A senior loan collector for Bank of America (BoA) filed an affidavit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Case number MDL2193) last week.
Simone Gordan, a Bank of America senior loan collector filed an affidavit in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts last week stating BoA told their employees to lie to customers saying BoA had not received requested documents when, in fact, BoA had received the documents for home modifications.
Gordan stated the following under oath:
“Using the Bank of America computer systems I saw that hundreds of customers had made their required trial payments, sent the documents requested of them, but had not received permanent modifications. I also saw records showing that Bank of America employees have told people that documents had not been received when, in fact, the computer system showed that Bank of America had received the documents. This was consistent with the instructions my colleagues and I were given. We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested, and that it had not received trial payments (when in fact it had). We were told that admitting that the bank received documents would “open a can of worms” since the bank was required to underwrite a loan modification within 30 days of receiving those documents and it did not have sufficient underwriting staff to complete the underwriting in that time….”
Further, six former BoA employees have alleged in court documents that the bank deliberately denied loan modifications to homeowners who were eligible and deliberately lied to the homeowners on the status of their documents and mortgage payments. These six former employees worked at BoA centers throughout the United States and not at one particular branch. Their affidavits, dated June 7th 2013 are more, in a long list of accusations, of mishandling by BoA and other top U.S. Banks.
These former BoA employees also said the bank rewarded their customer service representatives cash bonuses and gift cards (to stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Target) when they successfully foreclosed on homes. As an example, a BoA employee who successfully placed 10 or more accounts into foreclosure in a month’s time could receive $500 as a bonus. Employees who did not ‘make the numbers each month’ were disciplined and sometimes fired.
Their statements also included that about every 2 weeks, the bank would “clean out its HAMP backlog in what they called the blitz”. During a blitz, the bank would decline thousands of loan modification requests merely because the documents were more than 60 months old. According to court documents, BoA managers would roam the floor with headsets and were able to listen in to employees without any warning. Employees were told to falsify computer records.
In an affidavit by William Wilson, who worked in BoA’s Charlotte, North Carolina office, he said “Once a HAMP application was delayed or rejected, BoA would offer an in-house alternative, charging as high as 5% when the loan could have been modified for 2% under HAMP.” Wilson, a case management team manager told his supervisors these practices were “ridiculous and immoral”. He was fired August, 2012.
These former employees also alleged in their testimony that the bank falsified information it reported to the government by stating they had given more HAMP loans than they actually had.
BoA Home Loans spokesperson Rick Simon said the bank had successfully completed more modifications than any other servicer under HAMP.
Bank of America was one of four other banks that reached the landmark $25 billion settlement in 2012 after employees revealed they “robo-signed” documents without verifying as required by law. Just recently the Attorney Generals of New York and Florida accused BoA of violating the terms of that $25 billion settlement.
Meanwhile, customers continue to receive notices their documents haven’t been received by the bank and homeowners continue to send and re-send the same documents back to the bank as requested.
More than 18,000 homeowners have filed complaints about Bank of America since 2012 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is a new agency created to help consumers.
HAMP was recently extended to 2015.
Keith A. Gantenbein, Jr. is a Colorado consumer advocate attorney, foreclosure defense and real estate attorney located in Denver and servicing all of Colorado. His foreclosure defense practice includes: foreclosure prevention, foreclosure assistance, loan modifications, short sales, and all other foreclosure defense legal assistance. He also handles bankruptcies, mortgage negotiations, lender liability, real estate,civil litigation, debt defense, debt harassment, contracts and landlord/tenant. If you think you will be facing debt collection, foreclosure, or are in the foreclosure process, or have had a wrongful foreclosure, contact Keith Gantenbein at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.