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Abuses alleged in retooled loans Despite deals, threats of foreclosures reported


VIP Member
Jan 17, 2010
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New Jersey
October 17, 2011

Property owners in Massachusetts and across the United States say they are being threatened with foreclosure and assessed unfair fees by lenders even after signing agreements with those companies to make lower mortgage payments and stay in their homes.

Eight Bank of America borrowers - including two from Massachusetts - have filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest bank, alleging it violated loan modification contracts, wrongly attempted to collect money from them, damaged their credit, and initiated wrongful foreclosure actions. They expect others to join the suit and are seeking class-action status.

Borrowers and housing advocates say the problem is a further indication of the mortgage industry’s ongoing woes.

Bank of America declined to comment.

Loan problems typically occur when one department at a lending company approves a modification - permanently lowering a homeowner’s mortgage obligation through interest rate or principal reductions - but does not accurately update the borrower’s records, housing advocates say. As a result, other departments may continue to classify the customer’s account as delinquent.

The frequency of such errors is a matter of some disagreement. Faith Schwartz, executive director of the nonprofit Hope Now Alliance, which represents businesses and housing counselors in the mortgage industry, said she was not aware of any serious issues with completed loan modifications.

“That is not something that has come up often,’’ Schwartz said.

But Kathleen Day, spokeswoman for the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending, based in North Carolina, said the problem is widespread.

“It is all too common for banks to enter a loan mod and then try to foreclose on people and try to harangue them for money,’’ Day said. “All the evidence shows that servicing procedures and record keeping are just a mess. It ranges from disarray to out-and-out fraud.’’

Officials from the Treasury Department, which oversees the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program, said homeowners should not experience difficulties with lenders after signing permanent modification contracts.

“If any instances arise that show that servicers have not been following guidelines, they are required to remedy their process and assess if any borrowers have been potentially impacted,’’ said Andrea Risotto, a Treasury spokeswoman.

Shennan Kavanagh, a lawyer with the Boston law firm Roddy Klein & Ryan - which filed the suit - said it is especially traumatic for homeowners who have gone through the stressful monthslong modification process to find they could still be at risk of losing their properties.

“There is complete and utter chaos in the servicing industry,’’ Kavanagh said. “These are supposed to be the lucky folks.’’

read more Abuses alleged in retooled loans - The Boston Globe


Wise ol' monkey
Feb 6, 2011
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Okolona, KY
Murders and suicides up due to foreclosures...
Foreclosures Lead to an Increase in Murders and Suicides
May 29, 2014 — When Michael Jace was arrested for murdering his wife of ten years, it was widely reported that the Los Angeles actor owed $411,000 on his family home and that it was on the brink of foreclosure.
"Financial strain over a period of time can cause a person to do desperate things," said Richard J. Martin, vice president and senior loan officer with Sterling National Bank. "In this case there is also a bankruptcy which can be extremely stressful and very embarrassing for a public figure."

The "Shield" actor and Alice Jace were allegedly arguing about finances when he shot and killed her. Records show Jace filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 listing debts up to $1 million. He also owed more than $22,000 in state and federal income taxes and more than $20,000 to the state of California for 2008.

"I am not sure how killing his wife accomplished anything unless she was an additional source of unknown stress and he just snapped," Martin told MainStreet. While there's no excuse for violent outbursts, an American Journal of Public Health study found that the foreclosure crisis has likely contributed another form of harm, this one self-inflicted: a rise in suicide rates since 2005, independent of other economic factors.

"Beyond wiping out the family's main asset, foreclosures have other harmful effects on the homeowner and surrounding community," said Kevin Stein, associate director with the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC). "Recent studies link foreclosures to increased incidents of suicide and high blood pressure." Homeowners in California like Jace are facing unreasonable delays, obstacles and run-arounds from their mortgage servicers despite new laws, programs and settlements intended to protect them, according to a CRC survey.



Diamond Member
Dec 28, 2010
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Western Va.
Property owners in the blue-est of the blue states complain about what? Unfair mortgage lenders? I purchased a few pieces of property during my lifetime in different states and I always had a lawyer on my side. Are Mass. property owners saying that the state that brags about Harvard law school has a bunch of dunce lawyers who can't even represent a freaking real estate deal without screwing it up?

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