Worst Persons in the World

The First National Bank of Wellston for this:

An Ohio bank is refusing to reimburse a Vinton County woman whose house they unjustly repossessed while she was out of town. Katie Barnett recently returned home after being away for two weeks to find that the lock on her door had been changed. She crawled in through the window to find all of her stuff missing.

Barnett suspected she had been robbed — and she wasn’t too far off. It seems that, while Barnett was gone, the First National Bank of Wellston arrived at her place of residence, broke in, and took possession of all her belongings, including the house.

Except, as it later turned out, they had the wrong address. [...]

With all of her stuff either sold off by the bank or thrashed, the homeowner presented the bank’s president with an $18,000 estimate for restitution.

He refused to pay up.

“He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’” Barnett recalled. “I did not tell them to come in my house and make me an offer. They took my stuff and I want it back.”

As Cliff Schecter said on Facebook, this is theft. Plain and simple. And there ought to be criminal charges in addition to restitution for what was stolen and destroyed.

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  • Christopher Foxx

    How is there any question about criminal charges? Someone broke into her house, where they did not have a right or permission to be. They took all of her stuff, which they had no right to. And they sold it, depriving her of the use of her own property. How is this not textbook definition of theft?

    Does the district attorney in Vinton county really accept “Whoops, it was a mistake so I don’t have to do anything to fix it” as an excuse for theft?

    Dang. I gotta move to Vinton county and start selling of other peoples stuff. Apparently you can do that with impunity there. I thin I’ll start with the banker’s home.

  • muselet

    I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but it seems to me this is a residential burglary and should be treated as such. The first person arrested and charged should be the bank president, even before the mooks who stole Katie Barnett’s possessions.

    And the local chief of police should lose his job.

    –alopecia

    • Christopher Foxx

      Exactly. How that is NOT the case amazes me.

    • D_C_Wilson

      At minimum she has a hell of a lawsuit she can file. A while back, a bank in Florida pulled the same crap. They tried to foreclose on a house that the residents owned free and clear. They sued and a got a judgement, but the bank dragged their heels in cutting the check. Their lawyer came up with a novel idea: He put a lien on their local branch and showed up with deputies ready to seize everything from their computers to “any cash in the drawers.”

      The bank paid up on the spot.

      • muselet

        I hope she and her lawyer know about that case.

        –alopecia

  • Victor_the_Crab

    To big to fail? More like to evil to live.

    • D_C_Wilson

      If corporations are people, why isn’t this one being arrested for burglary?

  • Badgerite

    I don’t know about criminal charges but she sure has the common law tort available to her of conversion (the taking of property that does not belong to you and trespass as the bank had no right to be on her property) and/or wrongful foreclosure. Maybe even intentional infliction of emotional distress (maybe she has nightmares about someone coming into her house and taking all her stuff ). This would be a slam dunk. The bank would have to make her whole. Either give her the stuff back or give her sufficient funds to buy replacements at current market value. Not to mention bad publicity (go to the local paper). She has a lot of options.