Bank of America has little patience for homeowners who have fallen on hard times and behind on their mortgages. The lending giant is in the midst of foreclosure battles in every state as well as defending against allegations that they engaged in fraud and misrepresentation during the foreclosure process.
Given all the increased scrutiny you would think the bank would be extra diligent before pursuing homeowners in court. Think again.
First the mega-bank wrongfully foreclosed on a couple who had paid cash for their house (and thus not only did not have a mortgage with Bank of America but owned title to their property free and clear). Then, when the couple fought the mistaken foreclosure, Bank of America refused to back down, insisting they owned the home.
When Bank of America lost the foreclosure action they were ordered to pay the couple’s attorney and court fees, since it was Bank of America’s error that brought the action in the first place.
Instead of paying those fees promptly, Bank of America let the bill sit for over five months. Tired of banks getting away with actions that can throw an average citizen in jail these days, the couple and their attorney had a stroke of genius. They foreclosed upon the bank.
The action got the attention of the bank. After an hour of being locked out by bailiffs while their furniture, computers, and cash in the till was seized, the branch manager was able to get the couple and their attorney a check for the fees owed.
The actions of Bank of America says everything about the attitude permeating lending institutions in this country. They abuse customers and non-customers without so much as a second thought and ignore the rule of law at will. And while the “little guy” turned the tables here, you have to wonder just how many more stories like this are out there, only the homeowners were too scared, confused or just plain beat down to fight back.
Toting walkers and wheelchairs, the “wild old women” certainly weren’t the most rambunctious group to fight for the interests of the 99%, but they did cause the branch to close and lock its doors, much to the protesters’ surprise.
“We’re upset about what the banks are doing, particularly in our neighborhood and neighboring areas, in evicting people and foreclosing on their homes,” protester Tita Caldwell, 80, told KCBS. “We’re upset because the banks are raising their rates because it really affects seniors who are on a fixed income.”
Bank Transfer Day saw a billion dollars moved out of large commerical banks. In one of the most visible actions against Bank of America, a San Jose church divested $3 million, closed its accounts, and moved to a local credit union.The suit, filed in federal court in New Jersey, accuses Bank of America and two subsidiaries of a “pervasive and willful” disregard of the facts and the law in their “undisciplined rush to seize homes.”The complaint also blasts the judicial system for an inexcusable deference to Bank of America at the expense of homeowners. When called by judges to case management conferences, lawyers representing the bank often fail to show up. When Bank of America refuses to negotiate in good faith judges do nothing about it, leaving homeowners to battle foreclosures after Bank of America has negotiated a modified mortgage and then later refused to honor the terms.
So far Bank of America has no response to the lawsuit.
Hale-bloody-luja. More power to them.