1. Stolen by Wells Fargo

    My family owned a small home in the remote foothills of California, which my husband and I bought when our son was a year old. It was our first home, we both had good jobs, and we were able to put 20% down when we purchased, avoiding the need for mortgage insurance. With a sale price of $330,000 (CRAZY market!), that meant that we started off putting more than $66,000 down! With those payments, insurance, and taxes, we were paying nearly $2000 per month. The local bank we originally worked with ended up selling our mortgage to Wells Fargo.

    In the ensuing 4.5 years, we never, ever missed a payment. We were picture-perfect home owners, as far as Wells Fargo went. Our mortgage payment was ALWAYS our first financial priority. We never took vacations, we had only a single car, we went without cable or eating at restaurants or gym memberships… all the nice little things that can really add up. 

    At about 4.5 years in, my husband’s job was threatened and I ended up with my hours cut dramatically without notice. We had just had our second child, and we were struggling. We started the process to get a loan restructuring through the Making Home Affordable program, doing everything we were asked to. I kept meticulous notes about every interaction, whether by mail or phone. We escalated whenever possible, including to the Vice President level, and even got a lawyer involved. Still, we were stalled at every point. I’m no longer sure how many times we were told that our paperwork was “lost.”

    A year after the start, my husband and I both lost our jobs at the same time and were forced to move to Oregon for work. We even tried to short-sell our home, but Wells Fargo refused to wait and just foreclosed on us. We lost all the money we had saved for more than a decade and all the payments we had made over the course of 5 years in one day.

    Three years later, we were mailed a “settlement” check for about $800. By my estimate, they took nearly $156,000 from us without honestly giving us a chance to figure out how to not lose the house. $800 Doesn’t even begin to cover it, let alone the long-term impact that the foreclosure has had on our credit. 


  2. How Bank of America tried to steal our house - and we NEVER missed a payment!

    In the late Summer of 2007, my husband put his house up for sale and we bought our house one month before our wedding.   We put more than 20% down which allowed us to reduce our payments to an amount that was affordable for us. We were thrilled when we received an offer on his previous residence for a very good price.  Everything looked so promising as we began our new life together. The following Spring of 2008, the buyer informed us that his financing fell apart and would be unable to purchase the property.  Thus, began our journey of carrying two mortgages for more than 6 years.

    In the Fall of 2009, my husband Bill was laid off from his job.  Although I received a Master’s Degree a few years earlier, I had been unable to find full time employment and often relied on cobbling several part time jobs together to make ends meet.  I finally took a full time job in 2008 answering phones that paid about $10.00 per hour just to receive benefits.  By late 2009, we knew that the situation was unsustainable so we contacted Bank of America to find out what we could do.  They offered us a loan modification that would require more than $14k in closing costs.  We asked about the new “Making Home Affordable” program for a modification of our 6.875% interest rate.  They responded “you don’t make enough to qualify” for that program (interesting considering that we were current on the mortgage and we were asking for a reduction in our interest rate).  Early in 2010, after sending out dozens of applications and resumes each week, Bill took a job more than 100 miles away so that we could qualify for the Making Home Affordable program.  We informed Bank of America of our change in status and they assured us that they would send us the application paperwork which we should receive sometime in the next 45 days.  While we waited, we continued to make our mortgage payments, on time and in full. I called Bank of America periodically to check the status of the paperwork they said we would receive.  Each call last about 3 hours during which time I was bounced from department to department.  Each Customer Service Representative told me a different tale.  Finally, those 45 days came and went.  When no paperwork arrived, I called Bank of America and, after a couple of hours of being shuffled from person-to-person and department-to-department, I was told that it was actually 45 business days and that it should arrive within the next couple of weeks.  During that same call, the Customer Service Representative told me that we would only qualify for the program if we missed a payment and that we should do so to ensure our eligibility in the Making Home Affordable Loan Modification Program.  

    We refused that suggestion and continued to make our payments in full and on time.  They began sending us foreclosure notices.  We continued to pay in full.  When 45 business days came and I called Bank of America the response to my question about the application paperwork was that it would be another 30 business days.  I knew that there was a game going on and we decided to attempt to take them on.  We wrote a Letter of Complaint and sent it to eight different offices - both State and Federal.  Ten days later we received a letter back from the Office of the NYS Attorney General stating that they had forwarded our complaint to Bank of America.  At 5:30 pm on a Friday evening we received a phone call from the Personal Assistant to the CEO of Bank of America asking us what they could do to restore our confidence in BofA.  They offered us a deal which we asked them to send in writing.  Somehow, they couldn’t provide us with paperwork we requested in 75 business days, but they managed to get us their offer the next day via FedEx.  The offer was like nothing I have ever seen.  It consisted of just four pages and had absolutely NO terms.  We are not attorneys but we knew something was very wrong.  We contacted an attorney we knew who offered to review the documents.  He informed us that, if we had signed those papers the bank sent “they could have done anything” to us - including taken our house.  

    Our tax bill came - school and property combined - came in early 2010.  We put more than 20% down at purchase so we did not have to escrow our taxes.  In NYS, we have until May 31 to pay our taxes in full albeit with a small penalty.  Finally, in February, we borrowed the tax money from a family member and sent it in to the tax collector.  Imagine our surprise when we received our check back from the Tax Collector with a note stating that our taxes had already been paid.  The next mortgage statement we received was $800 more per month than what our payments had been.  It turned out that Bank of America had PAID our taxes BEFORE they were late and created an Escrow Account without our knowledge or permission.  That is illegal and they were fined by the NYS Bank Examiner.  The battle continued.  Constant threatening letters.  We remained current and even sold personal belongings until we entered into a legal Forbearance Agreement while the mess got sorted out by the Attorneys.  In that agreement,  the Bank was supposed to refrain from reporting us delinquent to the Credit Bureaus so as not to adversely affect our credit ratings or interest rates.  They broke that agreement and, to this day, we are still suffering from the lasting effects of their actions which jacked up our interest rates to rates that would be considered usury in New York State and they decreased our credit limits in order to make life extra difficult.

     Finally, in September 2010, after being threatened by our attorney, Bank of America gave in and granted us a loan modification.  Somehow, we continued to remain current on both mortgages and all of our debts and even started a successful Home Performance with Energy Star participating contracting company in December 2010.  To this day, our credit is adversely affected which impedes the growth of our company because we do not have access to credit.  Our company has so much potential and yet Wall Street Banks still hold us back from hiring more staff and buying more equipment.  Finally, we are grateful that our resourcefulness paid off and empathize with countless American families who lost their homes due to the lies and manipulation of Bank of America and the other big banks that still wield so much power.  Where is the justice in that?


  3. Hello, my name is Sabrina Young. My family moved to Georgia from California in 2003 for a better life and to purchase an affordable home. In March 2008, on my birthday that year, we purchased our first home at 1390 Shadow Creek! We’ve been raising our five children in this house, with our youngest additions to the family who are 3 and 4 years old. To them, this is the only place they call home. 

    My husband in a military veteran and now works as a trucker for a living. I work as a pre-K teacher for the Georgia Lottery. In 2003, my husband became unemployed, so with the decrease in our income, we applied for a loan modification with our lender, Bank of America. We applied several times- in 2011, 2012, 2013, and this year in 2014- and each time we received noticed that we were denied or they needed additional paperwork. Every time we called Bank of America to try and resolve this, we got a different representative telling us a different thing. After an advocate from the HomeSafe program tried to help us, Bank of America offered us a modification that brought our mortgage to $1500— $400 more than what we were paying before! 

    Earlier this year, the home went into foreclosure. The last notice that we received from Bank of America was on June 1 telling us that our loan was still in review. Just two days later on June 3, someone from Najarian Capital LLC knocked on our door. They told us that they bought the home from Bank of America and wanted to take possession of it right away. We didn’t even know our home was sold, and now we are faced with losing everything.


  4. Me and the piles of paperwork, faxes  and documentation collected while trying to deal with Bank Of America.

    Note this picture appeared in our Local newspaper The Maui News


  5. 2 years+ and no loan modification settlement yet

    I called Bank of American in May 2011 to discuss ways to avoid foreclosure.  Although I wasn’t late on my mortgage yet, I could see the writing on the wall.  I am in the real estate business and my husband is in the car business — both were suffering mightily at the time.  I was told I didn’t qualify for home loan assistance because I had refinanced (to lower my payments) in 2009, after the cut off.  I was also told they would not entertain any discussion of a modification until I had been in default for two months.  I went to the help center in Alexandria, VA and the rep there helped me fill out my application.  Some time later it was denied.  I was told to make some improvements and resubmit.   I was told on several occasions in the interim and thereafter that I should not pay my mortgage or I would have to restart the whole process.  I was approved and then the approval was rescinded.  I then asked my Congressman to intervene.  

    My application was resubmitted and was approved again only to be rescinded once more.  Finally, in March 2012 I signed the final loan modification documents (I was told BOA was doing me a favor when I was surprised that my monthly payment decreased less than $100).  My loan would become current on July 2012 after I paid my three trial payments on time.  I ended up with $22,000 in past due balances on my mortgage and a $6000 tax bill because I had only 3 months of mortgage interest to deduct.  So for a benefit of $1,200 ($100 less per month), I incurred a $6,000 tax bill.  My loan modification cost me dearly.

    Fast forward to February 2013.  I still hadn’t received my final settlement docs.  It turns out that my paperwork was lost because someone had quit.  I had to wait for the documents to be resubmitted AGAIN.  In March 2013, I signed the paperwork but now my credit would only show me current on my mortgage as of October 2012 (instead of the original July 2012) AND I would not receive the mortgage deduction for the interest I paid in all of 2012. Therefore, I could not itemize on my 2012 tax return.  I was told that I would receive the mortgage deduction for 2012 added to the amounts I paid in 2013 but I have no assurances of that in writing.

    I was supposed to receive my final loan docs by June 2013 at the latest.  Today is July 19th and I was just told it would be another 30 days.  That means that this entire process will have spanned 26 months.  No one at BOA can help me, my Congressman’s office is unable to make anything happen and I have the worst credit in the world even though I’ve made my mortgage payments on time for the last 15 months.  The $22,000 past due balance still shows on my monthly statement from BOA.  

    I have 24 pages of notes summarized every phone call I’ve had with five or six customer relationship managers (they keep reassigning me), my Congressman’s office, and Freddie Mac.  I believe there is something “goofy” with my loan that is causing all of these delays.  Perhaps BOA or Freddie Mac cannot find the original loan documents.  I am beside myself with stress over this.


  6. Bank of America Stealing the American Dream

    I had been making my monthly payments when my contractor got behind by 6 weeks paying me for my work. I was late (2) times, but would catch up as soon as I got paid. Then Bank of America sent me a Home Modification Agreement on October 23, 2010.  The due date to have the document back at Bank of America the same date. I sent it back anyway and a few days later received a denial notice.  Then my payments began to skyrocket from $749.00 per month to $2800 per month.  Complaints to the OCC only got me fraudulent letters from BofA stating my payments were not being applied to my account because I was “participating” in a Home Modification Progam.  Of course I could not make the increased payments on my 30 year, fixed loan.  Bank of America fied for foreclosure on June 7, 2011 without any service of process as required by Ilinois law.  Then I discovered the lawyer I had hired was working for BofA.  I am currently fighting BofA pro se.


  7. My story: Why I Went to DC

    During the May 20th Justice to Justice week of action, I went to Washington DC alongside homeowners fighting foreclosure because I believe housing is a human right that should not be bought and sold for profit. When I was in high school (around 2008) my parents’ home was taken by Wells Fargo, and at that point, fighting back or even negotiating didn’t seem like an option. Through my work with Occupy Homes MN and the incredible week of action in DC, it’s clear to me that homeowners and neighbors standing together can fight the fraud, greed, and corruption of the big banks, and they can win! Solidarity!


  8. Blue Star Mom - Pissed

    I have a story unlike any you have ever seen. We had our home for 23 years at the time and had a perfect payment history and ended up losing our house illegally without being in arrears and without any knowledge. No NOD, no Notice of Sale, nor was it published in the newspaper. We had no knowledge until 44 days later when we got a 72 hour Notice to Quit. There was no auctioneer, no Memorandum etc the home was sold with an Invalid Credit Bid. To make matters worse we filed a lawsuit and paid almost $35,000 in legal fees and had a preponderance of evidence and the Judge ignored the proof and Facts of Law and made an unethical Judgment. Our son is a Combat Veteran that fought for our Country and returned from his 2nd deployment to find out the only home he ever knew was gone and we were homeless. I don’t understand how people haven’t made a mortgage payment in years and are living for free and we never missed a payment and illegally lost our home? Why aren’t these Judges being fined or Jailed? They are just as guilty as the Predatory Lenders.


  9. BOA withholds lien transfer from homeowner

    I have been attempting to refinance my home on my VA benefits for over three years to no avail. I have been making payments on my home to BOA and their associates for nearly seven years. I was contacted after AmeriQuest went under. They never provided me with any documents stating they were the lien holders on a payment coupon. In a Oklahoma court order Chase had been declared the rightful lien holder and had foreclosed on my home while I was paying BOA. i did receive a document transferring from Wilshire to BOA, however nothing can be provided on how the acquired the transfer to Wilshire. Nearly two years ago I applied for the EHLP program through HUD. HUD paid over thirty thousand dollars on this home yet BOA never deducted a dime. I was reviewing my taxes and learned that another banks routing number came up as the lien holders. BOA senior VP, Steve Hurdle tried to intimidate me over  the phone after he reviewed the legal court order. Next they sent a letter denying my loan due to the fact they could not product validity of a lien or transfer. Next they said my credit references were not verifiable. Impossible because they ran three credit inquiries over a 6 month period through their company LandSafe in an attempt to reduce my credit score. . Waiting on response from CFPA due today


  10. The Covington 7 were arrested blocking the revolving door at Covington and Burling, the Wall Street law firm where US Attorney General Eric Holder used to be a partner. Now, instead of prosecuting bankers, the DoJ is pressing charges against the Covington 7 for their act of protest.

    Support the Covington 7 by signing this petition or supporting the Covington 7 legal fund.