BofA Tries To Foreclose On Couple With Current Mortgage

Even though they have made every payment in full and on time, Bank of America sent one couple a letter asking them for the deed to their house.

The “deed in lieu of a foreclosure” would save them from the hassle of foreclosure, the letter said. Bank of America offered the baffled homeowners $3,000 to help them move. They would lose all equity in the house.

Bank of America said sending the letter was an accident, the folks were completely current on their mortgage, and they would be looking into what caused the error.

BofA has increased its solicitations for deeds in lieu of foreclosures this year, which allows them to take the house and auction it off quickly without paying the $60-$80k and months of paperwork it would otherwise take.

If you’re having trouble with your mortgage, you can call the HOPE line and get free advice at 888-995-HOPE.

Couple confused about bank’s request for deed to home [9news] (Thanks to Scott!)

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  1. Rocket says:

    Good job BofA.

  2. dpeters11 says:

    I notice they don’t say that they’re taking this error seriously.

    • sanjaysrik says:

      That’s just what I was thinking.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      That’s because they aren’t.

    • Kevin411 says:

      About as seriously as they took my last problem with them. I had put off moving from BoA because of the hassle of making the change…a decision I now regret deeply. Very long story very short…with over $1,000 in my personal checking account, I deposited a check for $3,000 from my businesses account to my personal account (both opened at the same branch). They showed the $3000 deposit, then put it on a 3-day hold (after removing the funds from my business account) so my personal account was left at $1,000. No big deal, but annoying. Then they put on an additional hold…on the same damn check ($6,000 hold on a $3,000 deposit!)…reducing my account to -$1,000 and hit me with four $35 NSF fees. I got the fees removed, but it took two calls to the national line (which could only suggest solutions that their online banking don’t actually allow) and three visits to my local branch. I timed all of these processes…I spent just under 4 hours to get MY money back.

      If BoA sent me a letter like this, even with them admitting the error, I would be fearful for my home. They have established a track record of actually foreclosing on paid-current homes and throwing the wrong folks’ stuff in the street. The time to deal with any future issues could be huge, and I’d be afraid to go on vacation until 6 months or more had passed.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        Yup, all banks make mistakes, but if it’s a big bank you can’t get them to fix it. A small bank held my deposit before crediting it (normally the hold and credit go at the SAME time to cancel each other out until the check clears). I won’t post actual numbers but I was in NO danger of over drafting before, and it put me 3 times that into the negative (it WAS a very large deposit. I get that).

        I had two payments go through that day. I got NSF letters, but they never charged a fee since they saw their own mistake.

  3. Wang_Chung_Tonight says:

    what crap

    no one is policing BofA-so I guess they do what they want

    • Link_Shinigami says:

      I can just imagine BofA execs getting in front of the powers that be, tricked out like 14yr old prostitot and just saying, repeatedly, “You don’t know me, I do what I want.”

  4. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Was just about to send this tip in.

    BoA is dangerous. They need to be stopped.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Even if BoA isn’t doing this by design, they are dangerous the same way driving a car down a steep road with no brakes is dangerous. This bank is an out of control freight train going down a very steep grade loaded to the max. They are going to crash and kill a lot of people.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “and they would be looking into what caused the error.”

    Left hand, meet right hand.
    Right hand, meet left hand.
    Hands, meet feet.
    Feet, meet shoulders.
    Shoulders, meet neck.
    Neck, meet head.
    Head, meet br…. hmmm.

  6. TBGBoodler says:

    I thought the mortgage holder held the deed to the house.

    • Dapper Dan says:

      So did I.

    • Commenter24 says:

      Depends on the state. Some states only allow liens, other states allow the mortgage holder to retain the title to the house until it’s paid off.

      • CynicLawyer says:

        That’s not correct. It is true that some states are “mortgage theory” states and some states are “deed of trust theory states”, but in no state does the bank actually hold title to your house (i.e., in either type of state, the bank would have to go through full foreclosure proceedings to take your home). As described in the article, banks in either type of state will try to negotiate a “deed-in-lieu” in order to avoid the time and expense of a foreclosure proceeding, but if the homeowner does not hand over the deed, the bank is forced to pursue judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure.

  7. blogger X says:

    F*ck Bank of America.

  8. Angus99 says:

    This is turning into a damn meme as far as BoA is concerned.

  9. Commenter24 says:

    This doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. BofA sent them a letter, it didn’t institute any sort of legal action, etc. BofA admitted the error and all goes back to normal. Not really something to get all worked up about.

    • eccsame says:

      Of course it’s something to get worked up about. It’s Bank of America! And they made a mistake and admitted to doing so! No harm was done! How can you say this is nothing to get worked up about!?

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        Your sarcasm aside, it IS something to get worked up over. It never should’ve happened and it’s a problem requiring time and effort from the home owners to get straightened out. And BofA HAS foreclosed on properties that either didn’t have a mortgage, or on which the mortgage payments were current. And some of those instances did NOT get straightened out quickly. And this situation apparently isn’t completely over yet either.

        Way to be the good corporations apologist!

        • vastrightwing says:

          Even if BoA didn’t do this by design (I think so), they have nothing stopping this from happening. Their system is designed to whip out a letter at the first signal they see. They will only ask questions after a poor homeowner harasses them by posting articles (like this) on the internet. Then and only then will BoA take it kind of seriously. BoA has friends high up in government so when their system becomes big and unstable they simply deal with the problem by apologizing and donating more money to their politician friends. Yes, they would send the sheriff out. They have done this. They will continue doing this. I am certain. They just won’t do it to me because I will fight back the second I see something like this going on. Be careful not to leave any pets at home when you’re gone.

        • Gulliver says:

          If you expect perfection from corporations or anybody else, i hope you give it in return. You must never be late for work, never miss a day, never make a single mistake at your job or business. BOA, is NOT a person. So yes, when there are 1000’s of employees and MILLIONS of transactions going on in the world, there will be mistakes.
          Mistakes like this have always happened, will always happen and it is part of life. BOA did not foreclose on their house, and every scenario imaginable would require the homeowner to be behind on their mortgage for them to take it too seriously. If BOA said it was not a mistake, THEN get up in arms and call the lawyers. Otherwise there is no financial loss, no cause of action.

          All the other examples of things that have happened will work their way through courts pr settlements. BOA will end up paying for these mistakes, but have nothing to do with this one.

          • ARP says:

            Um, yes, they do expect perfection from us. If we’re late on payments, we get dinged with fees, if we try to scam them, we get arrested (or at the very least, questioned). So yes, we are already held to a much higher standard.

            If corporations are people and can now buy elections, then they must be held to all the same standards as real people. “People” don’t accidently mail out deed-in-lieu notices or foreclose on homes they don’t own. If they did, they would be arrested for fraud.

    • TBGBoodler says:

      Until the sheriff shows up and empties out the house.

      • Commenter24 says:

        A letter like this is a long, long, long way from the sheriff showing up to toss their shit out.

        • Kevin411 says:

          In some states it is. In others, such as here in Georgia, if this mistake lingers for 60 days (as long as it took to clear up my last BoA fiasco) it very well could involve the sheriff.

      • Jack Handy Manny says:

        You know that BofA has forclosed on the wrong house before…right? Dozens of times…..As in not actually a BofA customer and still forclosed on a house….I’d be paranoid if I got a letter from them too.

        • LINIStittles says:

          No one is saying it’s wrong for this story to be out in the public eye. I am aware that BoA has foreclosed on the wrong house before, and I know those cases will go to court and BoA will be held liable. We shouldn’t have commenters claiming that this is an example that BoA “does what they want” and “need to be stopped,” etc.

        • SixOfOne says:

          In one instance, a paid off house that never had a mortgage through them. I hope BoA gets nailed to the wall.

    • LINIStittles says:

      Thanks for being the sole voice of reason in the comments. Mistakes happen, and in this case no one got hurt. If they had, BoA would have rightly been held liable.

      People love to hate. Get over it.

      • catnapped says:

        ” Mistakes happen, and in this case no one got hurt. If they had, BoA would have rightly been held liable.”

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Thanks…needed that!

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        And some people love to defend corporations, no matter how shitty they are.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        What if they send a letter like this (in error) so someone who’s elderly, maybe not very savvy, and that person either complies and loses his or her house, or at the very least, suffers a great deal of undue stress that is not good for fragile health? It’s not that a mistake was made. It’s that there’s a process in place that allows it to get made. This isn’t messing up someone’s ice cream order, it’s messing with their home.

        • Doubts42 says:

          What if a cable satellite fell out of orbit and struck that same senior citizen on the head just as they were walking to the mailbox to mail off the dded to the house. so the letter fell to the ground and was picked up by a drug mule for a Mexican narcotic cartel. they then used the house for drug deals and lowered property values for everyone.

          GOOD GOD MAN, THINK OF THE POOR CHILDREN!!!!!

          Oh yeah, and BofA sucks and this was a truly sh!tty thing for them to have done. I just hate “what ifs” they ruined x-men comics and they are pointless in a real debate.

          • Conformist138 says:

            My roommate owns the house I live in. She is not entirely well after suffering something of a mental breakdown. A letter like this would have caused her incredible stress. With all the fear surrounding mortgages and housing, I think BofA needs to start being more careful. This particular case was just a letter, but we’ve already seen how they’ve been more aggressive. Even for a homeowner than knows they’re fine, just getting it sorted out is not really fun and you still would be afraid that the company didn’t *really* fix the problem. Then your locks will be changed and you’ll have to start hostage negotiations to get your parrot back.

            This situation isn’t a big deal by itself, but it’s part of a larger pattern of BofA being negligent with customers.

    • Anathema777 says:

      Is it all taken care of, though? Ben’s write-up says that BOA agreed this was an accident, but the article says: “An associate has been in contact with Mr. Carpenter to confirm that he is current on his payments and has requested that he send the letter offering a deed-in-lieu so it can be researched further,” a statement from the company read.”

      It sounds like it’s still up in the air. And given BOA’s track record, I’d be nervous too.

      • Tom Foolery says:

        Sounds to me like they’re confirming to the borrower that yes, he is indeed current, and can he please send in a copy of the letter so they can try to determine what idiot sent the thing out in the first place, and fire them.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      Yeah, you’re right. No big deal. B of A tries to steal someone’s f-ing house out from under them, and since the owners didn’t fall for it, B of A acknowledges the mistake and all is right with the world.

      Until it happens to you and they succeed. Would it be a big deal then?

      This was no mistake. B of A is playing the odds. They know x-number of people will fall for this. They’re banking on it. This is fraud in its ugliest form. Anyone who doesn’t see that needs to open their eyes.

      • vastrightwing says:

        I agree. I do think you are 100% correct. It is a business plan of sorts. One not on paper, for sure. But unspoken. The rich people care nothing for the people they rip off. BoA is testament of this. You sir have hit the nail on the head. Of course this can’t be proven as such, but the evidence is staggering. Thanks to the internet, their ways are seen by more and more people.

  10. c!tizen says:

    This kind of shit scares the crap out of me. My mortgage was just sold to BofA and I protested it as much as possible. I even made a point of letting the BofA mortgage broker know that I have a monitored alarm system that not only calls me, but texts and emails me when the system is activated/deactivated, and also a slight mention of my conceal carry permit.

    • Stickdude says:

      You’re expecting BofA Special Forces to break into your house some night while you’re sleeping?

      • CherieBerry says:

        Has that ever happened?

        • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

          Have you read the ten or so articles on this site about that very thing happening?

      • Me - now with more humidity says:

        Hey now! Tellers can be a feisty bunch.

      • c!tizen says:

        How many articles have you read on this very site about BofA foreclosing on the wrong house? Owners coming home to being locked out and all of their belongings gone, pets being lost, houses being ransacked and destroyed. That’s what I’m referring to, and that’s what I brought up to the mortgage broker who tried to convince me that no such thing EVER happens.

  11. heltoupee says:

    I wouldn’t call this an “error”. More of a “fishing expedition” where the “bait” was “publicly rejected” by the “mark”.

  12. valladolid says:

    “Bank of America said sending the letter was an accident, the folks were completely current on their mortgage, and they would be looking into what caused the error.”

    One would think they would have found out by now if they were really looking… considering past times this has happened… while it looks like they’re improving, as they didn’t go through with any actions, they’ve been known to do things:

    http://consumerist.com/2010/04/bank-of-america-forecloses-on-then-auctions-off-home-with-paid-up-mortgage.html
    http://consumerist.com/2010/01/not-having-a-mortgage-doesnt-stop-bank-of-america-from-foreclosing.html
    http://consumerist.com/2010/03/bank-of-america-seizes-wrong-house-holds-parrot-hostage.html
    http://consumerist.com/2010/01/bank-of-america-seizes-wrong-house-causes-big-stink-no-really.html

  13. smo0 says:

    To their credit, they are probably printing out so many of these things… the person doing the data entry probably got lazy and just bulk injected accounts into the system….

    has no one ever worked in an office before? I saw this shit all of the time…

  14. Anathema777 says:

    Ben, is there another article on this that you’re referencing here? You say that the bank said the letter was an accident, but the article doesn’t say so anywhere.

    It says: “An associate has been in contact with Mr. Carpenter to confirm that he is current on his payments and has requested that he send the letter offering a deed-in-lieu so it can be researched further,” a statement from the company read.”

    That can be read to say that the associate has confirmed that Mr Carpenter is current. Or it can mean that the associate asked Mr Carpenter to provide proof that he is current.

    • turnkeydb says:

      Nope, nothing else because it’s fairly typical 9news.com horrific writing and grammar. Some of their stories are the normal news feeds but a lot of their stories are written by folks who must have failed junior high English & grammar repeatedly and forgot how to put a noun and a verb together.

  15. FredKlein says:

    Yet people still think a $2 convenience fee means Ticketmaster is the worst company.

  16. Buckus says:

    Oh Bank of America, how don’t we love thee! Those who DO want a deed-in-lieu can’t get one, and those who want their house get the offer.

  17. LightningUsagi says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate a little….

    I work for a large bank, and most large mortgage companies use the same or a similar monitoring platform that we do. There are certain steps/code/info that must be dated or filled in throughout the life of the loan so that they can be monitored in bulk. We pull reports based on certain steps, etc, and if the step or code is filled in or not, it will be pulled based on the type of report being pulled.

    If BOA is anything like the company I work for, they recently did large scale mailings to let people know about the HAFA program and what their options might be if they are in danger of falling behind on their payments. Mortgagers who did modifications with the HAMP program received letters, along with others who had certain steps and info on their accounts that we were looking for in identifying customers who may be interested in the HAFA program. Based on information in the article (like it being a deed-in-lieu and receiving $3000 relocation assistance), it sounds like this was a HAFA solicitaion letter.

    My theory is that either 1) they received the mailing based on the fact that they had done a HAMP modification, or 2) they received it based on certain steps or info that was filled in on their account pulling them to a report. My company sent out about 40,000 letters. With so many different people and departments responsible for filling out information in the accounts, there are bound to be discrepancies, and with numbers of that size, you can expect some mistakes.

    I’m not saying that it’s definately what happened, since they didn’t show the letter or really read parts of it. But I take a lot of these local news stories with a grain of salt since people are so nervous around banks, and BOA in particular.

    • peebozi says:

      I’m with you…though my hypothesis goes thusly:

      BoA is an an incompetent, corrupt, greedy culture. The people at the top need to sate the greed of their shareholders and also prove they can continue to increase profits every quarter. therefore they plant a story like this to rile up the public against big banks. But this is just a diversion from the FACT they are receiving BILLIONS of dollars in 0% taxpayer loans only to turn around and invest that money in taxpayer guaranteed bonds that pay 1-2% interest…oh yea, the taxpayer pays that 2% too.

      this is the classic “cause an uproar about something that we really don’t give a shit about in order to fleece the american taxpayer all the while continuing to buy american politicians with said taxpayer-fleeced-money” scam. I’ve seen it a thousand times!

  18. Jim Fletcher says:

    Last year when I bought my house, I determined that it was better to pay an extra 0.2% than to be finaned with BofA.

    If my mortgage is ever sold to them, I’ll do anything I can to refi with someone that isn’t them. Yuck.

  19. oldwiz65 says:

    So what else is new? BofA has to be one of the worst companies in the country. They take over houses they don’t even have mortgages on, try to foreclose on current mortgages, etc.

    They do it because they d**n well know that they can get away with pretty much anything and the banking regulatory authorities can’t touch them.

    • Vivienne says:

      Obviously you don’t watch enough Glen Beck. It is regulation that caused this problem in the first place. Regulation is what caused the financial disaster in the first place. More regulation will just cause more disaster.

  20. howie_in_az says:

    Stories like this have me freaked out about sending the refi paperwork back to BoA.

  21. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    “Bank of America said sending the letter was an accident, the folks were completely current on their mortgage, and they would be looking into what caused the error.”

    Wow. From ‘accidental’ overdraft fees to stealing people’s homes. Next they’ll be trying to steal people’s kids. “Please send the child with birth certificate to this address immediately…”

    And what if the couple didn’t know better and sent in the deed? Then BofA profits. If not they just say, “Oops! We made a mistake.” This was no mistake, and these f-ing douche bags need to be brought up on criminal charges, like right NOW!

  22. vastrightwing says:

    This fits in nicely with some of my other comments today: businesses have bad/no customer service because of customers like you, who insist on staying with them in spite of how horribly they treat you and everyone else. In defense of the homeowner in this article, he may not have solicited BoA for his mortgage. I have Wellsfargo, nearly on par with BoA IMO, but I didn’t originate the mortgage with them. They just ended up servicing my loan. Banks, especially BoA, will continue this horrible behavior, because they can. It’s that simple. The federal government all but encourages this by enabling them to continue their ways. More importantly, customers get ripped off yet won’t close their accounts. A effing amazing!

  23. I-man says:

    Does anyone else think “Bohica” when they read BofA?

  24. doobiewondersmoke says:

    BoA, where we’ll take what is rightfully yours and claim it as our own. Now pay up!

  25. Not Given says:

    If I got a letter like that, they’d get one from my lawyer in return.

  26. kajillion123 says:

    At least BoA didn’t charge them too much for concert tickets!

  27. banmojo says:

    Funny how much bad juju BoA generates from its clients. I’ve been with them for decades now, have always had the minor problems that ALL banks can cause taken care of without much hassle. Obviously many of you do not share a similar experience with me. Guess I’ve been fortunate so far :^))

  28. DragonThermo says:

    Makes sense to me. Since almost everyone is being, or will be eventually, foreclosed on, why not be proactive and just send a foreclosure notice to everyone? Save time from having to figure out the handful of customers not being foreclosed. Good job, B of A, for keeping costs low.

  29. wee_willie says:

    I’ve been upset since BoA took over my mortgage company, and the more I read on consumerist.com, the more upset I become. It has a good side, though. Now, I’m more determined than ever to pay my house off and get out from under BoA. Oh, hell, I’m sure after it’s paid off, they’ll try to foreclose. sigh