Oops We Lost Your Docs So You're Going To Foreclosure

After Alexis’s employer started making her and other workers taking mandatory furlough days, her income dropped so much that she had trouble making mortgage payments. So, like many others, she sought a loan mod. She followed all of Bank of America’s instructions and thought she was on the path to getting a mod. Then BoA told her they were going to foreclose on her house.

Alexis writes:

I bought my home in Las Vegas in 2008. In late 2009 my employer started enforcing furlough days causing me a large decrease in income. I called Bank of America asking for help. They informed me that the only way they could help me was for me to fall behind on my payments so that I could qualify for a modification. After much thought I decided trying to get a modification was the best course of action. After 2 months of being behind I received a package and a phone call with instructions to begin making “trial” payments. I made these payments in Dec 2009, Jan 2010, and Feb 2010. I was then informed to continue making my trial payment until the final modification was processed. I made my payments each and every month as instructed and provided them with financial information and paperwork as soon as they requested it. I also called in at least weekly to check on my status.

In July I received a FedEX package with my final modification documents in them. I had a new payment amount to make beginning in August and had to return the paperwork. I did so and tracked it to make sure that it had arrived. In August I began making my new payments and was assured by the customer services reps that my loan was being processed and that it was in the closing stages that would “take about 60 days.” I called in less frequently to check on my status due to believing them. I have continued to make these payments even though it has been past the time frame that I was initially told. This month I called to make my payment and was told that it was still being worked on and to “please be patient.” Then on October 8th I received a letter called “Notice of Intent to Accelerate” stating that if I did not pay all of my past due amounts by November 7th that foreclosure proceedings would ensue. I immediately contacted customer service and spoke with Shannon after being trasnferred to 3 different departments. She did some research into my account and discovered that the person who was assigned to handle my closing had discovered on October 5th that she/he could not find my signed and notarized documents and that my loan has been marked as me not paying as agreed on and that was why I started receiving these letters.

She told me that she was going to send my case to an “escalation specialist” and that the letters would cease while they looked into this matter. She also put in her referral to them that they had it documented in their own system that I had returned the documents and that there was no problem with them until October 5th. I asked if there was anyone that I could talk to sooner rather than later as I do not want my house going into foreclosure as I have done everything that they have asked. She stated that there was not. I have since received 2 more letters that stated my house in going to go into foreclosure as I have not made payments. I called again today and spoke with [redacted]. She informed me that I would probably have to wait up to 30 days for an escalation specialist to review my grievance. I informed her that this was unacceptable to me as they had lost the paperwork and the letters I have received say that they are going to start foreclosure on the 7th. She stated that she would put in another escalation request but that there was “nothing else she could do.”

I need help in resolving this and can’t seem to get past the front line of customer service people. Can anyone help me?

Thank you,

Alexis

As you may have heard, the banks seem to be having a hard time keeping track of where all that darn paperwork has run off to. You can try contacting the HOPE line, at 1-888-995-HOPE, speaking to a counselor at CredAbility.org, or some of the BoA executive customer service info in our company directory.

Comments

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Are you in a state that makes you liable for any loss the bank incurs when you forclose or short sale? If not, threaten to bulldoze it down.

    • Geotpf says:

      That would be every state. Destroying or damaging the property would make you potentially criminally liabile, possibly resulting in jail time. (An actual arrest is unlikely, but such does occur occassionally.)

      • Me - now with more humidity says:

        Wrong. There are non-recourse states.

        • sonneillon says:

          Disclaimer IANAL
          She is in Nevada which is a single action state. Meaning they can do a non-judicial non-recourse foreclosure, or a judicial recourse foreclosure.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          We aren’t talking about deficiency, we are talking about the deliberate act of bulldozing down the house. If non recourse makes that legal we need to change that… ASAP.

  2. planet_clerodendrum says:

    She should contact a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor and a reputable attorney with experience in defending homeowners in foreclosure. If she’s has trouble finding a reputable attorney with experience in this area, she should contact a local legal aid agency. Almost all have staff attorneys who work on foreclosures, and even if she doesn’t meet the agency’s income requirements they can probably refer her to a reputable foreclosure defense attorney.

  3. Hi_Hello says:

    isn’t this what the tracking is for?? since she tracked it and have proof that they recieved her paper, can’t she sue the beee-neee out of boa?

    if she can’t, what’s the whole point of tracking number and delivery confirmation on mails?

    • ryder28910 says:

      If she actually sent, requested delivery confirmation, and tracked it like she said she did, she could have brought this up during one of her many chats with the bank and been done with it. As always, I’m guessing there’s some misinformation in this one-sided story.

      • hegemonyhog says:

        If you read the article, the bank admits they got the paperwork. They just don’t have it anymore.

    • CoachTabe says:

      RTFA. The bank admits they received the documentation – it’s even noted in their own system. They’re saying they lost it afterward and are still blaming the customer.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        i read it..unless there is a link that I don’t see…

        my point is, she did want she was suppose to do… and have proof that she did it, how come she is getting screwed with the bank is the one that messed up… that can’t be legit.

        i wonder if she made copies of everything…

    • mszabo says:

      Technically speaking tracking numbers don’t prove much. They prove that she sent something to the bank. It doesn’t say what was in it.

  4. ShruggingGalt says:

    This story can not be true. BofA has publicly stated that there are no cases like this.

  5. jdmba says:

    Yt nthr str whch fcss n stp . Stp : PRSN DS NT BTHR T HNR THR CNTRCTL BLGTN T P THR MRTGG Nw Stp … Bnk nfrcs ts rghts. Wll, tht wld b lss snstnlzd str, wldn’t t.

    • scorpionamongus says:

      Step 1a: Person who cannot meet her obligation is proactive and contacts bank representatives who recommend a course of action, which she follows.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Um, in this case she asked what she had to do to make her payments affordable due to a pay cut. The bank told her to stop making payments in order to recieve a modification. She didn’t just stop on her own. What was she supposed to do?

    • Mephron says:

      You made a few mistakes:

      step 1: person’s employer changes job conditions unilaterally

      step 2: person examines situation, tries to act responsibly and make arrangements to not break their contractual obligation

      step 3: person follows recommendations from contracted authority believing their left thumb knows what the right index finger is doing

      step 4: contracted authority has left thumb in butt and right index finger in ear and no brain.

      fixed that for you. did you even read, or do you make your living as a bank-loving straw-man apologist?

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      No, no. In this case, I think it’s a loss of focus during Step 3: RTFA.

      The OP lost income, looked at her options, contacted her bank, they told her NOT to pay so that she would fall behind so a loan mod could occur. She began the loan mod procedure, THEY lost her paperwork.

      • Geotpf says:

        Loan mods do not stop the bank’s right to foreclose until they are permanent.

        Sure, BoA should have handled this differently, but it’s farking Bank of Farking America, what do you expect?

        • Pax says:

          Once hte bank accepted custodial responsibility for the paperwork required to process that loan modification, they cannot penalise HER for the disappearance of those papers.

          If I loan you fifty bucks, and you pay me back $20 (with the other $30 to follow) … once that twenty dollar bill is in my hands, it’s my responsibility not to lose it. If I then accidentally drop it down a hole, I can’t turn to you and say “gimme another $20, that one didn’t count”.

    • Bativac says:

      I agree that people need to pay their mortgages.

      However, I also agree that when a company (such as a bank in this case) renegotiates the terms to allow for modified payments, they need to honor that agreement. Yeah, the OP is on the hook for the mortgage, but if the bank agrees to adjust their payments and then tries to back out, that’s wrong, too.

    • anime_runs_my_life says:

      Gotta disagree. She DID follow her contractual obligations as best she could. Not her fault her employer forced furlough days. Everywhere you turn, places are doing it. Hell, even my workplace started doing this not too long ago and people are not happy.

      • kenj0418 says:

        “As best she could” still equals “did not’ follow her contractual obligations”. It’s also not her mortgage companies fault that her employer started furlough days.

        Did the mortgage company handle things incompetently after that? Absolutely – but the ultimate fault lies with her for not honoring the original terms of her mortgage.

        • Kate says:

          Either way, she would have had to stop paying all her mortgage payments if she didn’t attempt to get the loan adjusted. If the bank had properly followed it’s own procedure, it would not have sustained whatever loss it will have to take if the property is repossessed. Foreclosure was a lose lose proposition. It’s not good business for any business to take the lose lose choice.

        • Difdi says:

          The terms are whatever she and the mortgage company agreed upon. Such as the terms she and they agreed to when she got the mortgage in the first place. Such as the terms she and the CSR, an apparent agent of the mortgage company, agreed to on the phone when she lost her ability to make the previously agreed-upon payments. Such as the terms of the loan modification deal she met every requirement for, obeyed in good faith, and that the mortgage company agent agreed to.

          She didn’t violate any deals at all. All the broken contractual obligations are on the part of the mortgage company.

    • c!tizen says:

      I’d rant out, but a simple RTFA should do the trick, skippy.

    • Kate says:

      Um, the bank instructed her to stop making payments. The bank is the one who stopped the payments.

    • galm666 says:

      Heck yes, TLDR in action.

    • Gulliver says:

      Have you read a mortgage contract? The contract is CLEAR on remedies if you can not make those payments. BOA has breached this portion of the agreement. BOA accepts the risk of people no longer being able to afford the mortgage with this concept called INTEREST. BOA happens to be a bank that could not meet its LEGAL obligations two years ago, and took money to bail their ass out, so why not say BOA should be out of business. They never followed their contractual obligation.
      Please take your teabag and go home

    • psm321 says:

      Step 3: Bank does not honor CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION that they agreed upon in an attempt to mitigate their losses (to modify the mortgage)

      Step 4: borrower complains

    • Difdi says:

      Reading is HARD!

      You’d look a good bit less, well, stupid if you read the article before posting about it. The ALL CAPS doesn’t help your case.

    • runswithscissors says:

      You are just a terrible human being. Were you born without empathy, or did you lose it over time?

      Also, RTFA and all that. This customer did everything one can or should do under circumstances outside her control.

      Not good enough for you or BOA, but good enough for the rest of humanity.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Well, you have the OP between a rock and a hard place.

      She can’t pay her bill and you say it’s her fault (as opposed to circumstances beyond her control).

      Bank tells her to fall behind or they will not help her. She falls behind and now you say “oh, so sad, you deserve it for being behind!”

      If the money doesn’t exist to make the payments and she is trying to pay SOMETHING, it’s sick that the bank will refuse to help until she is in a position that they can take her house. It’s wrong and unethical if not illegal. Speaking of which, is this entirely above-board? Telling homeowners they must be behind, then sitting back and waiting until the house is vulnerable to take it?

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      I’m so glad that you’re so certain you’ll never find yourself in a difficult position financially. Oh wait, no, you’re just a huge hypocrite.

      Grow a heart and a brain, in whichever order you’d like.

  6. Andy Dufresne says:

    Hmmm…you have kept COPIES of everything involving your mortgage, and subsequent attempts at having said mortgage reduced, correct?

  7. frank64 says:

    This happened to my brother too. Almost everything he sent them had to be sent at least twice since they lost it. BOA must be a mess.How can they lose everything? They know what is happening, but they blame the customer. He sent his notarized statement in and they said they lost it, I think it has been resolved though.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I think it has to do with robo-signers and others “losing” the paperwork in the shredder. Makes it much easier to claim that it never existed… except when the mortgage holder actually makes copies and sends thing via certified mail.

      • ShruggingGalt says:

        They received an empty envelope via certified mail.

        • Firethorn says:

          The courts aren’t that stupid, especially if the homeowner shows up with copies and receipts.

          Basically, what does the home owner stand to gain via sending empty envelopes? The main reason for certified/return receipt is to show that you actually mailed it, and they actually received it. At which point you might as well put copies of the documents in the envelope.

          I’m getting a loan right now. I’ve been sending them documentation via email with digital signatures.

          • frank64 says:

            Court isn’t going to make a difference with modifications. There is no legal right to a mod. Once the banks decide to foreclose the issue is going to be if you paid the mortgage on time or not. Saying the bank didn’t accept your mod will not be a defense. They can do that even if it was their fault. I don’t know what the federal issues would be.

            I think there was a lawsuit though on Countrywide loans, and BOA was handling them differently. This is why for my brother it should have been the easiest. I don’t know if the extent of his problems is other BOA customer are having even worse, or maybe they are treating Countrywide loans as bad as they treat the other one.

            • Putaro says:

              It seems like a big problem with the loan modification process is banks telling people they need to be behind on their mortgage in order to qualify for a loan modification. This is basically setting people up for a disaster if the bank messes up.

              Perhaps a regulation is needed that banks are not allowed to require people to be delinquent on their mortgage to be eligible for a loan modification.

    • Elginista says:

      This happened to my wonderful next door neighbors. She had lost her job, and his hours were cut, so they tried to work with BOA who told them to stop making payments so they would be eligible for a mod. They sent their paperwork – and received delivery confirmation – TWICE to BOA. Both times it was lost somewhere within BOA. They didn’t have the financial resources to keep fighting it. The house was winterized by the foreclosure management company last week.

  8. Power Imbalance says:

    t ths pnt, f y’r B cstmr y dsrv t b hsd. B hs bn bd BD fr cntlss yrs!

    • Rose says:

      Yes, because the person holding the mortgage has the absolute power to make sure that their mortgage isn’t sold to a crap-tastic servicer like BOA. Right.

      • Power Imbalance says:

        Yeah, I guess you’re right in that case. Sucks that anybody is a customer (forced or by choice) of BOA.

      • frank64 says:

        Right, my brothers mortgage was sold to Countrywide, which BOA took over. You have no control over where you mortgage goes. It is right there in the paperwork.

    • Draw2much says:

      Our mortgage originally went through Flagstar bank. They then sold it to Bank of America. We weren’t given a choice about the matter. Just letters (a bunch of them!) saying our loan was being transferred. :-/

  9. common_sense84 says:

    File a court case immediately. Do not wait.

    If you just keep bullshitting with their operators, your house will be sold out from under you.

  10. ITDEFX says:

    I think we are living in an era where following the rules still fucks you over… or “Your damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!”

  11. EHarley says:

    GET A LAWYER

    That will get their attention ASAP

    • HippieLawChick says:

      Unfortunately, they seem to treat lawyers the same as their customers. I am a lawyer, and they lost the paperwork I sent in for a client at least 4 times.

  12. H3ion says:

    Gonna use some fifty cent legal words here, but what if the OP filed in court for a declaratory judgment that here mortgage was modified; that is, BofA provided her with terms that she followed and they should now be forced to live up to the terms they proposed since she relied on them to her detriment. Second, argue that BofA is estopped from foreclosing as long as the OP meets the terms of the mortgage as modified. Now I haven’t seen this done in a real estate mortgage context but I don’t see any reason why a judge, faced with an asshat like Bank of America, out to screw a local plaintiff, would at least consider the action.

    • sonneillon says:

      Does the modification count as a contract? Or was this an application for a modification?

      • H3ion says:

        I’d argue that the bank agreed to the modification, or committed such acts in leading the OP down the garden path, that the bank can’t now say that there wasn’t a modification.

        There are really two instruments involved. There’s the mortgage or deed of trust which establishes a pledge of real estate as security for an obligation. Then there’s the obligation itself which is a bond or note promising to repay money borrowed. The note can be modified seven ways from Sunday without ever requiring a modification to the mortgage. In fact, if the note is paid in full, the mortgage still exists as a matter of record unless an affirmative act is performed to release it. The mortgage is recorded in the land records or court records of the jurisdiction. The note is not.

        I think a good argument could be made that in telling the OP to not make payments, and then to make payments at a particular level, and to send in documentation, and to tell the OP that the modification would be approved, the bank actually agreed to a modification of the debt obligation, the note, either as a matter of contract or of quasi-contract, and that the mortgage now secures the modified debt instrument. The result would be that as long as the OP is in compliance with the modified debt instrument, the secured party cannot exercise rights under the mortgage.

        An alternative argument would be that the OP did not commit a default that would permit action under the mortgage because (1) the failure to pay was at the direction of the bank and (2) the revised payment schedule that the OP made was at the direction of the bank. In other words, the bank can’t tell you to do something and then, after you do it, say “gotcha” and start foreclosure.

        Now I’ll admit this is pretty tough argument to make because all different things come into play. For example, did the bank even own the note or had it been part of a securitized package? Was the mortgage appropriately modified to indicate the identity of the secured party when the note was sold? Does the bank have actual authority from the note owner to agree a modification or institute foreclosure? If the loan was never securitized, then none of these may apply, but it would be more common than not for the loan to have been sold as part of a package.

        It’s still a tough argument because it asks a court to tell a bank that the bank gave up its rights to enforce the original note by “agreeing” to a modification and in the absence of something written, the court may not be persuaded. But I think the banks have become so rapacious that a court with an eye toward doing “justice” might go along with the argument.

      • Difdi says:

        Technically, any deal you make with a corporation is a contract.

  13. jeraymondjr says:

    1) I’m sure you’d need a lawyer and have to start suit against the bank but it is a well known fact that banks record all conversations between customers and their service departments.

    2) I’m sure she can produce proof of the payments she did make.

    3) If she tracked the FedEx envelope then she can produce a signature for who signed for it. Legal docs usually require a signature.

    4) If she didn’t, then she should have kept copies of all of her docs.

  14. tjustman says:

    If you are in the appeals process for MHA the bank can’t foreclose on you. There’s a goof in the bank. Call them and ask them to ensure you’re not on the foreclosure list. Get a legal aid/advocacy person engaged, and send a letter to Barbara Desoer asking for help. You’ll get fast-tracked and this problem addressed pronto.

  15. Admiral_John says:

    OP may want to check with loan-safe.org… I found myself in a similar situation with Countrywide (which is now BoA) several years ago and after getting shuffled around and denied mods people on this site put me in touch with someone at Countrywide who had my load mod approved in three days, and this was after I had battled with Countrywide for, no exaggeration, almost a year.

  16. Joseph49 says:

    I have to wonder about banks. Bankers are accountants by nature, and BOA is one of the largest. The number of lost documents throughout the country, not just Nevada, leads me to suspect that either they do not know how to count, have very poor tracking practices, poor employees, poor leadership, or are doing this purposely.

    It is difficult for me to believe that the excessive number of lost documents can be an accident, or that it takes so long to process paperwork in today’s electronic environment. There is something that just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I have to wonder where all these lost documents have gone. If they are throwing them away, then they are compromising the identity of thousands of customers. If they are simply misplacing the documents, then somebody’s desk must be awash in unprocessed paper.

    How can one possibly trust banks (who were once the stalwarts of accounting competency) when such shoddy accountability is rampant?

    As I wrote, something just isn’t right here, and it cannot be all the customers messing up. There are just too many conincidences.

    • verdegrrl says:

      Exactly! My bet is that there is an unofficial mandate to “lose” as many documents as possible so the bank can collect on some sort of gap insurance (if such a thing exists) when they sell off the house.

      If they really are losing so much paperwork, that bodes incredibly badly for every aspect of their business.

  17. rev.dave says:

    I fought countrywide for 3 and a half years from a subprime , i had to get it to get my ex girlfriend off loan and title, i received a lower payment via modification in feb 2009 and yesterday my local branch sent my payment back as bank of america is not accepting the modification . Did i mention they overdrafted my payment in may 2009 by a $1000.00 , it took 8 months to get an apology and that money back but to this day i have not gotten my $860.00 of overdraft/nsf fees back and that was just from the bank not my other credit cards that i couldn’t pay after they wiped out my account, i was unemployed for 9 months in 2007-2008 and am caught up on every account except for BB&T who has been trying to auction my house as it still has $100,000.00 in equity for two years now – they even admitted it over the phone this feb. while on with a HUD counselor!!! i was trying to get my duplex on the market to sell and payoff all my debt and start investing again but have no investments or credit cards active to rob peter to pay paul , BB&T wants all arrears instead of putting at end of loan and just let me make payments again, sometimes they won’t accept payments at all and over the three years my credit is in the toilet, if i wanted to just walk away from debt i would have filed bankruptcy along time ago .. I just want a fair and honest deal especially on countrywide modification as the state of md reps already said they’re wrong in doing so..