GRETCHEN MORGENSON | Fresh Questions Over $8.5 Billion Bank of America Settlement


Fresh Questions Over a Bank of America Settlement

Bank of America has long rued its decision in 2008 to acquire Countrywide Financial, the subprime mortgage giant. To date, the bank has set aside some $40 billion to settle claims of mortgage misconduct that occurred before it acquired the freewheeling lender.

It has been a regular refrain at Bank of America. Last month, Brian T. Moynihan, the bank’s chief executive, told Bloomberg television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that carrying Countrywide was like climbing a mountain with “a 250-pound backpack.”

But according to new documents filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan late on Friday, questionable practices by the bank’s loan servicing unit have continued well after the Countrywide acquisition; they paint a picture of a bank that continued to put its own interests ahead of investors as it modified troubled mortgages.

Rest here…


3 Responses to “GRETCHEN MORGENSON | Fresh Questions Over $8.5 Billion Bank of America Settlement”
  1. Robert Tatge says:

    This is about Fifth Third Bank cohesion, fraud going on with Country-wide before Bank of America acquisition…(Source Rich Lord Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (MCT) — A Cincinnati-based bank is accused in a lawsuit filed Thursday of taking “disguised, unlawful referral fees” or “kickbacks” from mortgage insurers.

    The lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank, several related companies and six mortgage insurers by three borrowers seeks to become a nationwide class action. It appears to be one of several similar suits against banks following a 2009 ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case by some of the same attorneys who are now suing Fifth Third, that opened the door for such litigation.

    The plaintiffs, Christopher Manners of Latrobe and Jamie and Aimee Young of Carbon Cliff, Ill., got mortgages from Fifth Third in 2007, according to the complaint in U.S. District Court.

    When homebuyers are unable to make downpayments of 20 percent of the home’s purchase price, banks typically require private mortgage insurance on the loan. The bank picks the insurer and arranges for the coverage, against which it makes a claim if the borrower defaults. The borrower pays the premium as part of their mortgage payment.

    Fifth Third arranged insurance for Mr. Manners at a cost of $166.80 per month, and for the Youngs for $33.35 per month, according to the complaint.

    Unknown to the borrowers, Fifth Third had arrangements with the insurers under which they bought “reinsurance” from a subsidiary of the bank called Fifth Third RE, according to the complaint. The reinsurance, it said, was written in a way that the bank assumed little or no risk.
    2ND:Yes. Our records show that Freddie Mac is the owner of your mortgage and it was acquired on January 30, 2008. This date is also referred to as the Freddie Mac settlement date
    3RD:December 31, 2011

    Certified First Class U.S. Mail # 7011 0110 0000 6913 2002

    Correspondence Address:

    In the Matter of:
    John and Jane Doe

    Property Address:
    123 Any Street
    Atlanta, GA 30030

    Loan Number # 0000000000000


    Dear Sir or Madam:

    Please treat this letter as a “qualified written request” under the Federal Servicer Act, which is a part of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. 2605(e).

    Specifically, we are in dispute as to the identity of the true owner of this debt (if any), and your authority and capacity (if any) to collect on behalf of the same. We are also in dispute about the proper application of payments from the debtors to interest, principal, escrow advances and expenses (in that order of priority as provided for in the loan instruments); about your use of automatically triggered property inspections and broker price opinion charges and fees based on undisclosed accounting for purported arrears; and about legal fees and expenses that have been attached to this account but that have not been otherwise explained or established to the borrower. Specifically, we are requesting the following information:

    1. A complete and itemized LOAN HISTORY from the date of the loan to the date of your response to this letter.

    2. A complete and itemized CALL RECORD HISTORY from the date of the loan to the date of your response to this letter.

    3. A complete and itemized statement of all advances or charges against this loan.

    4. A complete and itemized statement of the escrow account of the loan, if any, from the date of the loan to the date of your response to this letter.

    5. Have you purchased and charged to the account any Force-Placed Insurance?

    6. A complete and itemized statement from the date of the loan to the date of your response to this letter of the amounts charged for any forced-placed insurance, the date of the charge, the name of the insurance company, the relation of the insurance company to you or a related company, the amount of commission you received for each force-placed insurance event, and an itemized statement of any other expenses related thereto.

    7. A complete and itemized statement from the date of the loan to the date of your reply to this letter of any suspense account entries and/or any corporate advance entries related in any way to this loan.

    8. A complete and itemized statement from the date of the loan to the date of your reply to this letter of any property inspection fees, property preservation fees, broker opinion fees, appraisal fees, bankruptcy monitoring fees, or other similar fees or expenses related in any way to this loan.

    9. Identify the provision under the Mortgage and/or note that authorizes charging each and every such fee against the loan of the debtor.

    10. Please attach copies of all property inspection reports and appraisals, broker price opinions of value, bills and invoices, and checks or wire transfers in payment thereof.

    11. A complete copy of any key loan transaction report or reports and any reports indicating any charges for any “add on products” sold to the debtors in connection with this loan from the date of the loan to the date of your reply to this letter.

    12. A complete and itemized statement of any late charges added to this loan from the date of this loan to the date of your reply to this letter.

    13. A complete and itemized statement from the date of the loan to the date of your reply to this letter of any fees incurred to modify, extend, or amend the loan or to defer any payment or payments due under the terms of the loan.

    14. An itemized statement of the current amount needed to pay-off the loan in full.

    15. The name of any Trust that the loan may be located in.

    16. The full name, address and telephone number of the current holder and owner of the original mortgage note including the name, address and phone number of any trustee or other fiduciary. This request is being made pursuant to Section 1641(f)(2) of the Truth In Lending Act, which requires the servicer to identify the holder of the debt.

    17. The name, address and telephone number of any master servicers, servicers, sub-servicers, contingency servicers, back-up servicers or special servicers for this mortgage loan.

    18. Is this a MERS Designated Mortgage Loan? If the answer is yes, then identify the electronic MERS number assigned to this loan.

    19. A full , double sided, certified true copy of the original loan documents including the Mortgage, Note and all subsequent assignments.

    20. Please provide verification of any notification provided to me of a change in servicer.

    You should be advised that within FIVE (5) DAYS you must send us a letter stating that you received this letter. After that time you have THIRTY (30) DAYS to fully respond as per the time frame mandated by Congress, in “Subtitle ‘E’ Mortgage Servicing” of the ‘‘Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and pursuant to 12 U.S.C. Section 2605(e)(1)(A) and Reg. X Section 3500.21(e)(1).

    TRUTH – IN-LENDING ACT § 131(f)(2)

    Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1641 (f):

    Please provide the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the mortgage or the master servicer of the mortgage.

    You should be advised that Violations of this Section provide for statutory damages of up to $4,000 and reasonable legal fees. The amendments also clearly provide that the new notice rules are enforceable by private right of action. 15 USC 1641


    ____________________________ ________________
    John Doe Date

    ____________________________ ________________
    Jane Doe Date

  2. Joe P says:

    This country now is being run the rich elite and corporations. Much more important is the American people have no say whatsoever. We are going back the Vietnam days. No say, just pay.

Leave a Reply