From the New York Times, an editorial that begins:
In early 2012 when five big banks settled with state and federal officials over widespread foreclosure abuses, flagrant violations — including the seizure of homes without due process — were supposed to end.
But abuses keep coming to light. Despite happy talk about a housing rebound, nearly three million homeowners are in or near foreclosure, and many continue to be victimized by improper and possibly illegal practices.
An ugly story about ugly bank practices:
It starts out innocently enough. The banks hire property management companies to determine whether homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments have abandoned their homes and, if so, to secure the vacant property.
It doesn’t always go that way. The Illinois suit accuses the largest company in the industry, Safeguard, of breaking into homes despite evidence of occupancy, damaging and removing personal property, changing locks, cutting off utilities, and bullying occupants into leaving their homes when they have the legal right to stay. In several other states, private lawsuits and complaints to legal aid lawyers have alleged similar abuses.
The link to the Jessica Silver-Greenberg article describes what happened to one person so abused.