Bank of America Rewards Staff for Sending Homeowners into Foreclosure

Bank of America Rewards Staff for Sending Homeowners into Foreclosure

“We were told to lie to customers,” said Simone Gordon, who worked in Bank of America’s loss mitigation department until February 2012. Bank of America paid cash bonuses and handed out gift cards to bank staffers for pushing distressed homeowners into foreclosure, according to affidavits filed in a Massachusetts lawsuit.

Gordon revealed, “site leaders regularly told us that the more we delayed the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan modification process, the more fees Bank of America would collect.”

Another former employee, Theresa Terrelonge, said loan officers were given restaurant gift cards and $25 cash rewards for denying loan applications.

“I witnessed employees and managers falsify information in the system of record and remove documents from homeowners’ files to make the account appear ineligible for a loan modification,” said Terrelonge.

Seven former employees provided sworn testimony describing efforts to undermine applicants and pointing applicants to costly “in-house” loans. Managers instructed employees to tell homeowners’ who called that their documents were ‘under review,’ when in reality, there had been no review.

This finding explains why the government’s HAMP program has fallen so short of its original goal, to save millions of Americans from losing their homes. Bank of America continues to deny the allegations in the affidavits filed on behalf of dozens of borrowers in 26 states.

Their lending practices have drawn national scrutiny causing thousands of complaints. Bank of America accounted for 30 percent of mortgage complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They were named in over 15,000 mortgage complaints nationally, two-thirds of those complaints were their handling of loan modifications, debt collections and foreclosures.

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