Fail Kitty doesn’t usually stalk the same prey two times in a row, but when the prey is Bank of America and the level of fail is so incredibly massive, she can’t help but come out with both paws slashing. The most recent fail BoA has been trying to deal with is the fact that it became public they have a number of employees that were signing foreclosure documents on people’s homes – and never taking even the first second to see if the information was up to date or even accurate to begin with.
Of course BoA did what they always do when news like this starts making it’s way around the Internet, which is their best “What you talking ‘bout Willis?” Gary Coleman impression before saying in soothing tones – move along…. Nothing to see here….
Maybe BoA didn’t do the Gary Coleman thing on their social networks, but they sure as heck tried to move people along. They tried diverting attention to what is about to become a third fail – their new account fees to penetrate account holders with instead of debit card fees. Wait and watch – the fail is imminent. At any rate – BoA tried to sweep this under the carpet – who wants to admit they are screwing up mortgage foreclosures by the thousands? They followed the classic BoA pattern for damage control:
- Ignore (we can’t hear you! Na na na na !)
- Get indignant – Proof? Show us your proof if you have any!
- Okay, you have proof – but you’re totally not understanding it. This complex stuff!
- Small admission – Okay, you do understand it – but let’s just forget about this. *waves hand* This is not the story you’re looking for. Write something about Peyton Manning instead…
- You’re still here? Crap… okay.. Mistakes were made, but they weren’t that bad and it was very isolated.
- Full admission – Double damn! Okay .. We’re totally incompetent. We screwed thousands of people out of millions of dollars and wrongfully evicted and seized property. (Good thing those people are too broke and homeless now to take us to court!)
- The back step – Wait a second .. We didn’t really say that. What we said is mistakes were made and our very top people will be looking into it so that everyone gets an amicable resolution. Except maybe for the people we wrongfully foreclosed on and sold their house already… Oops!
Here’s the real scoop. BoA gave titles to employees who were untrained in dealing with mortgages or mortgage law so that they could then authorize them to handle mortgages. Why? It was cheaper than paying for qualified individuals. It sped up the process of getting foreclosure proceedings rolling and resolved since they thought the proper way of handling it took too long and was losing them money. BoA is just one of the 5 major lenders nailed doing this – Wells Fargo and JP Morgan were running the same game and will pay a portion of the $25 billion settlement being worked out too.
The thing is – BoA was the absolute WORST offender. They were the only one that even tried to play the innocent card. When all of your conspirators admit guilt and say “let’s fix this and make it as right as we can” (mostly for PR reasons) it is a good indicator you should follow suit 0 especially if you are the most prolific offender. It was BoA that had one employee who was signing an unbelievable 20,000 mortgage documents per day – maybe not on her own – but her name was appearing at that rate consistently. How could she review 100,000 case each week?
For real? Yes, for real. Here is BoA fail part 2!
BoA, after admitting mistakes and finally saying “Okay, let’s fix this!” then started wave two of the denials. “We made mistakes – but not the mistakes you are making public!” Why would they do that? Well, if you knew what employees were admitting to doing under oath, you’d never put a dollar in their bank or even use one of their ATMs in an emergency. Here is what BoA denied happened – and then later admitted to but claimed was greatly exaggerated.
BoA suspended foreclosures about 2-3 weeks to investigate claims of willful neglect. They concluded they had no problems, but would resubmit 100,000 affidavits related to incomplete foreclosures. That is when HUD stepped in and said bull*hit. Not out loud, but you know they had to be saying it under their breath if nothing else.
HUD didn’t give away all their findings, but we do have some tasty morsels.
- BoA – as expected, was charged with hindering the investigation.
- BoA was hit with a failure to comply with subpoenas
- BoA failed to make current employees available for questioning and, allegedly, claimed no knowledge as to the whereabouts of past employees needed for questioning.
- When employees were available, BoA demanded their attorneys be present, and then slapped gag orders on employees not allowing them to answer any questions about the bank.
- BoA foreclosed on homes that were not in arrears on payments.
- BoA evicted people from homes they were current on.
- In a few isolated cases, BoA foreclosed on homes they didn’t even hold a mortgage on anymore!
- BoA also foreclosed on the wrong homes at times because no one verified the address on the documents for accuracy.
For negligent practices that placed in the neighborhood (low estimate) of $25 billion of homes wrongfully in foreclosure proceedings because they hired unqualified, untrained individuals (might as well have been monkeys trained to hold a pen and scrawl a ’signature’) as mortgage department VP’s to sign thousands upon thousands of documents they didn’t understand without reviewing them, BoA gets a major league FAIL. For denying it publicly, then admitting to it, and then denying it one more time before being fully exposed and admitting to just parts of the scam – DOUBLE FAIL!
BoA, for shame, for shame…. Fail Kitty does not approve!
Bank of America is the target of Fail Kitty’s ire this week after an SMM fail of the highest order. Banks are an easy target to pick on currently, but the level of fail exhibited by BoA in handling the case of Arthur Livingston who resides in South Carolina merits special mention. Long before the social media fail fell into place, the fail began when Mr. Livingstone was declared dead.
In 2009, according to Bank of America, Arthur Livingston of Prosperity, SC, ceased to exchange carbon dioxide. He took a dirt nap. He kicked the bucket. The only problem is that no one told Arthur he was deceased. Being dead, BoA did what they always do and reported him as deceased to the three major credit reporting bureaus. Once you are dead with them, you are further gone than if the coroner started prepping you for the casket.
Further complicating the issue, Livingston sold his house in 2009. In October of 2011, he went to BoA to get a loan to build a new home. He had an account with them for 14 years at that point, had been paying off his credit card in full each month since they declared him dead, and had been maintaining accounts in good standing with BoA – all while they claimed he was dead. That was the reason the gave him when they denied his loan application – dead men don’t get loans!
He tried everything he could with his local branch, but they insisted he was dead even though he had convincing proof of being alive. He emailed BoA CEO Brian Moynihan whom never answered him. Each time he got a standard email from a lackey stating his case was being reviewed and that they took the problem seriously and would be escalating it. Livingston did this dance for 90 days before contacting the media to see if that kind of pressure might generate some action – and did it ever!
WISTV-10 ran the story. That netted the huge action of being contacted by some BoA representative that said he wanted to “touch base” and assure him that the right people were being put on the case to resolve the issue. In the meantime, Livingston has no credit. The credit bureaus declared him deceased. He has a score of less than zero because he doesn’t even exist to them anymore. Even if they believe he is alive, they cannot begin scoring him again until BoA reports him as alive – which they have yet to do for some unknown reason. Even then, the credit bureaus have to start him over from scratch again because they are not allowed to assign his prior credit score because of the years long gap in activity.
BoA has refused to comment publicly on the issue anymore. They defer all requests to a PR department and then lose them or send a standard letter that the issue is being looked into and no comment is possible at this time. Meanwhile, they are still happy to scrape fees off of Livingston’s two checking accounts and two college tuition savings plans for his children. Livingston has said he’d like to take his business elsewhere except that if he does before the issue is resolved it may never get fixed and he will remain a ghost.
For declaring a live man dead, then passing him off BoA gets a fail. For then refusing to acknowledge it after being called out in the press and, as many people believe, stretching out a resolution for what is now beyond 6 months with no relief in sight as punishment, BoA gets an EPIC Fail and a very disapproving two paws down from Fail Kitty.