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Readers Reflect on BofA Mortgage Racket/Lying

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 17, 2013 8:45 AM |

Would you ever want to do business with an individual or an entity that lied to you? Probably not, right?

Should we add Bank of America to the list of those entities (financial institutions, regulators, our government) that have been less than forthright in engaging those with whom it was saying one thing but doing something entirely different?

A cursory review of the testimony I highlighted this past Friday, Bank America Mortgage Racket: We Were Told to Lie, might give many who read that commentary considerable reason to pause before engaging BofA.

Very simply, relationships require that both parties engaged in a matter deal in an honest and open fashion. Can you imagine the stress involved in the pursuit of a business affair if the other party were not embracing those most basic of principles?

I have read a voluminous number of documents relating to a wide array of lawsuits, investor complaints, fraudulent transactions, and much more over the course of the last four plus years but few rise to the level of incrimination and shamelessness as that embedded in my commentary the other day.

I thank those who wrote to me directly to share their insights and perspectives on this situation. There is no doubt that so many people, BofA customers and otherwise, experienced immeasurable stress and anxiety in dealing with the less than honest mortgage modification process within the HAMP program.

I hope people might care to take a few moments to gain a little bit of a sense of this stress and anxiety by reading, reviewing, and sharing these comments I received directly over the weekend. For obvious reasons, I will protect the identity of these individuals.

I have clients who paid their mortgage while trying to refinance. Sometimes they were late or tried to negotiate while making a good attempt.  At the end of the year the $ was hardly applied to their mortgage but went to fees and fines. They decided to give up. There was no way to go forward.  Then the bank forecloses and gets the insurance plus the sale $.

Thank you so much for taking these thugs on.

An individual who worked within a state attorney’s general office writes,

This is fascinating.

In Barofsky’s book, he quoted Geithner as having stressed the importance of “foaming the runway” for the major banks. This kind of delay tactic (stringing homeowners along) enabled “extend and pretend”, allowing BofA to put off marking its assets to market as long as possible. I was working on the problem from 2006-2010 in the state AG’s office, and I recall being baffled by the weird complexity of HAMP, given that it was supposed to bring relief.

Now it makes sense.

So sad and creepy, the whole thing.

Perhaps the most chilling comment of all comes from a regular reader who has served as an adviser to many,

Oh, this is so sad….

My best bud is 91 years old and is in the state House of Representatives.  Anytime he gets any constituents  finance questions or situations, he refers them to me.

One couple contacted him about the exact problem you just described with BofA. I talked to them and could not understand why they were having problems. They put their  payments in a savings account while awaiting their modification papers. They never came.

They went into the foreclosure process. Their names appearing in the foreclosure section in a small hometown newspaper proved to be too much.  Domestic problem arose from this situation.  The young husband put a shotgun under his chin.

I will tell my bud to contact the young widow.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

Let these comments weigh heavily upon all those government officials, regulators, and banking executives involved in allowing if not promoting genuinely dishonest dealing in the charade known as HAMP.

Little wonder why there is such limited trust in our government and major banks these days.

Navigate accordingly.

Larry Doyle

For those reading this via a syndicated outlet please visit my blog and comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents.

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • BK

    Continuing criminal enterprise.

    Feel free to use that description from now on.

  • Peter Scannell

    “The young husband put a shotgun under his chin.”

    And tea party bozos in DC haven’t missed a beat (or a pay-off) selling their souls attempting to derail every meaningful bi-partisan regulation dutifully crafted to keep banksters in check!

    Americans’ Suicide Rates Up Since Economic Crisis Began

    “In the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, President Obama and Mitt Romney are debating how best to spur economic recovery, (but) missing from this discussion is consideration of how to protect Americans’ health during these hard times.”

    LD, here-s a suggestion – find out the name of this widow, put a face on the devastating picture your post has created – and let’s bail her out!

    Fucking banksters!

  • Peter Scannell

    As our “leaders” contemplate arming those in the world that are opposed to their governments – maybe in the future we could provide a better solution through the example of COMPRIMISE BY THE WAY OFCONSENSUS!

    “Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, for all the people, by all the people.”

    Not “of the lobbyist, by the lobbyist, for the clients of the lobbyist.”

    Hells bells

  • David

    You must not judge a bulge bracket banks entire mortgage operation by the way they handled delinquent borrowers who lost their jobs or over leveraged properties. 50-70% of the loan modifications probably came from Countrywide, which is still no excuse. You think BofA is bad with loan mods? Try Wells or Indymac.

    Your reflection should not be a reason for an average borrower not to get a mortgage through Bank of America.

  • Chris

    Al Lewis at Market Watch writes,

    “I told my supervisors these practices were ridiculous and immoral,” said William E. Wilson Jr., a team manager for Bank of America from June 2010 through August 2012, in Charlotte, N.C. “We were instructed to delay and then push homeowners to accept an internal refinance so that Bank of America would profit. Once an applicant was finally rejected after a long delay, the bank would offer them an in-house alternative. Bank of America would charge a higher interest rate, ranging up to 5%, as compared to 2% if the loan had been modified under HAMP.”

    • “The numbers Bank of America were reporting to the government and to the public were simply not true,” said Steven Cupples, an underwriter who worked at Bank of America until 2012. “Employees who challenged … the ethics of Bank of America’s practice for any reason were fired.”

    Bank of America Ordered Us to Lie, Ex-Workers Say

  • Michele

    This is happening to me right now. I am a single mother raising two children on my own while working full time. My payment was short by $79 because B of A changed my escrows without giving me notice. That $79 has now grown to $15,000 including excessive and ridiculous fees the bank has imposed on me.

    B of A holds payments for 5-6 weeks and then returns them to me. They also hold payments in an account called “unspecified funds”. They will not post it or return it. They are just keeping it there against the terms of my note.

    I have done everything the bank has asked over the past 4 months. I have sent the documentation four times, yet I received a letter stating they can’t help me because I didn’t return the requested documents. I have proof they received them, but they ignore it.

    I am living a nightmare, wondering every day if this is the day I’ll receive the sale notice. My children and I will be homeless once this happens.

    I decided that I should try to sell my home, so I requested a payoff statement from B of A. It arrived 17 days later and was only good for 14 days, so it wasn’t valid by the time I received it. It also reflects that I actually owe MORE than I even mortgaged three years ago. I’ve paid the bank over $60,000 in payments. How can I possibly owe MORE after 3 years of making payments?? Another scam…

    I don’t understand how Bank of America can get away with this. I just don’t understand.

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