The answer to this question is a somewhat tricky one but it is evident, in certain situations stipulated by the nature of the mortgage contract signed, that a mortgage company is allowed to change the locks. But it takes a particular set of circumstances to activate such a chain of events.
According to various real estate and foreclosure attorneys, one's house is considered the collateral for the mortgage debt. Thus, mortgage companies have the right to protect that collateral in situations where the homeowner has:
A) fallen behind in making regular mortgage payments, AND
B) visibly abandoned the property in question.
As long as a homeowner is up to date on making their mortgage payments, they will not run into any situation whereby the mortgage company can change their locks. If, however, the homeowner falls behind on payments, mortgage companies employ third-party property managers who patrol regions to see if such properties have been abandoned or otherwise endangered. If, in the view of the property manager, the property has been abandoned or endangered, they have the right to change locks and secure the property in order to protect the collateral. This can be especially tricky because sometimes it is not...