Here Is Why Bank Of America Is Being Sued

Last week, the attorney general in Arizona filed suit against Bank of America, alleging that it hadn’t made good on its promise to implement a functioning loan modification program. And while Christine doesn’t live in Arizona, her story should give her state’s attorney general reason to consider joining the legal fray.

In 2008, Christine and her husband filed for a modification on their mortgage. Everything went smoothly and they received documentation that they could start paying the reduced amount in February 2009.

Then came the March 2009 statement, with — not surprisingly — the old amount.

“[T]hese things sometimes take a month to show up in the system. Just keep making your adjusted payment,” she was told.

In April 2009, that became, “it looks like here that a supervisor did not finalize your modification.” But she was told it would be fixed on her next statement and to keep paying the adjusted rate.

Then came May and claims that her notary had somehow nullified the modification paperwork by writing down the expiration date of her notary stamp. BofA was wrong and admitted that much when she called back.

Once again, she was told to “please be patient.”

And so she continued to be patient, paying the adjusted rate just as she’d been told to on each occasion. A few months passed until Christine received a packet of paperwork via FedEx asking her to apply for the modification plan for which she had already been approved.

Here is her recollection of the phone convo that followed:

“I’m already in the plan, right?”
“Yes.”
“So I don’t need this plan that you’re sending me, because I’m already in the plan.”
“Yes.”
“Okay.”
“So what you’re telling me is that you are declining enrollment in the plan at this time.”
“Not the original plan but in this packet that you’re sending me now.”
“Okay.”

You’ve probably already guessed that this didn’t end well.

The next month, she received a notification stating that she’d declined membership in the modification plan. Once again, she called BofA and confirmed that she was still enrolled. And once again she was told to just be patient and that these things take time.

Fast forward through more months of erroneous statements and dead-end phone calls to November 2010. That’s when Christine, who had actually been paying $200/month more than the adjusted amount, receives a letter from BofA telling her that she is $16,000 past due and that the bank is beginning the process of “accelerated foreclosure” on her home.

This is the point at which BofA tells her that by declining that second modification offer her original membership in the loan-mod program was canceled and that she needs to reapply all over again.

Christine and her husband are now lawyering up because no one at Bank of America appears to be willing to actually fix the mess.

We have a hunch who they will be voting for come Worst Company In America time.

The details here are just an outline of the two-year hell Christine and her family have been experiencing thanks to Bank of America. You can read her whole story on her personal blog.

Comments

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  1. LadyTL says:

    So where are the people saying they should have just paid their mortgage and nothing bad would have happened?

  2. Opdelt says:

    Bank of America is a criminal enterprise. I was mad as hell when Bank of America bought my mortgage note. 4 months into them having my note, I get a certified letter… Notice of Intent to Accelerate. The funny part is, my mortgage was current! It showed my name, address, and account number. I called up Bank of America, and got stuck speaking with an absolute moron who refused to let me speak to his supervisor. At one point, the guy asked if I was sure my mortgage is with Bank of America!!! If any Bank of America representative attempts to enter my home, I will deem them a threat and blast them away the instant they cross the threshold.

    • c!tizen says:

      Wow, reading that comment was like talking to myself in the mirror. I was pissed when I found out BoA bought my mortgage, and immediately told my girlfriend that if at any point someone shows up to the house claiming to be from BoA or one of their contractors that she is not to open the door, go grab a firearm and call me at once.

      I haven’t had any problems yet, but they’ve only had it for a couple of months so I’m not exactly resting easy right now.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    All these months and BoA can’t get their paperwork straight (on purpose?) yet if I am late on one payment, three days later I receive a letter in the mail telling me so.

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    that is crazy.

  5. Supes says:

    Wait…. so she was actually paying the original amount this whole time (which is greater than the modified amount)? And this still happened?

    Often I see people in trouble because they don’t make payments while the loan is being modified… which, while still problematic, is at least more understandable. Your commitment to pay doesn’t disappear entirely.

    But here, at least if I read it right, she actually paid more than the modified plan would have required her to, and continued to pay consistently… so WTF happened?

    • Hi_Hello says:

      Let say her mortage is 5G a month. Her adjusted mortgage was suppose to be let say…$2200 a month. She has been paying $200 more than than the adjusted mortgage, so she’s paying 2400. Which mean, each month she still didn’t cover the original mortgage by $2600.

      • Supes says:

        Ah. I misread, thinking she continued paying the original amount which was $200 more than the modified. I see my mistake now.

        Still ridiculous, but at least it makes sense why she was $16,000 past due.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          No, actually, it *DOESN’T* make sense. Because the bank informed her, repeatedly, that her payment was supposed to be the Modified Amount, instead of the amount she was being billed.

          Since she was paying the amount she was told, by official representatives of the bank, there’s no reason for them to claim that she’s “behind” on the mortgage.

          • Difdi says:

            It may even be criminal coercion for them to make such a claim, as they’re demanding monies not owed them with an unfair punishment if the victim doesn’t cough up the cash.

            It’s certainly breach of contract on the part of the bank.

  6. howie_in_az says:

    I just finished a refi with BoA, my first payment is due in January. I’ve already called them three times to make sure December’s payment could be skipped and that I had the right amount for January’s payment.

    I’m sure they’ll find a new and inventive way to screw this up.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Don’t rely on phonecalls. Ask them to fax or mail you something stating exactly what they told you on the phone.

      Get it in writing. Your lawyer will thank me later.

      • Sidecutter says:

        Easier: Phone recordings. Federal law on this is one-party consent. So if you consent, you have no need at all to tell them it is even happening. This assumes the call is over state lines of course, but with BOA, that’s all but guaranteed.

        Thankfully, my state is also One Party Consent. So I’m good to go regardless.

  7. Wang_Chung_Tonight says:

    Criminals take note:

    for legalized crime all you have to do is incorporate, take BofA for instance.

  8. slim150 says:

    After all these horror stories.. why do people still bank with them? Or do you think all banks are like this and that since they are so big they have more issues but its proportional

    • Raanne says:

      You don’t have a choice who owns your mortgage. BofA bought my mortgage – I can’t afford to refinance every time BofA decides to buy it…

    • BrianneG says:

      I bank with BofA. They have ATMs absolutely everywhere and offices quite close to both my office and my house. I’ve been with them since I moved to California in 1996. My checking account is free with direct deposit and I like their “Keep the Change” savings program and my credit card has a decent rewards program. The only problem I had was trying to get my name changed when I got married. I had to go in three times and talk to them on the phone twice.

      • slim150 says:

        A lot of banks have ATM reimbursements. I belong to a little credit union with like 5 offices, but I can use any ATM and get reimbursed.

      • jessiesgirl says:

        Same here… but my name change took 3 visits and 3 phone calls! I dumped BoA a long time ago, but my husband has used them for years and opened a joint account with them after we got married. Personally, I’d rather go with a local credit union.

        And on top of that… when we buy a house I’m TERRIFIED that our loan will be sold to BoA!!! Does anyone know of a mortgage company that keeps it’s own loans?

  9. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Don’t rely on phonecalls. Ask them to fax or mail you something stating exactly what they told you on the phone.

    Get it in writing. Your lawyer will thank me later.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      EDIT/DELETE BUTTON, PLEASE.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      I agree 100%. You can even reach them via online banking e-mail and print out a copy of the response. Why keep calling and never building proof of communication?

  10. sjsutton says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting WikiLeaks memos from BOA. I’m sure the back end of their business is run by greedy SOBs who could give rat’s a$$ about any of their customers.

    Come on WikiLeaks – leak the memos!!

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      I truly hope that whatever Wikileaks has on BoA is enough to start the ball rolling to bring that entire company down.

      They do so much damage, from greed and malice at the executive level to sheer incompetence at the branch levels.

  11. mjconsumer says:

    >We have a hunch who they will be voting for come Worst Company In America time.

    Comcast, of course!

  12. PLATTWORX says:

    I am not trying to blame the OP, however, I am taken aback by the “her recollection of the phone convo…” She CALLED and CALLED and CALLED. Not once do I see where she WROTE or demanding a response IN WRITING that she could have used to prove she was approved for modification.

    Why on Earth would you just keep calling with no proof of conversations and then simply pass on what you “recall” was said??

    • AnthonyC says:

      “In 2008, Christine and her husband filed for a modification on their mortgage. Everything went smoothly and they received documentation that they could start paying the reduced amount in February 2009. “

      That’s the 3rd and 4th sentence of the post, btw.

  13. stephent says:

    My wife and I just tried to refinance our mortgage with BoA. The house they “compared” ours too had one less bath and an unfinished basement. It was also a foreclosure. When we called BoA to complain they told us that the difference was too much no matter what improvements we may have made and the differences in the house. The told us at that time they were closing our application. At least they refunded our application fee. However the next day when my wife looked up the house that had just sold see saw that it had be re-listed for just under what we needed our house to be appraised at to get the refinancing. We called BoA still no response. We are planning on redoing a bathroom then going to chase where we do our banking to refinance. We would have saved tons on the refinance so I think BoA decided that they just didn’t ant to refinance us.

  14. NumberSix says:

    B of A sucks. When are people going to get their collective heads around that?

  15. agraham999 says:

    Our mortgage is with B of A…and while we’re financially fine…we did qualify for mortgage modification because of the losses we took on our house (thanks to banks like B of A btw)…and when we went in to see about modification…they told us we didn’t qualify…gave us all sorts of crap answers…

    So we went to a local bank…we did qualify…and we gave our business to them…ultimately saving almost $100k in interest over the life of the loan.

    I hope B of A goes up in a flaming mess.

    • outshined says:

      Now that’s a Consumerist. You don’t like my business? Bye. Nicely done.

      • Elphaba says:

        I am beyond glad that I paid off my MBNA turned BOA card. I owe them nothing. I was in a repayment plan (because I hadn’t been paying and was very very bad) with MBNA with a guaranteed interest rate as long as my payments were on time, and I had this in writing. I was NEVER late on a payment, and was paying $100 extra every month. When BOA bought MBNA, they immediately raised my rate from 5% to 25%. At this point I had been current on my payments for 2 years. I called and raised hell, and it wasn’t until I threatened to get a lawyer they finally fixed the rate. Trust me I checked EVERY single month that they didn’t change my rate. I was on a 5 year repayment plan, and I paid it off in 3.5 years, and I am ever so glad I no longer owe them a dime and I NEVER have to do business with them again.

    • FrankReality says:

      I agree – these mega-banks have hundreds and thousands of examples of crimes ranging from filing false affidavits (purgery), foreclosing on homes they didn’t finance (felony theft), foreclosing on homes that had paid-off mortgages (felony theft), breaking and entering properties, fraudulent and missing paperwork (a coverup of fraud in selling the loan?), failure to file mortgages in accordance to the applicable laws and fraudulently selling mortgages that they knew the buyer couldn’t handle to keep generating profits through fees and more. I haven’t yet mentioned bundling a bunch of mortgages into CDOs and fraudulently miscommunicating the risk of the CDOs to the buyers.

      If the mega-banks are properly held accountable, they would go under and some C-level executtives should be doing perp walks in Federal prisons. But right now, the Federal Reserve is blocking new foreclosure regulations – protecting the mega-banks instead of the people they’ve screwed.

      This after the “too-big-to-fail” bailouts which the banks have yet to pay back. And guess what – those so-called toxic assets that the bailout was supposed to help the banks deal with – they’re still there.

      So we have these corrupt mega banks which are above the law and the Federal Reserve which enables the corruption to continue.

      This really sucks.

      The only thing the consumer can do is to boycott these megabanks – their credit card ops, mortgages, savings accounts, checking accounts and investments – and find a reputable local bank. Then, write your congress person, Senators and your state’s attorney general demanding accountability.

  16. tripnman says:

    We have a BoA mortgage (Originally First Franklin, sold to Countrywide, inherited by BoA) and are waiting for the inevitable screw up on their part So far, so good. Last year we were contacted by the holder of the note (BoA is the servicer) and offered a modification. It had all the makings of a scam (upfront fees, they contacted us, etc.) but the selling point was that they assured me that at no time would I have to work directly with BoA to get the modification. In their words – “They work for us, they do what we tell them to.” I was shocked when after we signed everything, the very next statement from BoA (after skipping one!) was the modified amount and has stayed that way for over a year. Four more to go….

  17. Darwin says:

    Bank of Italy shows up the mafia yet again.