Bank of America Treats Desperate Families Making Timely Trial Payments as the Target of an Indiscriminate Deletion Program, the “Blitz.”Where you and I might see a family, or a retired couple, or schoolchildren being kicked out of their home, BoA trained its employees to see a Target gift card or $500 for ten “targets” (wrongful foreclosures) met.
From the Declaration of Simone Gordon, In re Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Contract Litigation, MDL No. 2193:
Beginning in 2009, I regularly spoke to people who had received HAMP Trial Period Plans, made their trial payments, and who were calling to inquire about the status of their expected permanent loan modification. Using the Bank of America computer systems I saw that hundreds of customers had made their required trial payments, sent the documents requested of them, but had not received permanent modifications. I also saw records showing that BoA employees had told people that documents had not been received when, in fact, the computer system showed that BoA had received the documents. This was consistent with the instructions my colleagues and I were given. We were told to lie to customers and claim that BoA had not received documents it had requested, and that it had not received trial payments (when in fact it had). We were told that admitting that the Bank received documents would “open a can of worms” since the Bank was required to underwrite the loan modification within 30 days of receiving those documents, and it did not have sufficient underwriting staff to complete the underwriting in time.BANK OF AMERICA AFFIDAVITE 3
We were regularly drilled that it was our job to maximize fees for the Bank by fostering and extending delay of the HAMP modification process by any means we could- this included by lying to customers. For example, we were instructed by our supervisors at Bank of America to delay modifications by telling homeowners who called in that their documents were “under review,” when, in fact, there had been no review or any other work done on the file.
Bank of America Site Leaders specifically ordered my colleagues and me to hold financial documents borrowers submitted for at least thirty days. Once thirty days passed, Bank of America would consider many of these documents, such as pay stubs or bank statements to be “stale” and the homeowner would have to re-apply for a modification.
These and other similar instructions often came in monthly meetings that were conducted by Site Leaders and attended by 60-70 employees. At these meetings, my colleagues and I were given performance “goals” and quotas. Employees were rewarded by meeting a quota of placing a specific number of accounts into foreclosure, including accounts in which the borrower fulfilled a HAMP Trial Period Plan. For example, a Collector who placed ten or more accounts into foreclosure in a given month received a $500 bonus. Bank of America also gave employees gift cards to retail stores like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond as rewards for placing accounts into foreclosures.