Feathers will be ruffled awhile after petnapping
They should have left the parrot on its perch.
I realize that with the notable exceptions of the myopic and hyperopic, hindsight always is 20/20. But retrospect should not be requisite to realize that you should never, ever, resort to petnapping in a mortgage-related dispute.
Bank of America is learning that lesson the hard way.
One of the world's largest financial institutions, Bank of America is drawing international ridicule after its agents seized the parrot of a Hampton woman they mistakenly believed had defaulted on her mortgage.
Yes, international ridicule.
BBC News yesterday noted that the bank sheepishly has apologised (that's the British spelling, mate) to Angela Iannelli, 47, for improperly securing her property and running off with her beloved bird last October.
What exactly is "securing," you ask?
In this instance, the word is banking terminology for hiring a contractor to break into the wrong three-story townhouse, cut the water and electrical lines, fill sinks and toilets with anti-freeze, padlock the doors and -- last but certainly not least, at least not to the BBC -- abscond with a poor parrot.
Luke, the terrified macaw, must have believed he was living some nightmarish avian re-enactment of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.
Bank of America clearly was in the wrong. Nowhere in Iannelli's mortgage is a provision allowing the bank to hire a third party to erroneously take possession of any parrot she owns.
But although the bank has apologised, Iannelli isn't dropping the 40-page lawsuit she filed Monday against the company in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
The lawsuit seeks damages, and not just for the emotional distress Iannelli suffered after discovering Luke gone and seeing several feathers scattered ominously on the floor.
"This is more than a bird story," insisted Michael Rosenzweig, Iannelli's attorney. "Bank of America had no right to do this. What occurred here was breaking and entering."
Don't forget petnapping. Luke was carted off to the Ebensburg, Cambria County offices of Snyder Property Services -- the company that "secured" Iannelli's house primarily by vandalizing it.
It took more than a week before Iannelli learned Luke's whereabouts. But even after it became clear that she didn't default on the mortgage and Snyder secured the wrong address, Bank of America still didn't make arrangements to return the parrot.
Incredibly, to rescue her pet of 11 years, Iannelli had to drive to Snyder's office -- a four-hour roundtrip.
I wondered if Bank of America would have handled things differently had it known the worldwide negative publicity the incident would generate, but its communications office didn't immediately return a call.
Made me think they either were ignoring the situation in hopes it will go away, or they were out buying birdseed.
I also had no success in reaching Iannelli or Luke. They were busy taping a segment of the syndicated TV news program "Inside Edition."
The Bank of America folks probably won't be pleased to hear that.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates grind out extra-inning win against testy Tigers
- Police identify Harmar man as victim in Washington Township crash
- Shopping season starts up for Penguins amid onset of free agency
- Penguins notebook: Sheary hoping to return to organization
- 1 killed, several hurt as police chase ends in Oakland crash
- In historic vote, Legislature approves bill selling state liquor stores
- Pittsburgh police solve fewer homicides
- Pennsylvania Senate passes $30.1B GOP budget; Gov. Wolf veto likely
- Source: Fire at black church in South Carolina wasn’t arson
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- 10 escape Greensburg house fire