Death by Foreclosure

Last week, a Modesto, Calif., man facing foreclosure shot and killed a sheriff’s deputy and the locksmith who came to evict him from his condominium, according to the Associated Press. Responding to the shooting, Modesto police sent 100 police and SWAT snipers to counter-attack, unleashing a Waco-style assault on the condo complex that ended with the structure burned to the ground along with the shooter inside.

The  shooter who died, James Ferrario, 45, lost his condo over a $15,000 home equity loan he took out a couple of years ago that went through the foreclosure process. The Modesto Bee claims the Modesto police department is armed to the teeth, having recently stockpiled $4.5 million in surplus military arms and equipment.

Foreclosed Homes Fatalities
This  is not the first so-called “death by foreclosure” case. Others have occurred in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, among other places. A Phoenix SWAT officer gunned down Kurt Aho, 64, who lost his home to foreclosure in 2009, according to The Arizona Republic. In Florida, police shot Allen Gauntlett, 52, a distressed homeowner several times and set his foreclosed townhouse on fire after falling behind on $10,000 in homeowners’ dues and fees, according to CBS News. In Ohio, Robert T. Nusser, 68, and his wife, Paulette Nusser, 64, committed a murder-suicide after receiving an eviction notice the day before, ABC reported.

Foreclosures: A Danger to Your Health
There are many more accounts of people living in foreclosure homes that have been assaulted by police trying to evict them. In Georgia, a six-hour SWAT standoff ended when police tasered a stroke victim’s wife.

Readers, what are your thoughts about these cases of death by foreclosure? Are police justified in shooting borrowers in foreclosure? Or have police gotten too trigger-happy raiding foreclosed homes, shooting first and asking questions later? Where do you stand?

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