Since 2009, there has been a lot of bad press about Bank of America's loan modification problems, featuring a near-continuous stream of frustrated homeowners who are mired in delays and lost paperwork. Many homeowners jumped through hoops and waited years for loan modification decisions, only to find out that they were not eligible for modification. Some still await their outcome while trapped in the cycle of lost paperwork, misapplied or misplaced payments, and a shuffle of Bank of America loan modification staff.
Two Sides to the Story
As frustrating as the process may be to homeowners who are worried about losing their home to foreclosure, there are two two sides to the Bank of America loan modification story. While homeowners throughout the nation struggled with record rates of home foreclosure, so too did Bank of America.
“No mortgage servicer has ever had to address the scale of delinquent loans that Bank of America has as a result of the Countrywide acquisition,” Bank of America spokesperson Dan Frahm said, as quoted in a December 19, 2012, article published by Bloomberg. According to data cited in the article, 85 percent of the loans that are more than 60 days late are loans that Bank of America took on with the acquisition of Countrywide. At the time of the writing of the article, Bank of America was dealing with $64 billion in loans that were past due by at least 6 months, but had not yet been foreclosed upon.
That amount, as Bloomberg News explained, is more than double the amount of similar loans held by Bank of America's four biggest competitors combined. The number of past due but non-foreclosed loans held by the bank at the end of 2012 was approximately 930,000; significantly lower than the record breaking 1.5 million held in early 2010. It isn't a stretch to think that the banks has been a bit overwhelmed by the situation, which has contributed to the magnitude of Bank of America's loan modification problems.
Problems You're Likely To Have
As has been widely reported in recent years, there a few recurrent Bank of America loan modification problems. The most commonly reported problems are the long wait times and the repeated requests to refile documents that have been lost by Bank of America. Many people have complained about repeatedly filing documents, then having a modification denied because of missing paperwork, which must be particularly frustrating when it happens to be paperwork that has been turned in multiple times.
Another common complaint is the high turnover rate of account managers, as it contributes to refiling and losing paperwork. Others have had to deal with misapplied payments. The misapplied payment problem often stems from trial modifications having a different monthly payment amount, but paperwork not acknowledging that the trial modification agreement is in place. Of course, there are many other ways payments can be lost or misapplied. Numerous people have noted that their credit scores have taken dramatic hits because of these and other payment processing problems.
Professional Help Often Smoothes The Process
Another running theme throughout coverage of Bank of America loan modification problems is that when people use professional help, things seem to go smoother. Working with a lawyer experienced in foreclosure cases, one that is currently active in the field and up-to-date with loan modification issues and government programs designed to help homeowners keep their homes, can help the loan modification process move faster. There are many foreclosure rescue groups, but not all of them are legitimate. Choosing a skilled real estate and foreclosure lawyer in good standing with your local bar association is the safest way to work towards a positive outcome.