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Police standoffs on eviction day? It can happen to anyone

by: The Insider
  • 21/02/2012
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Police standoffs on eviction day? It can happen to anyone
Mortgage Solutions' exclusive columnist, The Insider, finds that when problems occur, someone, somewhere must be blamed.

Blame culture – there is a huge amount of it in certain businesses.

I always think that it comes from the top down. Unlike say, government ministries, those at the top don’t generally get criticized for errors within their departments.

When an error is identified it makes much more sense to pass the buck downwards.

The boss castigates a senior manager, who then flame grills a middle manager, who fricassees their junior staff until they get really grumpy and tell off the guy who sweeps up the fag butts outside the main office….much like the Blackadder III scene where the mouse bites Baldrick.

This is all perfectly understandable, albeit irritating – something must be SEEN to be done.

Obviously, in my area of business, a large proportion of what we do is spent analysing individual accounts to make sure that we don’t ‘cock up’.

Just to ensure that the terminally ill pensioner doesn’t get their house repossessed and that the malcontent, with a justified grudge against the way they have been treated and access to the media, doesn’t get their house repossessed.

When an error gets made, there is the potential for bad coverage in the press. Correspondingly, any minor errors get jumped upon.

So when four of my colleagues, on separate occasions, agreed to continue with taking possession of a house, you would think it’s going to be a pretty safe decision. Particularly, given that both customers are dead.

There was no sale of the property; no solicitors appointed to deal with the estate; no one wanted to deal with it. We sent agents out to confirm that the house was empty, which they said it was, so no problems really. It was better for all concerned that we sell the house and pass on any surplus to the next entitled, whoever they were.

Only the trouble was that the psychologically disturbed daughter with a history of violent threats was actually still living in the ‘abandoned’ property.

Cue police involvement on the day of the eviction.

No eviction takes place, but it could have potentially got into the papers….particularly, as she had a five-hour standoff with the police.

And my four colleagues all get disciplinaries despite having made all the relevant checks.

Something must be SEEN to be done, I guess. You just can never account for the unexpected.

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