DOJ Settlement Results in BOA “Denying” Mortgage Modifications? (huh?)


DOJ Settlement Results in BOA “Denying” Thousands of Mortgage Modifications? (huh?)

(UPDATE: see the bottom of this page for a link which explains BOA’s direct response to this blog article)

 A few days ago, I was on the phone with a supervisor at Bank of America, discussing the unexpected mortgage loan modification denial letter we had received for one of our clients. The case at issue has a significant background, including some issues which had led to a higher level of attention from BOA. During this conversation, the supervisor made a few comments which particularly caught my attention: “Every borrower [with a modification request pending] who might qualify for the Department of Justice settlement program will be getting a modification denial letter.” (?!)  I believe my eloquent response was something similar to “HUH?” as I ran his words back through my head.

 When I asked for clarification, the supervisor stated “Yep, that’s how they [really meaning “we” – BOA] have decided to do it. I’ll be getting tons of these same calls. Anyone who has a HAMP request pending who may qualify for a DOJ settlement program will be getting a HAMP denial letter, because the Department of Justice program will take priority.”

 Let’s think about this just for a moment. BOA is going to send thousands of borrowers denial letters – not letters of explanation – not because they don’t qualify for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), but because they may qualify for a different program. What is the result going to be? Chaos, stress, confusion . . . and that’s just on the Bank of America side!

 Imagine if you’re a borrower who has been working on a mortgage loan modification with BOA for months, if not years. If your situation is typical, BOA has lost documents you’ve sent in, changed your account manager 3 times, failed to return at least some of your phone calls, and continued to move toward foreclosure even as you try to work with them toward a modification. You hear about the $25 billion dollar settlement between the Department of Justice and the five largest mortgage servicers (including Bank of America) and you think your loan may qualify for some additional relief – finally, some possible good news! Then imagine that you receive a letter from BOA that your application for a mortgage loan modification has been denied. Chaos, stress, confusion, anger result.

 I hope that was I was told was incorrect, or that it was at least incomplete. I hope that someone at BOA who matters has enough sense to ensure that letters of explanation are sent out, not letters of denial. Isn’t it very obvious that there is a right way and a wrong way to do this?

 The right way would simply entail a letter that is titled “Letter of Explanation About your Mortgage Loan Modification Application” and says something similar to “If you are receiving this, it means that you currently have a mortgage loan modification application pending with us, and that you may be eligible for a new program which is currently being put together. This new program will take priority, and thus if you qualify for it, your application for mortgage relief will be processed through that program instead of through the HAMP program. In the meantime, . . . .”

 Believe it or not, I want to give lenders and servicers the benefit of the doubt, as there are some very smart people in key places at these institutions and as this mortgage crisis is without any easy fix. I just wish they didn’t make it so hard on themselves and everyone else.

UPDATE: BOA Responds to my Blog on Supposed Modification Denials

 McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides assistance to borrowers in need of mortgage relief services, such as mortgage loan modification, foreclosure negotiation, refinancing, and deed-in-lieu or other negotiated settlement resolutions.


McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides legal services in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as in some Federal courts. The Firm offers full scale representation, as well as limited scope services, as appropriate for the situation. Please be advised that the content on this website is not legal advice, but rather informational, and no attorney-client relationship is formed without the express agreement of this law firm. Thank you.


59 Responses to “DOJ Settlement Results in BOA “Denying” Mortgage Modifications? (huh?)”

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  1. Mary says:

    I am not surprised at all. Bank of America is the most difficult of ALL the banks to deal with and obtain favorable loan modifications for our clients.
    My most recent case, is a lady who has been in “Loan Mod Review” for approx 2 years, was approved by an underwriter, and referred to next level up for approval. Four months later, the NPV denial letter arrived. The poor mortgagor is beside herself, and when attempting to APPEAL the NPV denial based on incorrect input, shuffled from this SPOC to another, no one accepts the phone call, nor returns phone calls.
    The very few loan modifications I have been able to obtain, the terms were ridiculous, forcing the mortgagor to file Bankruptcy!
    This Company needs to go into receivership, and investigated! Yes they were PAID to take over the Countrywide Crap-but this is NO excuse NOT to provide appropriate workouts for homeowners!

  2. J.R says:

    I have been dealing with BOA for over a year with my loan modification. i started faxing in the paperwork June 2011. It has been nonstop. I’ve had the same experience as many others have had. Lost documents, change of account manager 3x or more. I called 5 times from June 22 to July 13th.
    I even called a supervisor and left a message after my 4 other messages were not returned. The 6th time I called, I called the regular customer service number and had them email my rep. It worked. She called.

    Unfortunately she was on vacation during my other calls. I believe her because I left the supervisor a message asking why I was for the 4th time being routed to a different person with different office hours and a different name. No one called. My rep finally did though. Shocking enough, she is the final person I’ve been transferred to and when I can get a hold of her – she has been the only one that has kept up on anything. It only took 2 reps before her. I’m in the process for the Dept. Of Justice modification too. I was in the process for HAMP.

    What I can add according to what I’ve been told by BOA : “The dept of Justice Program has more leniency with qualifying. If you do not meet the eligibility for that program, you may not qualify for our other programs.” The reason I asked is my 11% interest rate on a predatory loan that was from First Franklin Home loan Services originally. If I don’t qualify for the Dept of Justice, I essentially would be denied by HAMP or anything else.

    Has anyone been denied by the Dept of Justice program yet?

    • Gene says:

      I’ve had all the same problems with b of a as those listed above, and then some. Somehow, after a few years of the total shell game they put you through before denying the mod with no explanation, I have been approved for a trial period under the doj plan. My fist payment is due sept. 1. they claim the principal will be reduced by $59,000. My payment would be reduced by $400. It says if my conditions don’t change during the trial period and I make payments on time for 3 months I will qualify for permanent mod.

      I wonder what curve balls they will throw my way? Hopefully it works

      Anyone have experience with this or is it too new?

      • Gene, thank you for the comment as well, and glad to hear of your approval. We recently got an approval with similar numbers, but I would say the program is too new for anyone to really have been fully through it yet. Best of luck to you.

      • Jennifer Ferguson says:

        Hi Gene,
        Congratulations on your approval! I’ve been given the trial DOJ mod too, after almost 2 years! What did they require of you for final loan approval documentation? As a self-employed person, they said all that they will require is my P&L, which seems too easy, after all the docs I’ve been sending repeatedly, PS. You did well getting your payment down $400. Mine was reduced by $150, hardly enough to make a difference.

    • Thanks for the comment, JR, and I hope you are making some progress. We have not yet received any National Mortgage (“DOJ”) Settlement denials yet, but are starting to receive approval notices.

    • Nader Mehanian says:

      I just got an absolute bogus denial from bofa on my doj modification : lack of income docs. I have provided numerous income docs, and just because page 1of2 (which is name and address) was missing, doj is denying my modification. This is ridiculous

    • jennifer says:

      yes! denied here and denied for everything because they claim we can afford our mortgage and i insisted on the DOJ program because the house is under water. Oh well! We got our sheriff sale date for this month so if they sell it they do….i really get tired of dealing with the misinformation and the switching of hands all the time. I guess I really just dont care that much about a house that i would be overpaying for because they wont listen to their customers.

      • Sharon says:

        Finally…after being denied for the DOJ modification with BOA….and appealing it..they decided to transfer my loan to Greentree. I applied with Greentree and was approved for the DOJ/ trial payments start next month. They went down 120.00 a month. they will not look at the second loan as DOJ is on the first mortgage only, even though our loan was also an 80/20 loan for the purchase price of the house. Not sure yet what kind of principle reduction they are looking at til we are done with 3 month trial payments and the final offer is made, but was told our trial payments would be approx. the payments we will have. Unsure how they figure that because they would need to know the Fair Market Valuve of the home. I had contacted the Attorney Generals Office and you can make complaints with them regarding DOJ denials. Good luck!!

    • jan moore says:

      yes my son was denied settlement offer in a very tricky way and then they sold his loan to selene finance because we asked to talk with legal
      team they claimed they made an offer that he never received and called two days before the offer ended demanding payment when we obtained payment before so called dead line they dented to take payment because they said it was not guaranteed that they needed to escalate to see if offer could be resubbmitted and they sent letter stated he declined offer we asked how he could decline offer he did not receive.
      They lie and are very umderhanded he has been in foreclosure for two years

  3. Sherrie Kinard says:

    Bank of America is terrible to work with.

    I have been pursuing this since November 15, 2011 and am still no closer to obtaining the loan modification than I was in November 2011. I have submitted 3 full packets to Bank of America with all requested documents and they still keep asking for the same documents that I have already sent in and are accepted in their systems. I originally applied for the Gov FHA special forbearance loan modification and was denied due to an incomplete form, 4506-T. I promptly corrected this error while on the phone with Bank of America and faxed it in within 30 minutes of that call. This was the end of April, and the workout close date listed in Bank of America’s systems was April 30, 2012. I resubmitted the entire packet the following week and my checklist was 100% complete. On May 2, 2012, Bank of America made the ILQA decision stating, “Review Completed-Final Fail (Pending Remediation),” and put my modification on hold despite the submission of the new packet containing all current forms and documents. Bank of America did not reopen my case until July 9, 2012. During this time I was told that my case was open and being worked on in underwriting by Jane Fleming. I have explained to Bank of America that it was imperative that I get this modification before June 2012 when I would start having severe financial shortfalls. When they reopened my case on July 9, 2012 they sent me another packet to fill out and submit all documents again despite the fact that the bank statements, pay stubs, 4506-T, RMA, profit and loss statement, and divorce decree are all still within their 90 day window. The 4506-T/1040 forms are within their 120 day window. I have been asked 3 times to fax in a copy of the quit claim deed which I faxed in twice, it is in their system twice, and they told me that the quit claim deed was not in their systems and that I still needed to fax it in again.

    When you apply for a loan modification they assign you a costomer relationship manager (CRM) to handle your case. I have had on the order of 10 different CRMs. Every time I get a new one, I have to start all over again with why I am applying for a loan modification and often times I am bringing them up to date on what Bank of America is doing and where my file is in the process. This is something they should be updating me on, not the other way round. Often times when I call, I get a voicemail message stating that the person will call me back within 24 hours and if it is urgent I can call their supervisor. I have called up to 4 different supervisors above the CRM, left messages, and never received any calls back and certainly not within the 24 hour specified timeframe. When the CRM tries to contact me, they call either a wrong number or my house phone during normal business hours despite the fact that they have my cell phone (listed as preferred contact number) and work numbers listed in their systems. It is as if they are purposely trying not to get a hold of me and delaying things as much as they can. Then, when I get home and listen to the message, I call back and leave a message with them, simply to never have it returned. I have talked to several CRMs in tears due to frustration and have literally begged them to help me. Of course it often takes several attempts to get in contact with one along with 30 minute or longer hold times. All I get is that they cannot give me a time frame for a decision, they will get back to me (which they never do), and I am not allowed to speak to my underwriter directly.

    I do not qualify for FHA/HAMP program because my mortgage is at 31% of my gross income. However, I do qualify for a DOJ modification program and I have asked Bank of America to assess me for the DOJ modification. Apparently a number of people have applied and gone straight to the DOJ modification program, skipping the waterfall process. The waterfall process determines if you are first eligible for FHA/HAMP/ then non-HAMP, followed by DOJ, the final step of the waterfall process. I asked Bank of America to skip over the other programs that I know I am not qualified for and was told that they have to follow the waterfall process despite the waste of time. I have also asked them to remove the PMI from my mortgage immediately to help give me some financial relief. They actually increased my mortgage by roughly $54. This is due to insurance going up, but I am trying to get my loan payments reduced, not increased. Then I was told that my home is only valued at $330,857 which is about $18,000 less than what I owe making me completely upside down.

    I contacted Senator Michael Bennet and he has contacted Bank of America on my behalf and I got a call from the new CRM today. I of course have called back and left a message. lol I sure hope I can get this modified soon!

    • Ms. Kinard: I am sorry to hear of your challenges, and I wish that the process were smoother for everyone involved. Many of our clients went through similar obstacles before turning the stress over to us. I hope that your assertiveness in handling this leads to positive results!

    • Marvin says:

      Just keep trying mam. My wife and I have went through the very same issues and we have taken some of your very same steps. We refused to settle for just anything, so we had to reach out to senator Nelson’s office, we had to get an attorney, we had to resend documentation over and over, we had to stay by the phone all day, we had to deal with re explaining our situation to different reps, we had to deal with the crazy reasons to deny, and I can go on and on, but the fact is, we was in it to win it. Everybody dont believe in God, but when all hell is breaking lose, He is all we can lean on. We got to the point of not letting thos letters about foreclosure affect us anymore because it was stealing all the joy from family. I was trying all that I can and it seem to not be enough, so I had to stop letting it stress me if it was not stressing the mortgage company. I can share so much more drama behind the 2 years of trying to get a modification, but its irrelevant, we finally got approved!! We were placed in this situation because of the scandal within taylor bean & whittaker mortgage company. The got shut down and BAC picked up our mortgage and the rest is history. I can say that in order to get a modification, the banks need to know that you have endurance because its a test and its a foolish test that have caused lives to be destroyed. Have faith & dont worry because it will only drive one crazy. Take care & take back your life. Peace

  4. Gray555 says:

    We also were told by our CRM that we would receive denial letter in order to be put in doj program – we received denial etter last week but seems like denial letter for all programs

    Here’s my story …
    Received letter and calls from BofA rep about two months ago saying they are moving my loan for review for new doj program and requested additional docs – taxes, pays tubs, current utility bill and hoa verification. After sending docs twice, got another call from her requesting current bank statement. During that call she said not to panic that I would be receiving a letter from BofA denying me for modification because they were moving me for consideration under the doj settlement. My rep was going on vacation but said her teammates would finish the paperwork. She also said it would take approximately 30 days for review by the doj and that I would know before she would whether we qualified because notice would not come from her but from the underwriter for the doj. Well I never got anything so I called when she returned from vacation and left her a voicemail. A week later on 7/16 I received a letter from her (my rep) on BofA letterhead saying “thank you for beginning the home loan modification process and providing your complete financial information. We are now reviewing your loan for modification options including the new modification program introduced as a result of the US Dept of Justice …. This modification could offer you significant principal reduction and low payments… The evaluation process takes approximately 30 days”. TWO days later on 7/18 I receive the following DENIAL letter “we have reviewed your home for eligibility in the new principal forgiveness modification program … Your home is not eligible for the following reason(s): we are unable to offer you a modification because your current monthly housing expense, which includes your loan’s monthly principal and interest payments, plus property taxes, hazard insurance, and homeowners dues (if any) are considered to be affordable under this program. We want to work with you to help you avoid foreclosure. Depending on y,our situation we may have other modification options for you. If you ave already been evaluated for these programs you may have to show a change in your circumstances in order to qualify. If modification is not an option, these other alternatives to foreclosure may be available to you: short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. … We are now returning your loan to normal collection activity, which could include referral to foreclosure and foreclosure sale…”

    So. I have left multiple voicemails for my BofA rep and have received NO return calls or no other letters (the above letters both came fed-x). I am sooooooo confused – is this final denial, is this the letter she said I shouldn’t panic about – is anyone receiving any communication from anyone other than their BofA rep/single point of contact. Nothing happened the way she said it would – she told me on the phone we qualified for the program and it was going to underwriting … What happened? The reason for denial is so generic with no specific details as to our situation and how they came to ths result. There’s no mention in the letter as to having 30 days to appeal even though the doj settlement docs/judgment says they are supposed to put in the denial letter thr you have 30 days to appeal and the exact numbers they used to deny you (something about NPV and income). Anyone else in this situation?

    Ps we received mod in 2009 – reduced interest to 3.25 percent, took loan out to 40 years, added all past due payments and fees back into loan balance ($65,000 worth). Current balance is $600,00 zillow value is $272,000 current payments with pmi and hoa is $2900 – prior to mod payments were $5,000 interest only. This was a horrible. Of but all we could do at the time. Now so upside down not sure what to do. Payments are “affordable” according to their letter – but only be ause of this ridiculous mod 2 years ago – will NEVER have equity or be able to sell … And now we don’t qualify for principal reduction because of this crappy previous mod … Any suggestions?

    • sHARON says:

      The same exact thing happened to us! When I told them I was appealing the denial decission, I received a notice that they have now transferred our loan to a different servicer. Which is one of the criteria for the DOJ Settlement. I had a HUD counselor figure our income and it was above the (BOA Settlement Criteria) yet they told me our income was 24% yet they increased my disability since I dont have taxes come out every month , they considered that gross income. My husband works on commission and they only used 1 paystub and not a month. I think they are trying to avoid principle reductions and now transfer loans out. Contact your Attorney Generals Office and make a complaint as they are the ones that are supposed to be enforcing the settlement agreement. Put in wrriting that you are appealing the decission. If you look at the judgement , there is an appeal process. and I would send that letter to the AG office as well. Otherwise, if they transfer your loan…its too late.

    • charli says:

      We had the same type of situation.!!! In foreclosure and Still trying to figure out what to do for BOa to work with us under the DOJ. WE have plenty of income to afford our payment – the appraisal came in 25K less that the orinciple amount owed (we are $150,000 behind in payments/piti)
      We just keep calling- our rep does return calls but each time he tells us a different story – or he is not sure why and what the problem is on our denial.

  5. Elizabeth Snyder says:

    Our experiences with,BOA have mirrored those of the other contributors and have covered a span of nearly three years. One unique circumstance is the forgiveness of a $19,000 second loan for a swimming pool. The loan was forgiven under tne auspice of The State Attorney General and the US Department of Justice. BOA in all fairness, HA! HA!, repeatedly claimed that they forgave the loan and as a sign olf good faith doubled or primary mortgage from $700 to over $1400 per month. That increase appears to include the $19,000 that was forgiven. When talking to customer service and their supervisors they never neglect to mentioned their forgiveness of that loan. I wonder what would happen if BOA decided to foreclose on our residence. Would we still have pool right? ,Seriously,what right, if any, would we have with reference to the inground pool?

    • Ticked off attorney says:

      We have had the same issues, but finally got a letter stating our second mortgage balance would be settled “in full” for 90k. There were no conditions, nor prepayment penalties in the letter. As an attorney, this seemed too good to be true, so we called and spoke with our “recovery analyst” and were told the same thing. We were no longer underwater in our house so decided to sell. Guess what? Once the escrow company sent a payoff balance request, the amount was 232k again! My husband was told it was the law. I called and left a message (because no one at B of A ever answers their phones) and requested the Code or Title for the reference, and reminded them that there was nothing in writing to this effect, and we had relied upon their assertions and written documentation, to our detriment (we will fall out of escrow). SO….it appears that our “settlement in full”, was more like a conditional forbearance. We were told that the payoff of the settlement amount of 90k could NOT come from the the proceeds of the sale of the home. Why do they care WHERE the money comes from? After further discussions we will probably retain an attorney. B of A looks at this as a short sale. It makes me want to let our first foreclose just to screw B of A, who would get nothing. Let this be a warning to all!!!

  6. CA Resident says:

    Please send this article to the Monitor of the National Settlement – Joseph Smith and all the law firms that are working with him. He should be aware of what BOA is doing and start to penalize them heavily for wrongful denials.

    they cannot take individual cases but more complaints that go to them – they will be exposed to BOA’s internal fraud policies which he may be able to question. He cannot work on individual cases but the more complaints that go to them – he will see the pattern.

    Also I have asked him what the success rate has been of approved PR and LM’s??

    • sHARON says:


  7. Eugene Speciale says:

    I have been dealing with BOA for over 2 years now with just got 3rd denial this last time over a mis paid amount on two payments the amount of 300 dollars under paid the 300 hundred was paid but still they say they have to and this can not be apealed and we are no longer elagbe to apply for a mortage mod. im at a loss for what to do at this point any advice would surly help thank you

  8. Nikki Hebert says:

    BOA has been given me the run around for 2 years now. After 2 years of trying to get a modification, we were denied and the reason being is the investor of our loan, Bank of New York, does not offer modifications and that there is nothing else they can do for me. We are desperate for help and want to keep our home. I am in Louisiana. Do you help people here? If not, who can I contact for help? Please, I’m desperate.

    • Ms. Hebert, we are sorry to hear of your troubles. Unfortunately, we do not practice law in LA, and don’t have any specific recommendations for an appropriate attorney there. One possible resource is to contact the Louisiana State Bar’s lawyer referral service. We do wish you the best of luck in saving your home.

  9. Pfeffer says:

    Everything that you wrote has happened to me. For over 8 months, I have been working on my loan modification with BoA, I fill out the papers they request, fax the documents they request, and then wait. I call and they give me another list of documents to fax, most of the time it is the same documents that I had already faxed, but because this is important, I just followed their instructions. After 8 months, I just got off the phone with them and they told me that I was denied, but couldn’t really tell me why, but my case worker thought that my hardship wasn’t bad enough, I am only 2 months behind. But, she did warn me that at three months they might start the foreclosure process. I asked my case worker what are my other options and she actually told me 1 of my options is to “pay my mortgage on time”, really, WTF. I am looking for some organization that is going after BoA, because if I am not a hardship, I don’t think it exists.

    • Mr. Pfeffer, we are sorry to hear about this challenging situation with BOA. It does sound as if the information you’ve been given is questionable. Depending on what state your property is in, we may be able to take you on as a client and assist.

    • peg says:

      Yours is so similar to ours! we also are 2 months that was actually caused by a mess up in servicing with their autodraft program that was working perfectly until they made 2 mistakes on it at a time we absolutely could not afford it (the budget was too tight) we are trying to catch up these 2 months arrears and keep paying albeit it remains 2months behind because of this and of course they ding our credit each month because of it as well. And you better believe at 3months they will start a foreclosure process and if you have an fha like us – you can never get to the 4months it requires for a claim because boa will start their process at the 3month mark. I feel they need to put this mistake at end of note and start our auto drafts up immediately (you should be 1 month ahead really for the thing to work so its paid on the 1st each month on time). It’s what will fix our situation, so simple to see yet they seem to not even look at that because I guess its not a program they have. We only have 14 years left on ours, we have equity, we want to keep our home but unless we catch these 2 up during this mod process I don’t know what else to do either.

  10. Mtggirl31 says:

    I have been dealing with a similar situation with B of A since March 2012. I have been denied twice now once for missing documents which was BS and my appeal was granted they found they were in the wrong and had all my documents, I was immediately denied the next day a letter came by Fed-Ex saying excessive forebearance which is also BS. I was only two months behind at that time I had started the modification and then because our account manager at B of A said their were people that were further behind then our home loan ours was not a priority. I could not believe he said that to me.

    I have received numerous letters from B of A all conttradicting on another. When I brought it to my account manager’s attention he stated do not worry about those letters they are all computer generated. This makes no sense what so ever. Once they denied me the second time our financial hardship was worse and I had not made a payment in five months. Once I received the second denial letter within a week I was notified my home was in foreclosure. I have 90 days to bring my home current before an auction date is set. My account manager told me to re-apply which I have and I am now being re-viewed for a trial modification, but the foreclosure is still proceeding.

    I have also had a previous modification from First Franklin in 2009 one of the first modifications done under President Bush’s plan. All that did was put a band aid on us. Our home loan just adjusted in April to 7.90% and adjusts every 6 months until it caps out at 13% and it will never adjust down. We could not refi because we are upside down by $200,000.

    Throughout this whole process there has been a lack of communication between me and my account manager not returning phones calls. What I have exprienced when not being able to get a hold of my account manager or his supervisor (which does not return calls either) is getting a third party involved which is a free service HOPE Hoteline 1-888-995-HOPE. Once I called them to let them know what B of A was doing they do a third party call to B of A and we actually talk to a live person at B of A.

    Another assistance program in California if you are behind on your payments is Keep Your Home California they received a alot of money from the US Treasury to help homeowners in California bring their mortgage current.

    This process should not be that difficult for the Banks to review the documentation given and contact the investors of the home loan to find out if they are willing to modify their clients home loan. I am a Loan Officer and I have helped many of my clients for free modify their home loans in the past, but because certain banks do not want to really modify they do a stall tactic and request the same documents over and over again until the client finally gets frustrated enough and just gives up. I quit helping my clients because it is very time consuming I do give them advice Do Not Give Up not matter how frustrating it gets at times remember The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease! Good luck to everyone that is trying to modify with B of A.

  11. Jmeyer says:

    Good luck with those modifications from BOA. They have been working on mine since May 2012 and said i was denied for the modifications include the DOJ. Its very frustrating.

  12. Sandy G says:

    Your blog is exactly what has happened to us..since BOA took over Countrywide in 2008. We are still in this never ending circle of active fraud by BOA. We have dealt with some very nice people at the Hope line for making home affordable but they are getting the same run around that we have been dealing with. We have been in contact with the NC agencies and are trying to get some help through them, but we are but 1 in a sea of thousands of victims. We have been fighting foreclosure hearings. We were not notified of an impending sale date of our home…heard about it from a neighbor..and spent a lot of sleepless days trying to prevent that date..just to have it set aside due to a clerk error at the courthouse… and now it is all about starting from scratch again with more of the same paperwork being sent in and not filed properly, or lost..or not received when it had been. The same pattern that we have been stuck in since 2008. IT NEVER ENDS! It is beyond frustrating.

    • Ms. German, we’re sorry to hear about your challenges. It is sometimes difficult to tell if the mortgage lenders/servicers are acting in bad faith or just incompetent. Most of our clients reached out to us for help after trying unsuccessfully for relief on their own or with “public” assistance. The public and non-profit agencies and groups that are designed to help homeowners can help to some extent, sometimes, but you’re correct about them being overwhelmed – they are largely without real power, also.

      The North Carolina “non-judicial” foreclosure process makes it very easy for lenders/servicers to foreclose. The Clerks of Court do their best, but they don’t, by law, have much power and they generally aren’t lawyers. We wish you the best of luck.

    • Robert says:

      We have the same problem. Going on 3 years with complaints filed with Attorney General office 2 times , hud counseling, banking commission complaints, numerous hearing and endless nights of sleep. Boa are criminals and have no intention of helping anyone. Its an endless game of lies. I guess they like to keep paying taxes and insurance on properties. We will continue to filght and stop BOA even if it needs to be in the federal courts. Hopefully, one day someone will take notice to all this greed and put them in receivership to make them do right to qualified homeowners who wish to retain their property.The whole process is FRAUD

  13. joe coffie says:

    Would you be able to provide any references that practice in the state of virginia?


  14. Annette Roegiers says:

    are DOJ modifications only for BofA customers. I had a loan with Aurora Loan which has just been sold to Nationstar Mortgage. I am wondering if DOJ could be a way for me to go.

    • Unfortunately, the Department of Justice Settlement (formally called the National Mortgage Settlement) only applies to Bank of America, (JP Morgan) Chase, Citi, GMAC/Ally, and Wells Fargo. You can read more about it here:

  15. Grace says:

    Mr. McGrath –
    Thank you thank you so much for this blog! (very insightful)

    I am a BOA mortgage (Maryland) holder and going through modification with NACA.

    With 100% truth to your original statement, I was declined for the HAMP because I was eligible for the DOJ settlement. Now BOA has (tried to ) denied me on the DOJ because ‘my current DTI (debt to income) is below 25%’. I see this as BOA hogwash because they reviewed my file on a old and outdated application which had several of Over Time on my paystubs.

    Any idea what the exact requirements to be considered for the DOJ settlement & is it possible to appeal the decision on my DOJ application?

    Please advise

    • Unfortunately, we cannot give legal advice regarding matters in states where we don’t practice, like Maryland. However, we do wish you the best of luck, and encourage you to be persistent in resubmitting your documents.

    • charli says:

      yes we had a denial –you need to appeal with the bank. be squeeky to get the oil!!!

  16. Deb says:

    I was told I qualify for the DOJ settlement. I applied August 2nd and have not heard anything yet going on 3 months now. Colorado’s “foreclosure hotline” does nothing but give you the number to HUD. The “not so hotline received hundreds of thousands dollars. So much of the settlement money is being wasted on supposed help that is no help at all. The homeowners continue to struggle with the mortgage company – in my case B of A. This settlement did nothing to help homeowners. My CMA is difficult to work with and no matter who else you talk to they direct you back to the unhelpful, incompetent CMA a vicious cycle that gets you no where. By the time the DOJ sends out the letter my home will be foreclosed on. In spite of the fact they are not supposed to foreclose on a property that is in a workout my CMA says I don’t qualify for anything except a short sale or Deed in Lieu. I want to keep my home but can’t get them to work with me. I have tried HAMP and keep getting turned down for the typical “you didn’t send all the documents” excuse.. It’s a nightmare and the problem is there is STILL no one holding the banks accountable to follow the rules. They are withholding funds that are supposed to be available to the homeowners from both the DOJ settlement and the HAMP programs. The state wins, the mortgage company wins, the homeowner loses.

  17. Jules says:

    Mr. McGrath –

    Thank God, for people like you that take the time to blog. My story is very similar to the ones I read today, I am too dealing with BOA for approximately three years. A year ago I was approved for a loan modification , which, I rejected, because none of the payments I made under the trial period, were posted to the account, instead they were included in the loan amount, which made my new payments about the same. Just last month I received an email from BOA stating that they are still waiting for my signed loan modification. Huh! ARE THEY KIDDING? If they returned my calls, or answer my letters, they would know that I rejected the modification.

    I wish you could help, but I don’t think you practice law in my state.

  18. Joshua Kricker says:

    I would contact the Justice Department regarding this as I would think it’s a violation of the spirit of the settlement agreement. I would also consider trying to obtain injunctive relief (possibly through a class action) ordering them to modify their denial letter to include the DOJ modification and how to obtain it.

  19. eddy says:

    Can anyone tell me who I can file a complaint with regarding my Bank of America/ Countrywide loan. I have been approved to forgive part of my loan which was a 80/20 but denied a modification the other part 80%. I have been given the run around by Bank of America as to why they will not approve a modification. Does anyone know an attorney that wont just take my money and run? I am in foreclosure.

    Thank you for any help

    Eddy in Florida

    • Eddy, sorry to hear of your challenges. We have had other clients in Florida with similar issues. BOA is a nationally chartered bank, which means that some state laws and codes, unfortunately, may not apply or may not be enforced by the State. You can file a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

      We are working on another, similar case with Bank of America in which my client was very happy to have the 2nd loan forgiven, but still faces potential foreclosure on the first loan unless we work a modification out, which we are in the process of doing. Best of luck to you.

  20. Jeremy Thompson says:

    I was told that Boa was “working” with people to lower their interest rate. We applied back in feb 2012, initially we were told that they (being a 3rd party) would evaluate and let us know. The timeline was supposed to be 3 months…… We have never paid late or missed a payment. Everytime we call they say it is under review. Is there anyone we can call on this. VERY FRUSTRATING!!! Seems like they have no incentive or accountability.

    Any help would be nice. We are in Washington state.

    • Mr. Thompson, I’m afraid we don’t practice in Washington. I will say that persistence and patience are certainly necessary. Many persons have speculated that BOA and others intentionally delay so that the borrowers eventually give up or fail to respond; this allows the banks to say that it was the borrower who failed, not that they (bank) failed to offer/approve a modification.

      I cannot confirm this is true, but many believe it to be. You can consider contacting the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Best of luck to you.

    • Nichole Shelton says:

      We are in Washington going through the same thing have u had any luck

  21. Jay Barbieri says:

    BofA says there investor Bank of New York Mellon on my mortgage (originally Country Wide) is NOT participating in DOJ settlement. I have read the settlement and still do not know if this is true, I’ve been at this for a year and am just know getting info for NYB Mellon. My question is simply does anyone know for sure whether this is true.

    I qualify for he settlement under these terms.
    Never Late
    Great Credit
    Home value is less than mortgage.

    I know I qualify for any interest rate reduction (currently 7.4%) as I received one for another home from Chase right after the settlement.

    Any help here?

    • Jay, unfortunately, we can’t really give legal advice unless we know the details of the situation, that the legal jurisdiction is one of our states of licensure, and that the person in need is a client.

      Bank of NY Mellon was not a defendant/party to the National Mortgage (DOJ) Settlement. BOA appears to have sold a lot of loans to Bank of NY Mellon in the last few years, although BOA is still the loan servicer on many of those loans.

  22. Jerry says:

    Bank of America very slick. When you apply for a modification, they send a packet and tell you they are using a third party to process it. Even when they do all the processing in house, read the fine print and it will say, “we are a debt collector” The huge problem comes when the third party is a collection agency processing the documents. They now have more information on you, your taxes, and retirement account than ever. When they come after you for the money after foreclosure they will know exactly where everything is. Some things they would have never known without the modification packet information.
    This is pure wrong. Instead of actually helping people keep their homes, they are getting updates and new information and signed tax transcripts so they can really go after the debtor if there is a foreclosure.

  23. JC says:

    I have been in the process of trying to modify my mortgage through BofA for the past year and a half. I was denied once and had to resubmit my loan modification, my paperwork was lost plenty of times, I was changed account mangers multiple times, and had to resubmit the same papers over and over again. Finally Bofa approved a modification and immediatly sold my loan to NationStar, which makes my modification by Bofa invalid. Now I have to restart the process through NationStar. Go figure it was to good to be true. BofA is one of the worst banks out there, I refuse to ever use any of their banks, credit cards etc.

    • ERNEST says:


  24. Ally says:

    I have been in modification process with the boa for almost three years. the same old story of going back and forth, submitting docs hundred times, changing the case managers, being forwarded for forclousure, and appealing a few times. we finally were put on a trial period with 125000 principal reduction, with doj program, BUT with a mortgage payment of $1200 more than what we used to pay before the loan modification . they are saying if we don’t comply with the trial period payments starting Feb 2013, we will lose our house. i don’t know what to do. anyone has similar experience?

    • Sharon says:

      No I got a DOJ modification through Greentree on my First after BOA transferred the loan. My payments went down from 1030. to 887.00 …not a big reduction but forgiving 22000.00 on my loan after trial paymentd. The DOJ program is to help homeowners owing more than a house is worth . Its not a modification like Making Home Affordable which will decrease payments to 31% of income. DOJ looks at principle balance and fair market value…not income. I also have a second mortgage owing over 40000.00 also used to purchase home…and BOA tells me that the DOJ isnt doing anymore modifications. Let me say…GreenTree advised me that once your first is modified with DOJ…your information goes in a data system and the 2nd mortgage will be reviewed. I know this is true for a HAMP …but does anyone know about the DOJ modification.

  25. Maria says:

    Sick to my stomach… reading these emails and seeing that we are not the only ones in this mess with BOA!!!

    We went to the outreach BOA modification meeting in Miami, Florida in October 2012. We provided all docs required, they were scanned into the BOA system, a manager from the underwriting dept. came and advised us that we qualified for the DOJ but because a hurricane threat for that day, all of his underwriters were sent home. He advised we would get our underwriting papers within two weeks. What we received was a denial letter because “we did not provide” the necessary documentation!!

    An appeal proceeded their denial letter… many phone calls and letters from BOA thereafter saying the same thing “your appeal is still in review”. FINALLY in June 2013, we received another letter that they reviewed our appeal and our “original reason for appealing the decline decision, for Request Incomplete, was valid. HOWEVER, as we reviewed the new documentation you provided to support your appeal, we found your loan is not eligible for a modification because you did not make all of the required Trial Period Plan payments on time.” ARE THEY SERIOUS!!!! I called them back and asked them were the heck did they ever offer us a “Trial Period Plan payment”!! The responded by telling us that they were making a 2nd appeal!!

    I chuckled to the representative and apologized!! I told her I had to laugh because if I began to cry it would be worse!!! Now we are in the waiting game again. Who can make any sense of this system!!

  26. Abdurehman Banihamed says:


  27. Greg says:

    I became involved in a North Carolina straw buyers scheme in 2006, where some developers took out an inflated land loan through BOA ($243k for .62 acres actually worth around $5-10k) in my name. The “developers’ paid on the loan until the housing bubble burst in in late 2008, then quit paying on the note and left town. I paid on the loan for three months but was unable to continue to pay and have not made a payment since then. BOA has tried to foreclose a couple of times, most recently November 2013 which was dismissed without prejudice. I’ve looked through the NC statutes of limitations to see how much time they have to legally pursue a foreclosure, but keep finding different answers. I have not paid on this loan in almost 5 years. I’m sure that the collection agency (Hutchinson Law Firm) will try again. I understand that if I want to have this foreclosure thrown out to statute of limitations, I’ll need to have representation in Jackson County. What can you tell me about implementing the statute of limitations to discharge a foreclosure? Thank you

  28. Tracey Butler says:

    Flagstar bank and Potestivo & Associates (Rochester MI) has done the same thing to me. Now the Sheriffs sale is set for 1/7/2014 according to the notice posted on my door, and posted in Oakland Press Newspaper. I have been told by Fagstar and Potestivo & Associates the Sheriffs sale has been pushed back to 2/4/14; however, I have yet to receive any documentation confirming this. The bank and attorneys office have lost documents sent via US mail and via fax. They also made me resubmit the 4506-T form; of which I had submitted to the attorneys office filled out as instructed. My Authorized Representative has changed three times. I have called and left countless messages without one return phone call. I have called the attorneys office and left countless messages with finally a call back one week later to give information of which I already had. All of this cannot be mere incompetence. I am contacting an attorney tomorrow!

  29. Terese Ostrowski says:

    Yes bank of america are worthless. Trying to get them to skip modification because of a divorce. House is not worth what we owe. Our realtor has a buyer for the home at 30,000 less at what we owe. They told us that if one of us move out we can skip the modification and go to short sale. I moved out and two weeks later they told us they made a mistake. They are crooks. The president should do something about these banks. They are sucking the life out of the U.S tax paying citizens.

  30. mm says:

    Found your site after reading about the BOA settlement just announced. I believe my mortgage, and no doubt thousands of others, were sold by Countrywide/BOA to Select Portfolio(SPS) in anticipation of this event. After my business failed, I applied for a DIL, and SPS jacked me around for well over a year, requiring submission and resubmission of the same documents. Recently they finally gave me an answer: NO. Now I am in foreclosure, and I hope there is some relief for me. These “bankers” conduct themselves as if there will never be a reckoning.

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