by Brian Mahany
We have listened to many recorded conversations between bank workout specialists and borrowers. Until the mortgage meltdown and subsequent collapse of the lending industry, homeowners never thought to record their conversations with bankers. There was little need. Now with some of the major banks like Bank of America, Chase and Wells seemingly giving homeowners a constant runaround, everyone appears to be taping their calls.
Most times, the bank employees on the other side are polite, although ineffective. They claim over and over that some document is missing or that there is no record of the last payment, etc. I don’t think they are lying, just incredibly disorganized. Recently, however, we learned of a shocking conversation between a Bank of America employee and a homeowner.
Our client tells of dozens of calls, letters and courier attempts to contact the bank. It’s not that people at the bank don’t answer, they do. Finding someone who has access to one’s file and the authority to take corrective action is another matter, however. Once the bank thinks you are in default (reality doesn’t much matter), it’s like you enter a big black hole.
Once in the black hole, expect conflicting information and instructions, bad advice, refused payments and falsely being told that you have been approved for a loan modification only to be denied a week later.
One of our clients refused to give up, however, and was dogged in his persistence to contact Bank of America and resolve their claims of delinquency. Finally our client made contact with a bank employee who claimed he had the authority to fix the problem. Of course, months later the problem still wasn’t fixed. Bank of America’s “fix” was to virtually double the monthly required mortgage payment from the struggling borrower.
What did BOA say when finally cornered? Their response was “There is no HAMP, there is no help, and there is no hope.” I couldn’t believe it – finally someone in Bank of America who speaks the truth!
Unfortunately, the truth is not acceptable in this case and our client has authorized suit against the Bank and its officers. Bank of America may say there is no help but we are counting on a jury of the homeowner’s peers to provide some help and hopefully to impose some punitive damages against the bank as well.
Americans are fed up with unresponsive and irresponsible big banks. These banks are the first to line up before Congress seeking billions in bailout funds but help a struggling homeowner? Those stories seem few and far between.
The fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl concentrate their practice on helping homeowners sue banks. We are not foreclosure defense lawyers. Instead, we take the fight to the bank and sue for monetary damages. Even if we can’t help you, we want to hear your story (and share it but only if you give us permission). There is strength in numbers and record numbers of homeowners are standing tall and fighting back.
Mahany & Ertl – Giving America’s Homeowners A Voice. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Legal services available in many jurisdictions.