Can a bank change the locks on a property that is in foreclose withoutnotifying the parties responsible for that property?

UPDATED: Sep 26, 2011

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Can a bank change the locks on a property that is in foreclose withoutnotifying the parties responsible for that property?

This is my late mother-in-law’s house. We lived in it for a short time while we sold our primary residence. However, it didn’t sell, so we moved back in and are walking away from it. Without prior notification, the bank changed the locks on this property without advance notification. We still have personal effects in the house. Is what they did legal?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the real property that is in foreclosure has yet to be foreclosed upon where title is either in your late mother-in-law's name or your name, but not in the name of the lending institution holding the loan and a security interest to it, the lending insitution (bank) cannot legally change the locks on the property as long as it is in another's name.

What the bank did prior to the foreclosure did self help to your detriment by locking you out of your property that you were occupying and denying you access to your personal effects. I suggest that you first contact the bank by written letter (keeping a copy of such) demanding immediate access and if there is no satisfactory results, contact an attorney to assist you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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