Somebody's Lying at Bank of America

Unbowed by the excruciating testimony provided by seven former employees in the Home Affordable Mortgage Program lawsuit currently under way in Boston, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) has filed its response to the homeowners bringing the lawsuit and has taken aim at those former team members, as well.

What was the bank's rejoinder to the allegations of a home loan modification process riddled with deceit and disrespect to both employees and homeowners? Basically, B of A has painted the former workers as miscreants and liars.

Disgruntled employees?
It is not surprising, of course, that Bank of America would deny such charges and try to discredit those who have outlined odious business practices such as destroying paperwork submitted in a timely manner by borrowers in dire need of a loan modification -- then telling those customers it never received the documents in the first place.

But, the bank's claims that these seven people have provided testimony in this class action case merely because "at least six" of them were fired from the bank -- and therefore have an ax to grind -- seems absurd. Surely, perjuring oneself solely to try to smear the reputation of a former employer seems ludicrous at best.

At any rate, B of A's reputation will scarcely notice another ding. The bank has an overwhelmingly lousy reputation in general, and its handling of mortgages has been abysmal.

Not that Bank of America is alone in that regard. The National Mortgage Settlement -- the pact that introduced the term "robo-signing" into the post-financial crisis lexicon -- was a direct result of all manner of mortgage-servicing shenanigans on the part of Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , as well as Bank of America. Notably, a recent report from the settlement's monitor has observed that all of these banks still need to clean up their acts, since none of the above signatories received a perfect score for correctly administering the terms of that agreement.

B of A: The "blitz" was a good thing
Just as Bank of America states that the ex-employees "wildly misrepresented" what they did during their tenure with the bank, some of its own explanations seem suspect.

On the subject of the "blitz," during which it was alleged that up to 1,500 loan modification files were destroyed simply for being over 60 days old, Bank of America takes an interesting stance. Blitzes were a good thing, the bank asserts, whereby the bank approved overtime so employees could speak with borrowers who were presumably unreachable during weekdays -- all in an effort to approve as many eligible applicants as possible.

Considering that whistleblowers at other mortgage units -- including Countrywide -- have previously described just the type of purging behavior portrayed by the seven former workers, I would say that B of A's characterization has less credence than that of the declarants.

Where the truth lies
Similarly, the bank's allegation that the former workers are motivated to lie because they were fired from the bank doesn't convince me. The bank notes that most, if not all, of these employees had been let go for inappropriate workplace behavior, but I can certainly imagine that complaining about such untoward and unethical practices could be construed by management as "inappropriate."

For instance, William Wilson testified that he told supervisors on more than one occasion that the bank's practices were "ridiculous and immoral." I can certainly see where this behavior may have been considered inappropriate by his bosses, can't you?

Who is telling the truth? I don't know, but I am definitely leaning in the direction of the homeowners and ex-workers who claim to have endured the pain of dealing with the Bank of America mortgage machine. If you need convincing, just read a few of the hundreds of comments left by readers of some of the articles referenced above. In the court of public opinion, at least, I think Bank of America has already lost.

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Read/Post Comments (27) | Recommend This Article (13)

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  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:02 PM, lm1b2 wrote:

    Considering its Bank of America we are talking about i will definitely believe the Employee before i would believe anything this Bank has to say!How anyone can do Business with this Bank is beyond me !

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:17 PM, tara1975 wrote:

    Totally believe the employees. I worked for Wells Fargo and know exactly what happens when you are above lower 'branch' level. The banks all lie and cheat to make themselve look good and hope for more profit. They treat the employees horribly and hardly pay them. There are deinitely 2 sets of rules in the place.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:19 PM, deb1ryan wrote:

    I was a B of A checking account customer, I won a fraud case against them and the company that defrauded me through the FTC. They said I owed them $995.00 for a electronic check that the presenter altered that I issued for $9.95. The frauder said he had me on tape, but B of A never listened to the tape, the FTC requested it, but the fraudster never could produce it. B of A said they paid the check, but the NSF notice and my bank statement said other wise. I spent 1 year trying to get this stratightened out with them, went to the BBB and from the BBB it was picked up by the FTC, they called me. I would never do business with them EVER AGAIN, they are pond scum!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:27 PM, bill4848 wrote:

    @Im1b2, I totally agree. I will drive out of my way not to use one of their ATM's. The only way this banking mess will get fixed is when one of their officers does the public perp walk and does some serious jail time. They can do all the investigations and pass all the laws they want to but it won't fix the problem. Unfortanetly, as long has investers keep putting money in these criminal enterprises it will keep going. My suggestion is don't invest in them, no loan from them, if buying one of their forclosure house make sure you pay rock bottom and triple check the titles/deeds.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:35 PM, dforesi wrote:

    Bank of America not only lost my refi papers, but they did it twice. A third time they said it was late when it wasn't. They put my house on auction, bought it themselves, all without saying anything to me. They never even posted anything on my house. I found out my house was sold at auction through a realtor who was checking on it for me. I wrote them, but they never answered. A little over a year after that I wrote them again, and they said it was too late. These people should be sued to the max and be forced to pay back a good portion of the money they acquired from our proerties.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:36 PM, Rhett974 wrote:

    I had the misfortune to experience some of their shenanigans when they held my mortgage briefly....never again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:51 PM, SWFLORIDA1106 wrote:

    BOA is no more guilty of fleecing their customers,than my bank Wells Fargo Bank...I despise both...

    To big to fail, that's the motto of these criminals,and nothing will ever be done about it,

    unless Elizabeth Warren can do it on her own...Not much chance of that...The CEO's belong in jail...

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 1:52 PM, jgetze wrote:

    Sorry, Amanda, but you're the one that no credence. That your weekly attacks have a large following is hardly surprising given the lies and misinformation you continue to spread. The fact that mortgage problems and complaints have soared since 2008 is also hardly surprising, given that record numbers of people stopped paying their mortgage.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 2:00 PM, oygivalt wrote:

    I was with B Of A for a year...they are the most trickster rip off bank! (aside from first federal!) They said I had overdrawn at the bank for a hundred bucks and now owed them a thousand dollars in Interest. I got a call from the rudest Liar ever...She bullied me by yelling into the phone, saying when are you going to pay?that I needed to come up with the money now! I said what money??? I don't owe you any money...she argued with me for a half hour really rudely....and said I needed to pay.... I asked for proof and she could never provide the proof ....I think someone was trying to get my debit card number....The woman never called back again. It was a bogus call and I ran from that bank so fast.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 2:01 PM, rustyk20 wrote:

    B of A is a bunch of lying sumbags ive been trying to get a modification since 2009 filing the same paperwork over an over an over at least 15 times. each time they said we didn't get this or they lost that.Ive lost so many nites of sleep worrying when they would forclose.finally in the spring of 2011 they gave me there in house modification what this was was a 200.00 per month increase on a mortgage I couldn't afford in the 1st place.We have since still are trying to resolve my mortgage because it didn't take me long to fall behind once again. I would love to testify against there unscrupulious practices.shame on this bank shame on our government for not stepping in on these folks for crushing hard working americans that fell on hard times and suffered great loss

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 2:09 PM, clockwork1angel wrote:

    My mother went to BOA for a simple request to combine her credit cards to one payment instead of three..very simple ..2 days after she signed the papers they called her in to re-sign some other paper work due to the other request was denied..they had her sign a mortgage on her already paid off house and her not knowing and nothing explained just signed ...she also at the time was in her early stages of Alzheimer's so she after about a month she informed me what she had done and along with the mortgage they had opened up 3 more accounts under name stating she needed it to pay the loan from a separate checking account...me being a BOA employee was furious and found out after 30 days nothing could be done...most people have no clue what goes on behind closed doors especially if that associate gets a cash bonus for what ever the rip off of the day is ....I hate BOA it is an evil empire.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 2:37 PM, vanstra1 wrote:

    I was a VP and managed the B of A group that handled the litigated loan modifications. Our goal was to resolve the litigation by giving a loan mod that would work fro both the borrower and hte Bank. Most of the litigation we were involvin gin resolving involved borrowers who wre foreclosed on while being processed for a mod. My group worked hard to come up with mods that would work by lowering the interest rate, forgivng some of the debt, capitalizing delinquent payments, etc. I can;t speak for the group dealing with the borrowers before the loans got into litigation...and my boss and I were both laid off in December....at leat whiel we were there, we were trying to solve some of the complaints.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 3:16 PM, subprimewhat wrote:

    Do people really still bank with BofA? I get it if your mortgage is unfortunately with them, but other banking? Seriously?

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 3:19 PM, eepn wrote:

    Open your eyes BofA is still practicing the same tactics today.

    I've seen a couple in California go through exactly the same.

    And who trusts financial corporations they are as shady as possible, i vowed never to work for financial company again.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 3:22 PM, eepn wrote:

    Dude thats why they laid you off, cause you didn't play there shady practices.

    You have to have no conscious or morals to succeed in a financial corp

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 3:23 PM, jwarr3000 wrote:

    I'm still trying to figure out what morons still have an open account at BofA?

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 4:12 PM, DiverMike wrote:

    As an appraiser I am required BY LAW to retain all my appraisal files for five years minimum. How come B of A can destroy their financial records after 60 days? Separate complaints should be filed against BofA with their regulators for that act alone. How are they proving ECOA compliance if they destroy records every other month?

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 4:33 PM, lunatik96 wrote:

    BOA lied? ya think? duh

    Regarding whether they lied or not, one needs to assess the affect on stock performance and long term business. I don't see it affecting business much either way or the other. If they get indicted and pay a settlement, it will have a very minor influence.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 6:44 PM, daverhall wrote:

    The B of A and most all other banks have developed the atmosphere of total deception and widespread fraud. Too bad we could not prosecute all the bad bank officers and put them in prison for at least 20 years. Then put congress members in there also.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 7:04 PM, alabamldy wrote:

    How do you tell when BOA is lying to you, just like my ex-husband, watch their lips move!

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 7:48 PM, countusin2 wrote:

    BoA sold my mortgage to another lender without telling me. Didn't know till i noticed my house payment hadn't been withdrawn from my account at the bank i use, now.

    good news, is now I'm no longer connected with them in any way..

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 11:51 PM, hips56 wrote:

    Countrywide dumped my mortgage and sent me to Bank of America. Their counselors do not even know the right time zone. Calls are missed and loans go in foreclosure. But they always say they are there to help. I wish we all could believe or we wouldn't be making these comments. I wish they really cared.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 5:10 PM, The1MAGE wrote:

    I am not sure I can trust the comment sections.

    Again tons of people signing up on the same day the article is put out. Other accounts created only to make political comments, possibly by the same people who created the new accounts.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 5:46 PM, FooLawson wrote:

    Wow, I didn't think about that...

    but I do agree with lunatik96, that it is a minor influence in the company because it is nearly industry wide and B of A is famous for it

    sooo... I am a holder for over a year and I think I'll hold a bit longer

  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2013, at 12:14 AM, cptnkrc wrote:

    I have not had the same experience as others with BoA, though I have had loans with them. However, I am inclined to believe the stories shared above because I had the same unbelievable but true refi experience back in 2009, during v1 of the Home Affordable program when I was trying to refi with my then mortgage holder, CitiMortgage.

    The loan processor at Citi lost my paper work three times and then, as the process dragged on and on, pulled the lock on me at the last moment because they would miss the deadline for getting paperwork to escrow by just two days.

    The loan processor said this unfortunate turn of events was MY FAULT because I had failed to get them the paperwork in a timely fashion. She then proceeded to tell me that I would need to reapply, but that I was no longer eligible for the best rate and would now need to pay 2.75 points (no joke) to get a comparable rate.

    Needless to say I walked away, out of pocket for my appraisal costs and faced with starting anew, paying for a new appraisal, more time, more paperwork.

    Soon after, I learned that I was not even eligible for the Home Affordable program because the loan for my condo was backed by Freddie Mac. The Freddie Mac version of the program did not allow for refi'ing a condo under the terms of the program at that time. This I was informed of by the mortgage broker whose doorstep I had landed upon. Why was I not told of this by the bank?

    I cannot say, and it probably isn't right to speculate, but it really does make you wonder if I had been shined on the whole time or whether I was merely the victim of a negligent loan processor.

    Either way, there really is no apology sufficient for the treatment I received, the countless phone calls made while I was trying desperately to unravel the puzzle how to get the docs from the processor to the underwriter, the endless faxing and refaxing. Not to mention the slap-in-the-face *2.75* in points penalty for MY alleged foot dragging. How does one rationalize that?

    It is impossible to fathom, but having gone through the utterly surreal experience I had with Citi, I have to believe the stories about BoA are true as well.

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 10:51 AM, jondaly wrote:

    "Surely, perjuring oneself solely to try to smear the reputation of a former employer seems ludicrous at best."

    actually, people have perjured themselves with far less reason. not ludicrous at all.

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 11:05 AM, Lundr wrote:

    My father died a co-owner in a property we sold him an interest in. He had a mortgage for his share of the property. Bank of America first kept 'losing' the death certificate and claiming he was alive (had to send 5 that were signed for each time). Next they said to pay his mortgage 'pretending' to be him, when I pointed out claiming he was alive and pretending to be him was not what state law said to do - they started to foreclose.

    The Attny General of Arizona got involved. Ordered Bank of America to cease and desist as they violating state law on both inheritance law and partnerships (it was a farm property).

    Bank of America's response - corporate VP in NC said "We are BIGGER than the state of Arizona" and ignored state law. Now we are being offered a 3 figure 'settlement' on a six figure property for 'wrongdoing'.

    As far as my family is concerned our case alone proves willful violation of the law and fatal hubris. Break them apart and sell the scrap as they are a criminal organization sure of their power to ignore the law. Prosecute the senior VP's and policy makers under RICO.

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