How to Screw Up a Mortgage Modification, Bank of America Style

I don’t often feel a lot of pity for people who get themselves into debt that they can’t pay off. I was raised in a frugal family. You only buy what you can afford. You save money for emergencies. And no matter what, you pay what you owe.

It’s easy to have no sympathy for those who got themselves deep into credit card debt because they’re irresponsible. (No, it’s not the credit card company’s fault for extending you the credit. It’s your fault for using it.) I don’t feel bad for people who bought houses they couldn’t afford, hoping that down the road they’d have enough equity to refinance and keep their payments “affordable.” That’s just dumb.

I do, however, feel bad for people who have sudden illnesses or job losses, have generally been responsible with their finances, and then find themselves unable to pay the mortgage.

I have no idea the story behind this mortgage modification, but it doesn’t matter why it was needed. What matters is that the consumer appears to have done everything right. She did all the paperwork, paid exactly as she was told to, kept making phone calls to ensure that everything was in order… and then one day Bank of America says they’re foreclosing because she’s supposedly behind.

Assuming this woman is telling the truth, she did exactly what she was supposed to. Bank of America’s systems failed, and she is now paying the price. Her credit is ruined. There is a credible threat of foreclosure. And all because Bank of America screwed up and will not take responsibility.

I know that mistakes happen. But Bank of America needs to step up, admit their mistake, and make this right. The consumer should not have to guess whether the BOA person on the phone is telling the truth or lying. The consumer should not have to figure out if the BOA person is just plain wrong. What is the consumer supposed to do if she keeps getting a different story every time she calls?

This woman had an approved mortgage modification. She paid the new payment. Heck, she even paid more each month. Bank of America failed to complete the process on their end, and it appears the consumer had  zero blame in that. She got her paperwork in on time. She kept calling to make sure everything was okay. And she was told that it was. Bank of America screwed up and the consumer is being penalized because of it. Shame on you, Bank of America.

6 thoughts on “How to Screw Up a Mortgage Modification, Bank of America Style”

  1. Hi Tracey,

    I am telling the truth. We bought our house in 2006, and within two months of us buying the house my husband’s company was bought and he was fired. Not laid off, but fired. He figured he’d get a new job quickly, and it took 4 months. He got a new one, and it paid half what he was earning so he picked up a part time job on top of his new job.

    I was working for a great little company that got bought by a MAJOR TV corporation in 2007. they informed me about 2 months after the purchase that my division would be shut down.

    we were making EXCELLENT money together in 2005/6 when doug had his great job and i had mine… and we were barely making ends meet so in 2008 i wrote countrywide to ask for help.

    and that is where the fun started.

    countrywide granted my request and the story takes up where my blog starts.

    So, long and the short of it is that we did our best. countrywide granted our request for a modification, and they were being bought by BOA at that very moment. several people i’ve spoken with state they think that when the company was bought, that people like me who had existing or in process modifications fell through the cracks.

    the renegotiated terms are PERFECT for us. I pay my agreed upon mortgage (even though i finally did get laid off at the end of march 2009, we’re still able to make our new payments on Doug’s salary).

    All i want is for my blessed by countrywide modification to be applied to my BOA account, that they fix the credit bureau (we can’t get any credit anywhere anymore) and that they just basically put things back to where they were.

    and pay my legal fees because i had to get a lawyer to work this out with them.

    so … that’s my back story. thak you for linking to my blog — and please stay in touch because i’m hoping within a few months to have some sort of update. BOA says they’re foreclosing on us january 19th, but my lawyer has filed a cease & desist… so… stay in touch for news.

    peace to you in 2011. cheers, cg

  2. I totally believed you were telling the truth, but I just had to put it out there that I hadn’t seen the documents or verified anything myself. I suspected you had an unusual situation that caused the need for the modification. I think BOA is a bad company all together. Unfortunately, I am locked into doing business with them too. I have a super great rate which makes it unappealing to go elsewhere, so I keep crossing my fingers and hoping that nothing goes wrong. The one time I did have a problem with them, they corrected it immediately, so that was good. Unfortunately, there are too many horror stories like yours… in which innocent people have their financial lives ruined either through carelessness or incompetence of the employees, or through flat-out corruption of the companies. Keep us updated!

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  4. CORPORATION GIANT OF BEVERLY HILLS CA IS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR BANK FRAUD. THEY STEAL CLIENTS MONEY. DO NOT GIVE BILL OR JOHN ANY MONEY THEY WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY.

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