Katie Barnett shows her empty home after First National Bank mistakenly
foreclosed on her stole all her stuff.
An Ohio woman returned from vacation to find that all of her belongings had been stolen, taken right out of her house. She knows who did it, but the local police aren't helping her. That's because Katie Barnett's stuff was stolen not by a burglar who slipped in under cover of darkness or a family member who felt it rightly belonged to them, but by a bank.
First National Bank got the wrong house, changing the locks and removing everything from Barnett's home rather than the house across the street. And no one is trying to make things right. When Barnett gave the bank president an estimate of $18,000 for her lost possessions:
“He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’” Barnett said. “I did not tell them to come in my house and make me an offer. They took my stuff and I want it back.”
The shock of having her house broken into and belongings taken by mistake has now turned into anger.
“Now, I’m just angry,” Barnett said. “It wouldn’t be a big deal if they would step up and say ‘I’m sorry, we will replace your stuff.’ Instead, I’m getting attitude from them. They’re sarcastic when they talk to me. They make it sound like I’m trying to rip the bank off. All I want is my stuff back.”
What we've learned to expect from banks when it comes to foreclosures is criminality thinly veiled by complicated paperwork. In this case, there's no veil. Just an "oops, wrong address, but we're not paying you for your stuff." Meanwhile, the McArthur police chief has declared the case closed—even though Barnett doesn't have her stuff back and hasn't been paid. Can you even imagine if any random person, even one who thought they had a good reason to be there, broke into a house and took everything out to sell, give away, or just junk? Do you think the police would ignore that?
3:20 PM PT (Chris Bowers): Sign our petition to Eric Emmert, President and CEO of First National Bank of Wellston, demanding they reimburse a minimum of $18,000 to Katie Barnett.