Thursday, June 20, 2013

Latest Evidence, #2 in a series

I bet you know people, at least friends-of-your-friends, who were foreclosed upon in a very rushed manner, who were in the middle of negotiations and trying to comply with their banks, but their own paperwork was going slow as molasses. That scenario happened to two of my best friends. The banks in the past few years have had perverse financial incentives such that they could pick up expensive real estate for pennies on the dollar just by rushing through foreclosures and throwing a few people out on the street. So, guess what? That's what the banks made to happen. By hook or by crook.

"We Were Told To Lie" -- Bank of America Employees Open Up about Foreclosure Practices

Employees of Bank of America say they were encouraged to lie to customers and were even rewarded for foreclosing on homes, staffers of the financial giant claim in new court documents. Sworn statements from several Bank of America employees contain a number of damning allegations, the latest claims entered as evidence in a multi-state class action lawsuit that challenges the bank’s history with foreclosures.
In one of the sworn statements, an ex-bank staffer said he would be directed to deny upwards of 1,500 loan modification applications at a single time with no apparent reason. “To justify the denials, employees produced fictitious reasons, for instance saying the homeowner had not sent in the required documents, when in actuality, they had,” William Wilson, Jr., a former underwriter for the bank, wrote in his statement.
Simone Gordon, a senior collector at B of A from 2007 through 2012, said, “We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested.

We were told that admitting that the Bank received documents ‘would open a can of worms,’” Gordon said, since the bank was regularly understaffed with regards to the process of reviewing the applications. She also said collectors “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 foreclosure,” she said.
Gordon also said that site leaders regularly instructed employees to prolong the loan modification process for customers because the longer proceedings were delayed, “the more fees Bank of America would collect."
The statements were filed in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts last week, and the bank has already responded by condemning the claims.
Even outside of the bank, though, others in the industry say they suspect these practices indeed occurred.
"I've seen all of those things that this lawsuit has mentioned. Yes I have," Jason McGrath a foreclosure attorney in Charlotte, North Caroline, told WSOCTV News. "It's one of those things that it's great for folks like me because we experience this on a day-to-day basis and we are finally glad to see it see the light of day," he continued...

The directives in this article were probably verbal, not sent by e-mail, but I bet some went over the telephone. And now thanks to PRISM and ECHELON, all that the SEC would need to do, is call up the archived conversations from the past 20 years, and find out exactly who did this, how often, when, and to whom. If -- as the government claims -- the computers can analyze all our archived conversations and only pick out the ones relevant to terrorism, without violating anybody's rights or privacy, then there's _ABSOLUTELY NO_ reason we can't use those same computers to sort through the same already-archived conversations and document criminal financial fraud; also, allegedly, without violating anybody's rights or privacy. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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