According to new, shocking statements from Bank of America employees, the lender offered employees incentives for sending homeowners into foreclosure rather than modifying their loans. The BofA employees stated under oath that they were “told to lie to homeowners about loan modifications and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure rather than modifying their loans”[1]. The allegations and incriminating statements are part of the evidence being presented in a federal class-action lawsuit brought by homeowners against BofA. The homeowners say that the lender deliberately “thwarted their attempts to take advantage of the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).” Former employees of BofA involved in the suit testified that they were “instructed to deny modifications for no reason, to pretend they had not received documents they received, to hold documents and then claim they were too old, and to cancel trial modifications for ‘nonpayment’ even when all payments had been received.” The employees also reported that the bank “drilled” into them that the longer loan modifications were delayed, the more fees the bank could collect, even if this meant “lying to customers.”

The mortgage workers reportedly received cash bonuses and gift cards for meeting quotas for sending distressed homeowners into foreclosure. Not surprisingly, BofA has denied all of these allegations and pointed to the fact that it has, so far, helped the most homeowners under HAMP of any lender. “[BofA] is committed to assisting customers at risk of foreclosure,” said spokesman Rick Simon via email[2]. A former loan collector for the bank disputes this claim, saying that he received $500 for every 10 customers he put into foreclosure and adding that other collectors received gift cards to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond for putting homeowners in trial modifications into foreclosure.

by Carole VanSickle

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