How many different ways can you screw a man? Vince couldn’t make his Bank of America mortgage, because they fired him after 21 years of service in the due diligence department. Even after he did a short sale 5 months ago, Bank of America still hasn’t cleared it off their books. Now the illegal debt collection calls start. Is new CEO Brian Moynihan powerless to stop his own company from shaking down its own employees? Let’s find out!
Another problem is there was still a remainder Vince owed after the short sale. He’s been trying to pay it down with his unemployment checks, his only source of income, but he just wishes the collection agency would stop calling at 4 in the morning days in a row (which are both, by the way, violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
Vince should sue the collection agencies in small claims court for their violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Debt collectors are not allowed to call you at 4 in the morning, and are not allowed to keep calling just to tell you to hand over money, and are not allowed to collect on an invalid debt. For only a $50 filing fee and representing himself he could probably get a few thousand dollars. Heck, if he sued everyone who’s been violating FDCPA in calling him, maybe he could pay the whole deficiency off.
It’s been five months since he completed the short sale. Even an executive customer service rep pledge to resolve the situation was inefficacious. Is big man Brian Moynihan capable of reining in his own company, and he is a big enough man to bestow clemency and forgive the deficiency Vince may not be able to repay for years? You, know, for old-times sake, considering the man put in twenty-one goddamn years?
Here’s Vince’s letter:
“January 17, 2010
Bank of America
100 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC. 28255
Dear Mr. Moynihan,
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to the following request. I have included as much documentation as I currently have available to save you the time of having to do a lot of research.
To begin with, I was laid off from Bank of America in January, 2009, after 21 years of extremely dedicated service. I was a GWIM employee that was one of many that had fallen victim to the business decisions of the bank. This layoff resulted in my being unable to afford my primary residence and we ended up having to complete a short sale to avoid foreclosure. We completed the sale of the property on August 25th, 2009 and Bank of America received the payoff funds on September 1st 2009. Please see pages 1-5 of the attached documents for verification. In addition, page 6 shows the letter from Bank of America acknowledging that my loan has been paid in full.
I assure you the story that follows is 100% accurate and true, however one can only think it to be fiction because it sounds so absurd. From the date the bank received my payoff, and all the way up to today’s date, my nightmare with Bank of America will never seem to end.
It began with the deficiency balance left after the short sale. I am fully aware this would happen and am also aware that I am responsible for that deficiency. The issue is that Bank of America relentlessly called me daily at 4:00am for weeks at a time. This is covered in Case number xxxxxxxx filed with the Office of the Comptroller of Currency. Every time they called, I simply asked if they would call at a more reasonable time and they never would. They only wanted to talk about collecting the deficiency at 4:00am. It was relentless and I finally sent an email to Ken Lewis at the end of September asking for relief and a phone call at a decent time to work out an arrangement. Well, I am sure this email was read by someone in executive relations and not Ken Lewis which I fully expected. The problem you will see comes from page 7 of the attached documents. They obviously had no idea how to read as their response had nothing to do with what I was asking about, and it was talking about my letter to some website I had never heard of in my life.
Since this got me nowhere fast I called executive relations to get someone to understand the issue. They forwarded me to Michelle McCall who handles the mortgage side of executive relations. She listened to my story and said she would handle it. Well, her way of handling it was to put a cease and desist order on my account and turn me over to a collection attorney. See page 8. I never said I was not paying; I only wanted a call at a decent time to work something out. Since these were robocalls, there was never a number I could call back on. After calling the bank again, I was finally able to have the file retrieved from the collection attorney and the representative and I have worked out a payment arrangement. It is very small but you have to remember, I am sending you part of my unemployment check and I am barely able to keep my head above water as it is.
While all of this has been happening with my deficiency balance, I am still receiving tons of mail from Bank of America in reference to my mortgage secured by the property I sold in August. It is October and they still had not paid off my loan. See pages 9 and 10.
Then I start receiving these letters telling me that I do not have insurance and unless I provide proof they will force place insurance. Well, I think the insurance industry frowns upon insuring items you do not actually own or have an interest in. See pages 11 and 12. Each time I received a letter, I would call the bank and try to get them to understand that I sold this property in August and they have had my payoff since September. I was told either that was not their department or some reps would actually look and verify that they did in fact receive my payoff check in September and would open a case to get it resolved. I probably had a total of 10 cases opened from my calls just to get someone to clear this loan off the books and it has still never happened. All of those cases fell into some black hole never to be seen again.
The next wave of mailings about my loan that was to be paid off 3 months earlier started again. This time they were more upsetting than ever. I was now receiving legal notices telling me I owed $423,572.92. See page 13. Can you imagine, after closing on this property in August, now in November I am receiving threatening legal notices knowing that you have been in full receipt of my funds this entire time. Can you imagine my level of frustration and grief over this issue, knowing that I have called on a weekly basis for months just trying to find someone to take ownership of the situation and get this loan off the books?
I was at my wits end when they started calling again day and night relentlessly. It was the robocaller and when the rep comes on the line they start telling me I owe them $25,000.00 in back payments and when can I send in the funds. What???? Are you kidding me I am thinking, and start to tell them the same thing I have told for months now that I sold this property, someone else lives there and has a mortgage on it. They would apologize and hang up. But then the next day the calls just keep coming and coming again. I had finally had enough of being called for payments and insurance so I faxed two short letters pertaining to these matters asking you to cease and desist. See pages 14 and 15. You can see I was quite frustrated with this ordeal. I thought relief was finally on the way as I did receive correspondence back confirming receipt of my letters. See page 16. The calls kept coming so I thought I would reach out to Michelle McCall again as I had her name from my previous dealing with executive relations. She looked and agreed my loan should have been paid off in September. I told her I was extremely frustrated that no one would take ownership of this issue. She said if I received more calls just have them call her. Well, obviously she did nothing because I have received 10 more calls since then, and every time I ask them to contact her they simply ignore the request and it goes back to some queue for them to start ringing my phone again day and night. The fact that my loan has still not been paid off leads to OCC case #xxxxxxxx
As the days go by and the phone keeps ringing, I am finally sent over the deep end when I open the mail and see that Bank of America has actually managed to force place insurance in the amount of $4,242.00 dollars on a property that I sold in August. See page 17. Can you tell me how it is possible to buy insurance on a property you no longer have an interest in? This leads to yet another OCC case #xxxxxxxx.
So, it is now January 17, 2010. A year since I have been laid off from the bank and 5 months since I sold my home that you cannot manage to remove from your books. Can you stop for a minute and think what it felt like for me to lose my home because I could no longer afford it when I lost my job? Can you imagine having to have your credit ruined via a short sale after being a banker for 21 years?
Well, let me tell you it sucks. But to make it worse, it will not go away. Every phone call and piece of mail I receive is just a reminder of what I have lost because I was laid off for doing nothing wrong. The emotional toll is astounding and Bank of America is doing everything possible to keep it going.
I have been seeking legal advice as to what course of action to take next, but it will take awhile. I simply do not have the funds to hire an attorney yet to pursue this matter. I went from earning $100,000/year to $100.00/week. I really have nowhere else to turn but to you and to the media. I have sent this story to all of the major news networks in hopes of someone hearing my plea for assistance. This story sounds so absurd that you would think it cannot be true. I am just one man, but I wonder how many others you have done this to? I will tell you the same thing I told the story editors,” I spent 21 years doing my due diligence for the bank and then I get laid off because they did not do theirs.”
In closing, I am asking you to please take ownership of this issue and finally clear this loan off of your books. As stated earlier, I am paying a very small amount to you monthly to help cover my deficiency balance left from the sale of this home. I will never recoup the funds I once earned and will have to go back to school to earn 1/3 of my previous salary. If there is any way you can forgive this deficiency it would be greatly appreciated. I would also ask to have our credit restored back to normal in relation to the 2 mortgages surrounding this short sale. This is the only derogatory item I have and my credit has always meant a great deal to me. A charge off has killed everything I have worked so hard to maintain.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.
Fix your ship, Brian Moynihan. Who’s the culprit? Laggy databases? Lost papers? Is Vince just not getting something right? And if so, what should he do? Or does at just come down to basic human indifference and incompetence?
Reached for comment, a Bank of America spokesperson said she would begin tracking down where the calls are coming from.