Bank of America is stealing my home and I don't know what to do about it. I know you have all heard this story a million times, I don't know how different mine is, but I'm going to tell it. I think the Banks take advantage of the fact that most people keep their financial lives private, and their "failures" even more private. I'm "banking" on going public to help not only my situation, but others as well.
We are not your ordinary family of four. We have two sons, one is autistic (*yes a disabled child*) and our elderly parents live with us as well, extending the family unit to six people in our house. Three years ago I lost my job, it took about six months, but I was able to find one that pays half what I used to make. We continued to pay all our debts and obligations including our Bank of America Mortgage payments for another year until we could no longer keep up and we had to file for bankruptcy. During the bankruptcy and debt counseling we decided it would be best to go for a home loan modification to reduce our Bank of America mortgage, rather than giving up our home. However, we had to wait for the bankruptcy to clear before Bank of America would talk to us. We also had to stop paying our mortgage to Bank of America. If you continue to pay Bank of America they think you do not need a modification and they do not return your calls. That was in November of 2010.
We started the home loan modification process with Bank of America even before our bankruptcy, but we had to wait. We filled in all the paper work that B of A requested we fill in. We faxed it, we Fed-Ex'd it and we emailed it. Every possible venue, over 30 pages, each with our loan number on it. We were then told that we did not qualify because we had not completed or sent in the paperwork. We did in fact do all this work, but Bank of America wanted us on their home loan modification program, not the government buy-down program. They conveniently lost all of our paper work repeatedly. We know this to be true because they admitted to loosing the paper work and then started the entire process over again.
We have sent in every piece of paper that Bank of America has asked of us, on time every time. Yet we continued to get notices saying we did not qualify because we had not sent in the paper work. Our account manager changed on us several times. We have every fax receipt we have ever sent with the total number of pages. The last time B of A asked for our paperwork it was for a letter of explanation on how the company paying my contract fees wasn't owned by me. This is the equivalent of asking a government contractor receiving a 1099 if they own the government. They asked for a letter of explanation on why we didn't have rent on the other house they foreclosed on the previous year, and asked us to produce foreclosure documentation they never sent us. But that's not even the worst of what they have done to us.
Most recently we were working with an account manager who after 5 phones calls and a call to her supervisor would return our phone calls. She kept telling us that she was not allowed to send us anything in writing (identity fraud concerns), but that she could tell us over the phone that the house was NOT in default. We expressed concern over getting contacted from the foreclosure - prevention division because our house had gone to "foreclosure". Our account manager Rica Warweg assured us that we were not in foreclosure and that all communications should go through her. Our loan was with the negotiator and all documents were finally complete and in review. We called repeatedly as the foreclosure prevention representative was hard selling us to take the Bank of America option to short sell our house. Ami espoused the benefits of the B of A program by saying they would offer relocation assistance between $5k to $30k and waiving all penalties and late fees. She said the government program was too hard and too long, and only sent us information via mail about the B of A option.
Rica asked us to forward the information to her, and she also advised us that if we listed the house for the Bank of America short sale program we would no longer qualify for the home loan modification program. After 2 years of resending paperwork over 15 times to Bank of America and finally getting the documents with a negotiator there was no way we were going to jeopardize our chance on the loan modification. We have every reason to believe we would qualify, we are both employed and make enough money to support a mortgage over $2k/month. Rica assured us that if the house went to foreclosure that would have to be coordinated through her. We were relieved to hear it, even if she would not put that in writing.
We had no choice but to let the Bank of America short sale option pass, because we want more than anything to keep our home. That has been the goal of this process for over two years. The day after the short sale option passed we got a form letter from Rica saying our house is in foreclosure with a demand letter. We immediately called the bank to find out what was going on. Only to have our calls transferred to a new account manager, Ms. Tamarra Coldwell. We have called her more than 10 times this week and still have not had a single call back. There has been no explanation as to what happened to Rica, or our paperwork.
Today we receive registered letters saying we have 90 days to pay our entire mortgage or it will go to foreclosure. We have done nothing but respond, reply, fax, email, write and answer every request that Bank of America has ever asked us. In return they have repeatedly lost our paperwork and refused to work with us. They are now stealing our home. As a mother of two young boys, I need to know if I am going to be locked out of my house. I have to find a place to live, we have to get movers, we have to plan. This will also make two elderly parents homeless, not to mention my family, including an autistic child for whom this kind of transition will be hugely damaging. We have done everything we can to protect our family from the affects of the Bank of America, but one of my sons saw his mother crying when she opened the registered letter and wanted to know why I was so upset. I lied and said "I stubbed my toe" quickly cleared my tears and started to look for help. My mother suggested I post a tweet, which is an excellent idea, but I had much much more to say. I am going to publish this and reach out to as many media sites as I can.
I cannot begin to tell you what kind of emotional hardship this has caused on a family that already has its share of challenges with a ten year old autistic boy and disabled parents. We have worked hard for 30 years, paid taxes, been law abiding ethical and moral citizens. We believe in family and responsibility, the behavior of Bank of America towards us is unconscionable. All we have ever wanted was a fair mortgage considering the market and our financial situation.
July 20, 2012