Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Bank of America sued for seizing parrot

Blue Macaw (file)
Blue macaws are popular pets

Bank of America has apologised to a woman in Pennsylvania after one of its contractors entered her house, damaged furniture and confiscated her parrot.

Angela Iannelli has filed a lawsuit alleging that the incident in October caused her so much "emotional distress" that she needed medication for anxiety.

It took her more than a week to secure the release of Luke, a blue macaw.

A BoA spokesman said it had erroneously believed Ms Iannelli was defaulting on her mortgage and the house was vacant.

'Zero tolerance'

An employee had sent the contractor to the property with instructions to install a new lock and otherwise "secure" it, he said.

He added that the bank had "zero tolerance for this kind of error", and would quickly review the lawsuit and "consider any hardship that resulted".

He's doing very well now
Angela Iannelli

In her civil suit seeking $50,000 in damages, Ms Iannelli said the BoA contractor had invaded her home north of Pittsburgh while she was away, stopped utility services, cut water pipes and electrical wiring, damaged flooring and finishings, poured antifreeze into sinks and toilets and stolen her parrot, according to the Wall Street Journal.

She said that when she rang BoA to protest, its representatives first denied knowing where the parrot was, and later told her she could go to the offices of the contractor, about 80 miles away, to retrieve the bird herself.

Bank officials also allegedly told her they were "tired" of hearing from her, hung up, and advised her to seek help from the police.

Ms Iannelli told the Wall Street Journal that although Luke had initially seemed nervous, he was "doing very well now".

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