ProPublica reports that former Bank of America employees have disclosed in court filings that the Charlotte-based bank regularly misled homeowners seeking loan modifications, denying such requests for bogus reasons.
"The employee statements were filed late last week in federal court in Boston as part of a multi-state class action suit brought on behalf of homeowners who sought to avoid foreclosure through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but say they had their cases botched by Bank of America."The sworn statements were filed this month, in federal court in Boston.
The Observer reached out to the bank for a response to the story. Here's what we got:
“Bank of America has successfully completed more modifications for our customers in need of assistance than any other servicer under the Home Affordable Modification Program. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to assisting customers who are at risk of foreclosure and, at best, these attorneys are painting a false picture of the bank’s practices and the dedication of our employees. While we will address the declarations in more depth when we file our opposition to plaintiffs’ motion next month, suffice it is to say that each of the declarations is rife with factual inaccuracies.”
If this all sounds a little familiar, it might be because it's not the first story on HAMP-related complaints against Bank of America. Last year, for example, Reuters reported that a Colorado man, Gregory Mackler, who worked for a company contracted by Bank of America to handle HAMP work, filed a whistleblower complaint in federal court. Mackler's company was called Urban Lending Solutions, according to the Reuters story.
"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."
For more details on this story, which ran in the Observer over the weekend, click here.