SafeGuard Properties Sued for Illegal Break-ins and Evictions

By on September 14, 2013

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against SafeGuard Properties, a property management firm, and its subcontractors for wrongfully evicting residents during the foreclosure process of their homes.  SafeGuard serves as an agent for many national mortgage servicers and financial institutions. 

The lawsuit claims that pursuant to Illinois law, homeowners who defaulted on their mortgage are permitted to remain in their homes until the foreclosure process is completed. Also, Illinois also affords tenants in foreclosed buildings to remain in their homes until their lease ends, regardless of whether the foreclosure process is complete. 

“Safeguard’s practice of sending its subcontractors to occupied properties, locking legal occupants out of their homes and wrongfully securing occupied homes is deceptive, injurious and oppressive to Illinois consumers,” the suit said.  “Such practices, in some instances, leave the resident-victims homeless.  Moreover, these practices often leave the resident-victims missing vital possessions, without running water, and in a continuous state of discomfort and insecurity.” 

According to Madigan, “[t]his case shows the lengths that banks and their service providers will go to abuse and intimidate borrowers in foreclosure.  This company was illegally breaking in to people’s homes, removing all their possessions and locking them out.  It is a homeowner’s worst nightmare.” 

SafeGuard is primarily responsible for changing the locks, removing debris, and winterizing apparently vacant foreclosed homes, but according to the complaint, Safeguard failed to properly confirm whether properties were unoccupied prior to performing its maintenance duties on foreclosed properties. 

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