Posted on July 7, 2011 by Neil Garfield
EDITOR’S NOTE: Anyone who has entered into mortgage modification process with BOA or any other bank acting as servicer or otherwise knows the story. The Bank does everything it can to delay the process until the borrower gets into serious trouble and then the bank claims that the home should be foreclosed. There are thousands of stories of homeowners who honestly and justifiably believed they had a modification only to find out that the Bank foreclosed anyway. Judges are getting very tired of this pattern and even the most conservative pro-bank judges are starting to lose patience.Their story about not receiving or losing the papers is a big lie. Paperwork is the backbone of every balance sheet in banking. They didn’t lose it and they did receive it. “The dog ate my homework” can only work so many times.Now homeowners have a cause of action for damages and other relief for this predatory behavior. Like the JPM employee reported, the banks consider themselves in the foreclosure business not the modification business. Why? Because they want the house. If they had any money in the deal they would want the modification inasmuch as they could salvage more of the loan, and escape the necessity of maintenance, taxes and insurance. But they don’t have any money in the deal, and they never did. What they want is a free house, using trickery, fraud, forgery, fabrication of documents and outright lying to both the homeowners and the courts — and their lawyers know it.They are taking advantage of the fact that the investors don’t want the house, they want their money back from the “sale” of bogus mortgage bonds. So with the creditor expressing no interest in enforcement, the bank says “why not”? So they pose as the creditor and foreclose on 5 million homes in the largest land grab in history.Remember this: if you don’t get an agreement to clear title, your modification is worthless. A judgment should be entered confirming the settlement and confirming the status of title or signed and sealed by a judge. Otherwise when you go to sell the house, you’ll discover you can’t, because you can’t convey clear title. Reports are pouring in of settlements with these banks who don’t own the loan, don’t have any paperwork, and don’t have anything to show an inquiring eye when, where and how much they advanced any money to fund the loan. The settlements are getting larger and larger but hey are all sealed, for the moment, under confidentiality agreements.Our efforts are getting traction and producing results in expanding scope and numbers. Keep at it.
Bank of America Loses Bid to Dismiss Homeowner Mortgage-Modification Suit
By David McLaughlin – Jul 6, 2011
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) must face claims from homeowners who accuse the biggest U.S. bank of failing to honor agreements for modifying their mortgage loans, a federal judge ruled.
Homeowners who say they met requirements for permanent modifications under contracts with the bank can proceed with their cases, according a decision filed today by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel in Boston. Zobel dismissed some claims against the bank.
“The complaint meticulously details each plaintiff’s initial and ongoing compliance with all conditions,” Zobel wrote.
The complaint consolidates 26 cases originating in 19 states that were transferred to federal court in Boston, according to Zobel’s decision. The homeowners sought loan modifications from Bank of America under the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, which is aimed to lower payments for borrowers and help them avoid foreclosure.
“BOA’s general practice and culture is to string homeowners along with no intention of providing actual and permanent modifications,” according to the complaint.
Bank of America sought to dismiss the complaint. Shirley Norton, a bank spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that the bank is pleased that four of eight counts in the complaints were dismissed.
“The decision will give hundreds of thousands of families a second chance at permanently lower mortgage payments,” Gary Klein, a lawyer for the homeowners, said in an interview.
The complaint separated homeowners into two groups. One covered homeowners with loans serviced by Bank of America who didn’t get temporary modifications, known as trial period plans, which can lead to permanent modifications. Zobel dismissed their claims, saying they lacked standing.
The second group covers those who obtained trial plans and were entitled to permanent modifications at the end of the three- or four-month period, Klein said. Under the trial agreements, Bank of America is required to offer permanent modifications to borrowers who adhere to the terms, according to the complaint.
“The decision can also be used by families who have lost their homes even though they were entitled to mortgage- modification agreements,” Klein said.
The case is In re Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Contract Litigation, 10-md-02193, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts(Boston).
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