they wouldn’t be guilty of theft.

  186. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Wally East:

    As to “reading the statute,” I did. The relevant issue is whether they had the consent of the owner, and in this case, it’s at least very debatable about whether they did.

  187. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Wally East:

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a colossal screwup – it’s not at all clear, however, that it’s a crime.

  188. Crymson_77 says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Couldn’t you have put all of that into one response? :)

    Unfortunately, your owner theory (from the article) doesn’t hold up. They sent the FAS f’ers in on a house that was being forclosed on…when the mortgage company had already received the payoff on the house. There are several layers of criminality involved here…

  189. audemars says:

    That’s what they get for moving in on N. Lamar. They should be glad it was the bank that took all their stuff and not some hoodlum gangster wannabes. At least they *should* be able to get it back from the bank.

    I still love Austin though! Best. City. Ever.

  190. jswilson64 says:

    @JessicaJessica: Ah, but since there’s apparently no record of what the lucky-to-still-be-alive repo guys took, it’s the homeowner’s word against the people who broke in and took all his stuff. “They took my brand new plasma, my Sub-Zero, my new commercial range, my Tempur-pedic king bed and solid gold frame!”

    Receipts? They took those, too!

  191. amandarp says:

    @NumberFiveIsAlive: read the whole article- their stuff was all donated to various thrift stores and they’ve been unable to locate it.

  192. amandarp says:

    @Gokuhouse: read the whole article- their stuff was all donated to various thrift stores and they’ve been unable to locate it. READ.

  193. GearheadGeek says:

    @Jim: Any mortgage company doing business in TX would require you to have a title insurance policy before they loan you the money to buy the house. The issue here is that the family bought the house legally, and I assume they have clear title to the real property (the article is not specific on this point but doesn’t suggest they’re in danger of losing the real property as well as all the personal property that was stolen from them.)

    The issue is that JPMC, EMC and/or First Asset failed to process the fact that the house was in fact sold before foreclosure took place, therefore the house was not legally owned by any of those entities and they had no legal authority to enter the premises for any reason, much less to clean out the innocent family that had fairly bought the house.

  194. GearheadGeek says:

    @audemars: Read more carefully. Their BUSINESS address is on N. Lamar. Their house is in WilCo somewhere.

  195. Jim says:

    @GearheadGeek: Thanks! I was ducking, but that was an informative response. My faith in comments is slightly restored.

  196. Valhawk says:

    @Gokuhouse: There is no intent in the speeding laws. Most felonies have an intent requirement. Speeding is not a felony, you need to read the laws before you make sweeping statements.

  197. BearTack says:

    There may not have been intent to commit a felony, but there is such a thing as reckless disregard. That is more difficult to prove, but it seems that not only was there a tremendously dumb error in incorrectly deciding to enter the house and remove the items, but more importantly in not getting the required court order to do so. And failing to provide notice. These failures are not just errors of fact, but show total disrespect for the law.

    Maybe guess Texas is different. But any other state that I have heard of, people whose goods are removed from a location because of dispossession or eviction get 30-60 days of storage before their goods can be auctioned or otherwise disposed of.

  198. ihateauditions says:

    Congratulations Dickson family, on your soon-to-arrive mortgage-free life.

    I’ve given JPMorgan hundreds of dollars in bank fees on my commercial account, and I’m happy to see that they will finally be used for something good: giving the Dickson family an enormous sum of money.

  199. ihateauditions says:

    One sad thing, this reminds me of a theft that happened to me a decade or two ago, in which the crooks impersonated a moving company while we were at work. They simply emptied the entire place into a truck, and our neighbors didn’t stop them because they just assumed that we had actually moved.

    Such a theft would be even easier to pull off today, by simply claiming that the house was being foreclosed upon.