If it were not bad enough that the Wall Street banks engaged in a nationwide crime spree known as fraudclosure to cover up their lack of documentation, now it has been revealed that the contractors hired by the banksters have been breaking into hundreds of the wrong homes.

Fed up with what they claim is a serious violation of their property rights — and sometimes outright theft — homeowners are fighting back. In the past five years, people in 31 states have filed more than 250 lawsuits against the six largest national companies that contract directly with banks to inspect and repair homes in some stage of default or foreclosure, a Huffington Post review of court records found. The majority of these cases have come in the past 18 months

Sometimes the contractors jump the gun and break into a home that has yet to actually enter foreclosure and other times the contractors go to the wrong home entirely. Breaking windows, knocking down doors, and taking the belongings of the wrong family.

When a bank or other financial company sees that a mortgage it owns has gone into default, it begins checking to see if the residents have abandoned the property. If they have, it takes responsibility for the upkeep of the property in order to protect its investment and the property values of surrounding homes. That work is often done on a contract basis by companies like Safeguard Properties, which has been sued at least 135 times over wrongful break-ins conducted in pursuit of property management contracts with banks

Was not this country founded on property rights? I guess only the wealthy few have those rights anymore.

But who should really be blamed for the housing crisis devolving into this level of lawlessness and thuggery? The true guilty party is, beyond a reasonable doubt, the US Justice Department which has all but condoned a culture of corruption. The failure to hold the Wall Street crime bosses accountable has sent a clear message to everyone down the line that criminal conduct – even breaking and entering – is just the cost of doing business.

Photo by Tawker under Creative Commons license.