In the past five years, I have heard the stories of hundreds of people struggling with their banks to obtain mortgage relief meant to allow their families to remain safely in their homes, only to be told that there was no relief program available to them. As I heard these stories over and over again, I began to look into whether these denials of help were in fact genuine, and in accordance with the law. Upon doing so, it quickly became apparent that banks routinely rejected homeowners’ pleas for assistance even when federal programs and rules dictated that such help should be offered. After seeing this phenomenon occur in so many cases, a very sad fact became apparent: Foreclosure is profitable for banks. And making this situation exponentially worse, and elevating it to the level of a national disgrace, is the fact that the government refuses to do anything about the flagrant violations of its laws which occur every day right before its very eyes.
However, hope may lie ahead for widespread exposure and punishment of these high crimes by the Wall Street banks. Just within the past week, CNBC News reported that six former collectors for Bank of America signed affidavits stating that BOA told them not to qualify otherwise-qualified homeowners for mortgage relief under the federal HAMP program. In other words, it told them to violate federal law. The stated reason for this instruction was that the bank would make more money through foreclosure than by qualifying the homeowner for HAMP. One employee put it this way:
“It was well known among managers and many employees that the overriding goal was to extend as few HAMP loan modifications to homeowners as possible.”
Within the past week our office witnessed a dramatic example of this sort of “reverse bank robbery.” After faxing various financial forms on behalf of our client Saul to his bank for months and not receiving any feedback, a new bank representative announced that our efforts had been in vain. The reason? Even though the bank had gotten every bit of information and inputted it into its system, the representative declared we had sent it to the wrong fax number! Obviously, the bank wanted to put up every roadblock possible to prevent a loan modification. In Saul’s case that strategy has delayed, but will not stop the process.
So here it is that Saul’s bank, which had been the beneficiary of taxpayer largesse in the way of bank bailout funds, decided that it was going to keep that money rather than use it in accordance with law and give Saul mortgage relief. This conduct is the same as if Saul went into his bank and robbed it of cash, only in this case it’s the bank that is doing the robbing. You must know your rights under the law to protect yourself from becoming a victim of reverse bank robbery!
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Copyright 2013 Daniel L. McGookey