Bank of America Under Scrutiny For Failure to Modify Mortgages

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Deficiencies in modification procedures lead to state and federal inquiry as well as legal action by the United Foreclosure Attorney Network (UFAN)

United Foreclosure Attorney Network

The most common story I hear at UFAN from potential clients is that they’ve tried diligently for a loan modification, often for a year’s time or more. They are required to send in the same paperwork several times. Although they call and verify that the paperwork was received, a few weeks (and sometimes months) later, a bank representative calls back and says it never came. Trying to work with bank “loss mitigation” is maddening. There is no truer example, in my opinion, of how one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

A recent LA Times report details how Bank of America and other major banks have been censured by the Obama administration for failing to comply with procedures under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

An inquiry, conducted by the Treasury Department, found that the three banks needed substantial improvement in correctly evaluating borrowers' incomes — a key component of determining eligibility for HAMP. Under HAMP, a bank receives monetary incentives from the Federal government in exchange for modification of borrower’s mortgages. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have received millions from the program. According to the above referenced report, funds will no longer be distributed to these banks until the necessary improvements have been implemented in their modification programs.

The report further states that Bank of America, the nation’s largest mortgage servicer, was singled out in the investigation as being the worst offender. The administration concluded that Bank of America needs to make substantial improvement in identifying and contacting borrowers for the program, clearly demonstrating how the bank reaches its loan-modification decisions and ensuring the bank was receiving the correct incentive payments through the program. These findings coincide with allegations of Bank of America’s other recent mortgage related abuses reported in the media.

UFAN recently filed a multi-party suit against Bank of America in California Superior Court (case number 34-2011-0019314), alleging, among other things, that the bank engaged in misconduct in its mortgage modification procedures. Court documents allege that the lead Plaintiff in the case was told to stop making mortgage payments in order to be considered for a loan modification. She did so, according to the filing, but kept money on hand necessary to bring the mortgage current if negotiations proved fruitless. The complaint details how despite informing the bank of her willingness to pay, and promises by the bank that it would postpone foreclosure, the bank foreclosed and sold her home, thereby denying her the right to cure the deficiency.

The Washington Post reported in 2008 on a settlement, spearheaded by then California Attorney General Jerry Brown, between Bank of America and 12 State Attorneys General Bank whereby the bank promised that it would modify mortgages of its distressed borrowers that had been placed in bad loans. But, Bank of America is now under investigation, as reported by media sources, by all 50 state attorneys general for allegations of reneging on these past promises, as well a host of other deficiencies in its mortgage practices.

Though HAMP was created to promote modification of 3-4 million mortgages, as of May 2011, only 731,451 borrowers had received permanent loan modifications through the program, the Huffington Post reports.

Complementary consultations available.

By: Kristin Crone, Esq., UFAN Legal Group, PC dba United Foreclosure Attorney Network (UFAN)

ABOUT THE UNITED FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY NETWORK

United Foreclosure Attorney Network (UFAN) is a Roseville, California-based law firm providing mortgage related legal services. The dedicated attorneys and staff at UFAN work tirelessly to seek and fight for the rights of American homeowners. For more information call toll free 1-866-400-4242.

This release may constitute attorney advertisement. The information in this release and on the United Foreclosure Attorney Network (TheUFAN.com) website is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this release or on the United Foreclosure Attorney Network (TheUFAN.com) website should be taken as legal advice. Prior successes are no guarantee of future performance. Litigation is inherently uncertain and results in litigation are never assured.

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