foreclosure Court Says Mortgage Company's Practice Of Changing Locks On Delinquent Homeowners Is Illegal By Paula Wissel • Jul 18, 2016 Elaine Thompson / AP Photo Listen Listening... / 1:47 A mortgage company’s practice of locking people out of their homes before the owners have been foreclosed on is illegal. The Washington Supreme Court says it’s a violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. Walking away from a mortgage By John Maynard & Richard Hagar • Mar 1, 2011 Richard Hagar It's happening all over the country, including in the Pacific Northwest. People are walking away from their mortgages. In most cases, the homes that are being abandoned are valued for less than their mortgage.