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We are organizing victims of deceptive modification process brought to light by the Bank Of America employee who blew the whistle. Join others in reviewing legal avenues to receive compensation for the affront by this large lender. More info to come shortly.
Bank of America whistle-blower’s bombshell: “We were told to lie”
BofA’s mortgage servicing unit systematically lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications, and paid their staff bonuses for deliberately pushing people into foreclosure. Many a homeowner who has had to deal with the modification process at BofA has thought such an allegation is true– but now they have confirmation by six former BofA Employees and an independent contractor who provided services to the bank. “Bank of America’s practice is to string homeowners along with no apparent intention of providing the permanent loan modifications it promises,” said Erika Brown, one of the former employees.
Published on Mar 9, 2012
Although BofA, along with other big banks like Wells Fargo, Citibank, Ally/GMAC and JPMorgan Chase, recently reached a very favorable settlement of potential criminal fraud charges related to their mortgage lending practices,these unsealed civil fraud lawsuits against BofA means that they may not be out of the woods just yet. The information opens the door to potentially hundreds of individual and joint lawsuits against the bank for losses homeowners sustained due to BofA’s fraudulent modification process. You might one of the victims who can jump in on the opportunity to be made whole.
BofA has gone against the agreement for streamlining the modification process which it had agreed certain terms and conditions under under the Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP). In return for assisting homeowners in getting their modification, the bank received $1 billion in return. In a case filed in July 2011 and unsealed March 7, former BofA subcontractor employee Gregory Mackler alleges that BofA misled borrowers to keep them from participating in the taxpayer subsidized Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), because mortgage modifications cost BofA money.
Among the tactics allegedly used were stalling the review of applications by assigning them to employees who were on vacation or who had actually already been fired. Concerned borrowers were also told that their complaints were still being reviewed when in fact they had secretly been labeled as “incomplete.
BofA also violated a promise, made by BofA to the federal government as a condition of getting $45 billion from the federal bank bailout, to help borrowers get into HAMP, when the bank was actually pushing borrowing to accept non-HAMP loans at worse rates. This conduct, argues Mackler, made “a mockery of a program designed by Congress and the Treasury Department to help millions of struggling American homeowners.”
In another whistleblower case filed in 2009 and unsealed in February 2012, former BoA subsidiary employee Kyle Lagow alleges that Countrywide Financial Corp., now owned by BoA, created a scheme to inflate housing prices by manipulating property appraisals, ultimately leading to more foreclosures. Those inflated prices, the complaint alleges, included thousands of Federal Housing Administration backed loans, the default of which cost the federal government money.
Bank of America NA prevented homeowners from receiving mortgage-loan modifications under a federal program in order to avoid millions of dollars in losses while benefitting from financial incentives for participating in the program, according to a complaint unsealed in federal court Wednesday […]
The complaint unsealed Wednesday was filed by whistleblower Gregory Mackler, a Colorado resident who said he worked alongside Bank of America executives while an employee at Urban Lending Solutions, a company to which Bank of America contracted some of its HAMP work.
While working at Urban Lending, Mackler said he saw BofA and its loan servicing subsidiary, BAC Homes Loans Servicing LP, implement “business practices designed to intentionally prevent scores of eligible homeowners from becoming eligible or staying eligible for permanent HAMP modification.”
The bank and its agents routinely pretended to have lost homeowners’ documents, failed to credit payments during trial modifications and intentionally misled homeowners about their eligibility for the program, the complaint alleged.
BoA let through just enough HAMP modifications to avert suspicion and allay congressional critics, while not enough to incur any substantial losses to its own bottom line, according to the complaint.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter on June 18th to Christy L. Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), calling for an investigation of Bank of America or any other mortgage servicer, who allegedly benefitted by misleading borrowers eligible for HAMP.
Ranking Member Waters’ letter comes after an article in Bloomberg cited court documents in which former loan employees stated that, Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. lender, “regularly drilled” employees, “to maximize fees for the bank by fostering and extending delay of the HAMP modification process by any means.”
The letter notes that according to significant anecdotal evidence as well as a number of academic studies that “foreclosure is often the most profitable end result for a servicer that does not own the loan they are servicing.”
“Bank of America has received $992 million in Incentive Payments related to HAMP, making them the second largest beneficiary of such payments.” Ranking Member Waters writes. “While that figure pales in comparison to the other Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds that the bank has benefited from, I do think it represents a significant amount of assistance from taxpayer,” the letter continues.
Ranking Member Waters also sent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Fed) asking them to investigate how or whether these allegations against Bank of America interact with the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement reached between regulators and mortgage servicers in January 2013.
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