Archive for June, 2013

More Foreclosure Abuse Secrets Outed by Former Bank of America Whistle-Blower

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

The ink has barely dried on the bombshell depositions provided by former Bank of America employees, attesting to widespread customer abuses that included wrongly forcing people into foreclosure and providing employees handsome perks for doing so.
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Now, our understand that yet another former employee has come forward to reveal that the wrongdoing went even further.

Anymore with these banks, it’s difficult to call any such revelation “shocking.” It would be more shocking if these financial giants actually did right by their customers of their own volition. Here, Bank of America had been acting on orders from a federal settlement agreement to right its past misdeeds against customers by working to extend home loan modifications to borrowers so they wouldn’t lose their homes.

Yet, former workers testified under oath during a civil deposition that the bank often had no intention of aiding borrowers, instead falsely claiming documents had been lost, dragging out the process whenever possible and rewarding employees who reached a certain quota of funneling loan modification cases into the foreclosure stages.

And now, we find out it gets even worse.

The original lawsuit was brought by customers who allege the bank never gave them a proper chance to save their homes.

A separate lawsuit which involves a separate whistleblower alleges that Bank of America has been attempting to weasel its way out of all the legal costs and obligations to which it was held under the previous government settlement agreements by selling its mortgage servicing branches to non-bank servicers. These are companies that don’t originate loans, yet they are often the ones now processing monthly payments and originating foreclosures.

Here’s the problem for customers: These firms, because they were not party to the earlier government settlements, aren’t subject to the consumer protection guidelines that were drawn up specifically for those banks. So protections such as establishing a single point of contact or halting foreclosure proceedings

when a loan modification is ongoing – out the window if your case is being handled by one of these companies.

This has ultimately led to a class-action lawsuit filed in Massachusetts. The former Bank of America employee alleges that the bank sold some $93 billion worth of mortgage servicing rights to an independent, non-bank mortgage servicer.

In addition to not being subjected to those federal rules, because these companies aren’t banks, they are held to far less stringent federal standards than the banks – which, historically speaking, isn’t saying much anyway.

To make matters even worse, the companies who are being sold these mortgage servicing rights have some of the worst customer service reputations in the country. They actually rate worse than Bank of America in terms of customer satisfaction.

The lawsuit takes aim at one of these servicers, a company called Green Tree. Plaintiffs contend that the company imposed illegal fees for processing payments, failed to process mailed payments in a timely fashion, violated consumer rights laws by harassing customers at all times of the day and using abusive language to collect their debts and denied or delayed timely modifications. These actions violate a host of a federal laws, though it remains to be seen whether criminal action will ever be taken.

Considering the federal government’s track record with Bank of America and others like it, we remain skeptical.

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What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’: Laverne’s Cream Cheese Pecan Pie

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Laverne’s Cream Cheese Pecan Pie Recipe was given to us by Laverne F. in our Second Annual What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’ Recipe Contest. For the filling you will need: 8 oz cream cheese 1 egg 1 cup  of sugar 1 tablespoon of flour 1/2 teaspoon of lemon flavor and vanilla flavor Pinch of salt For the…

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