Not a Wonderful Life: The Effects of Aggressive Foreclosure

One morning in December 2008, four months later, the kids left for school, and she left to drive her school bus route. When Zabrina came home from work, her windows were boarded up, the locks on the doors were changed; she had no way to get in. “When I left, I just had my clothes on my back for work,” she says. Her two younger children were left in their school uniforms. Her computers and paperwork for her business were also lost inside. “I had never been homeless in my life, but after that, I was.” They never lived in the house again.

The sheriff had never sent anyone to evict Zabrina and her family. Wells Fargo never obtained a court order for foreclosure or eviction, and Zabrina said the bank had sent her just one notice of late payment. A private process server had been sent to give her notice of a pending foreclosure, but he didn’t give her proper notice, settling instead for the boyfriend of her sister in Park Forest. Wells Fargo showed me photos of the house before the board up, with the windows open or broken out. “The house appeared to be abandoned,” said Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda. “Obviously, there’s a difference of account.”

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