Bank Of America’s Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment Missed

December 24, 2010
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In one of the more bizarre foreclosure cases, Bank of America is threatening to throw a West Hartford family out of their home even though the couple never missed a mortgage payment.

The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch that foreclosure action will start Christmas eve  unless the couple agrees to put their home up for a forced sale.

A Bank of America customer uses an ATM machine at a branch in Greenville, South Carolina January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

As of  this (Friday Dec. 31) morning, Bank Of America has not backed down from its foreclosure threat.  But a bank spokesman now denies it ever threatened foreclosure, despite a letter from the bank stating it. The spokesman’s comments, the foreclosure letter,  the customer’s response, as well as the October letter from Bank of America accepting responsibility for its errors are now on the bottom of this column.

Why the foreclosure threat?

Because another unit of Bank of America erroneously reported to credit agencies that the family was seeking a loan modification, ruining their credit rating and as the result putting their mortgage into default.

All this is happening even though the bank – after admitting it erred and sent a letter of apology in September – handed this case to a special unit at Bank of America that is charged with dealing with severe customer issues. It promised  to notify the credit reporting agencies that the couple were not deadbeats, but were good credit risks.

“I have never seen a case like this,” said Manchester attorney Wendell Davis, whose office handles many foreclosures.

Before taking the case, Davis said he thoroughly checked Baitch’s records and found that all his and his wife’s allegations were accurate.

“They have never even been late on a mortgage payment,” said Davis this morning in an interview.

Davis, a member of the Ct Bar Association’s foreclosure committee, said he is preparing a lawsuit to protect his clients because it’s the only way to hold Bank Of America accountable for its actions. FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

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44 Responses to Bank Of America’s Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment Missed

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jack. Jack said: Bank Of America’s Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment Missed | Connecticut Watchdog: http://bit.ly/eR9VEm via @addthis [...]

  2. [...] steps. They turned to 11Alive's Help Desk almost a month ago. Smiley, a single mom, …Bank Of America's Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment MissedConnecticut Watchdogall 2 news [...]

  3. [...] Bank Of America’s Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment Missed [...]

  4. Gabe on December 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Don’t feel so bad. BofA did the same thing to me back in 2008. (ruined my credit) My issue with them was for my second mortgage. The Irony is that the mortgage was paid off in 2006. I had 0 balance.

    In 2008 I received a letter from BofA that I owed them 50K. It took me 8 months to clear it up but buy this time my credit score was shot and many of my credit cards were decreased to a lower limit (ex. One card had an 8k limit I owed 750. and my limit got lowered to $1200.) The other from 22k to 7500
    We all know how it looks on a credit report when your Credit line is 8K and you owe $750 or when your limit is $1200 and you owe $750.

    These mistates can create such a domino effect that even a person with spotless credit can be ruined.
    I know I had a spotles credit till this happened.

    These banks today don’t care if they ruin peoples lives, because they are above the law. The banks know this so they really don’t care anymore. Not one bank has been punished severely for they mistakes. Banks have one agenda. We all know what this is. Screw the American working class, any which way they can.

    I feel for this couple and I hope you and others will end up owning the banks. Unfortunatelly these banks have Insurances to pay for these lawsuits so they don’t care how much will they pay for this couple. 1 million or even 10 million settlement for these mistakes is pocket change.
    Please note I used the word settlement. The easy way out for these irrisponsible banks is to offer a settlement. So we can read BofA settled for an undisclosed amount. After this they will do the same thing to others.

    Not to mention AIG or some other insurance co. will pay the tab anyway. That is why our government went along with the bail out. We the people should stop this chaos because under the current system BANKS ARE ABOVE THE LAW.

    • michael on September 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      BOA or as I call them ” The Third Reich ” can be stopped. In Nov 09 I call and asked how the HAMP program worked,wrong move.Like a peiece of dust being sucked into the big Hoovermatic of reality I was placed in the program with out even signing anything.They said I gave them the ok over the phone.Reason I didn’t want to be in the program wa sanything that has to do with the banks & Feds is a bad mix.On March 5 2010 I talked with the woman from the bankand she called the HAMP people and was told the same thing,at this time I thought ” how hard will it be ? I already made 3 payments ” so I told them to put me in it,went home sign the paper.Made my payment for the next 10 month,over this time they had me fill out app after app.Then on Oct 8 2010 they told me ” when we talked on March 5 you didnt want to be in the program ” Now let me say this, I do not have a escrow on my loan,this is because my job is seansonal so inorder to be in this program you have to have a escrow.I pay the escrow $630.00 which was not in my budget at that time, when I asked them ” if youndidnt have me in the program then why did you keep taking the escrow out ” They said ‘ Oh we paid your taxes for you ” They changed the loan.I stopped paying them and have been in a fight with them from then.I wrote the AG’s office and got a call from the CEO’s office of The Third Reich saying they would look into this.A month later I got a letter sent to me say ” I didnt have the right paper work and I didn’t make payments on time for the trial perido” If you look at the payments, The Third Reich takes the money out on the first of each month from a BOA account.I now have three law suits against them.I have won part one from them,they did a forgiveness for a line of credit they opened which was never there because the apprasial came back 150k more then what the house was worth.They could not even show me the apprsial in court.The bank forgave me for 75k but am on the hook for 15k in taxes.This story will be going on for years and not one of them will see jail.

  5. this close on December 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    The attorney should look for other victims. This fall we refinanced just to take advantage of the low rates. The Bank of America loan officer suggested we consider this same exact program just so that he would not have to collect paperwork (paystubs, tax returns, etc.) from us. Luckily for us we got some basic information on the phone (not by mail) and did not request additional information by mail and didn’t have the same problem these poor folks did (the market refi rates were lower than this program’s rates were — but that’s a whole other problem!!). He did not once mention the effects of participating in this program on our credit. He just put it out there like a normal BOA product that we should consider. There have got to be others out there who had the same thing happen to them.

  6. Tara on December 28, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Funny. I had my house foreclosed on by BOA even though I had a buyer all lined up…. They kept saying that they didn’t have the necessary inspections even though the inspectors had been out (in fact, they had been out unannounced and were in my house when I got home!) Just one more case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. I never considered a law suit…hhhmmm…

    • Karen on December 29, 2010 at 11:13 am

      I something similar happen to me with Chase. I was in the process of a short sale and the buyers backed out the day before the closing and the house went on the market again. I came to the house one day to meet my agent and clear the snow and my garage door was open and workers in my home. Chase had a crew come out to winterize my home and change the locks. I was never notified about this and called them on it. Long story short due to the Holidays we couldn’t them to correct the situation until after the Holiday. Unfortunately that was to late! Due to there handy work they flipped off fuses in my home and my finished basement flooded. Chase had the nerve to say we had done the damage causing the basement to flood.
      I had to hire an attorney to hep sort the mess out that they caused and was promised I wouldn’t get a 1099A. Hmmmm I still keep getting a statement from them each month for difference that the house sold for this past March and what the actual mortgage was for.
      You call and it’s a never ending transfer too one person or dept and no one has a clue what’s going on!

  7. Parallel FORECLOSURE on December 28, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I can recommend two foreclosure blogs that I run that will see just how pervasive these questionable foreclosure practices are.

    http://www.parallelforeclosure.com and http://www.swarmthebanks.com

    This is the most toxic Parallel Foreclosure story I have come across so far.

  8. [...] Watchdog.com posted another doozy of a story on the total dysfunction of BofA. In an article ‘Bank Of America’s Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment Missed George Gombassy reported: The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock [...]

  9. Kevin on December 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Maybe I’m missing something but if you lost $150,000 in credit, but you can’t afford to make minimum payments on these cards, and you can’t get credit counseling because your income is too low, you were in way over your head anyway. BoA was completely in the wrong here, obviously, but I think it should be a wake-up call to this couple that there were other problems that just hadn’t reared their heads yet.

    • Parallel FORECLOSURE on December 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      Kevin, the interest rate dictates the minimum payment to large degree. Rather than blame people treading water, why not focus more attention on an industry that is addicted to people being financially trapped.

      Lets say you owe 10,000 dollars on a card and your minimum payment is 250 dollars a month. If there were no more interest charged, then 40 months worth of payments and the debt would be paid off. Add in interest charges, and suddenly the payoff time can incease to 10 years and beyond.

      People need to be able to respend a PORTION of that 250 dollars even if they are cutting corners and trying to pay off the card.

      If the interest rate was reduced to 2.9%, out of the 250 dollars a month, approximately 24 bucks would go to interest, leaving 226 dollars going to principal. What if 100 dollars 226 dollars could be respent?

      The result would be a credit card diet program that both pays down a credit card debt while also allowing a small portion of the paid down amount to be respent.

      This concept presently DOES NOT EXIST. NO CREDIT CARD COMPANY offers the above plan.

      You either close the account, or pay the going rate, and there in lies the real problem with ongoing consumer debt that neither the government or the banksters won’t to loosen their grip on.

      • Parallel FORECLOSURE on December 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

        meant to write “what if 100 dollars of the 226 dollars could be respent…”

  10. [...] Bank Of America’s Christmas present: Foreclose Even Though Not A Payment Missed George Gombossy CT watchdog, Dec 24, 2010, 12:03 [...]

  11. [...] are now breaking into homes and ruining the credit rating of people who have never missed a single payment – even threatening to foreclose on someone who [...]

  12. Parallel FORECLOSURE on December 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    HAMP is a nationwide class action lawsuit waiting to happen. The act of lowering one’s credit rating and initiating parallel foreclosure BEFORE the homeowner can even APPLY for the program is probably a violation of some federal statute relating to the use of taxpayer funds.

    I’m not a lawyer but it sure looks like it could be a Federal Hobbs Act Violation, the extortion clause. I think Barack Obama’s advocacy of HAMP could ensnare him in an impeachment charge. The irony is, it would require republican politicians admitting that the banks and the government behaved badly, and republican politicians tend to over love their bankster buddies.

  13. Larry on December 30, 2010 at 10:27 am

    My suggestion is to stop making these civil matters, but rather criminal. If a BofA branch manager was arrested for authorizing an erroneous foreclosure – this nonsense would end in seconds. Since it is only the corporations money, no one cares.

  14. [...] to the CTWatchdog.com, “In one of the more bizarre foreclosure cases, Bank of America is threatening to throw a [...]

  15. Chaz on December 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Simply disgusting!!! All the more proof that giant banks have little to no control of their internal workings and don’t give a crap about their customers. Plus no one in the bank would ever accept blame. Sounds like a complete run-around. I’m disgusted that my tax dollars went to save BofA. They’re too fat and happy. My advice to everyone…find a small bank that can offer everything a large bank does and go with them. I do, and it’s a pleasure never to have to deal with menus when calling my bank, and the service is superb and prompt. With a small bank you’re not a number, but actually a person. That’s a nice feeling this day and age.

  16. H Minty on December 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I was in the process of refinancing away from Countrywide BofA in 2005 when they foreclosed on my house. After fighting for six years in Florida Rocket Docket court a judge assessed a $255,000.00 judgement against me despite having a cpa’s report and a certified document expert. I bought my house for $117,000.00. I was charged interest for the six years the case was stalled in the court system like it was my fault.The affadavit was full of factual errors and mathematical errors. I am only still in my house by the grace of god. Do you think anyone is going to pay attention to me?

  17. [...] nightmare story has emmerged involving a mistaken foreclosure. Bank of America reportedly put a Connecticut family’s home in foreclosure despite the fact that the couple never missed a payment — and was actually in [...]

  18. [...] nightmare story has emmerged involving a mistaken foreclosure. Bank of America reportedly put a Connecticut family’s home in foreclosure despite the fact that the couple never missed a payment — and was actually in [...]

  19. [...] to CTWatchdog.com, Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch wanted to refinance their mortgage with Bank of [...]

  20. Kathy on January 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    The problem is giving the banks the opower to facilitate the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)……. ITS NOT WORKING!!!! NO ACCOUNTABILITY!!! I have been trying to resolve my issues for almost a year A YEAR! The Bank ( CHASE) Calls and hangs up on me allthe time. 6, 7, 8, 9, times a day. Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) IS NOT WORKING!!!! NO ONE IS BEING TAKEN CARE OF!!!

  21. Stacy on January 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    My parents live on a fixed income, and wanted to lower their interest rate, so they applied for the B of A modification program, under the impression that it would just adjust their payments. They were never behind, have never missed a payment, and they are now worried every single day that they will get a foreclosure notice in the mail, or worse yet, come home to find they cannot get into their house, because they have read story after story about B of A foreclosing on homeowners who tried to do the right thing BEFORE they missed payments. They worked hard to buy their modest house, are not living beyond their means, but my mom has health problems, so their health insurance rates and mediciaton costs leave very little wiggle room for them. Does not seem right, or legal, and I wonder why nothing is really being done about it.

  22. [...] miscommunication and disorganization have caused mistaken foreclosures, but as several recent reports have noted, that’s not the only way in which bank mistakes have affected [...]

  23. [...] miscommunication and disorganization have caused mistaken foreclosures, but as several recent reports have noted, that’s not the only way in which bank mistakes have affected [...]

  24. [...] and disorganization have caused mistaken foreclosures [1], but as several recent [2] reports [3] have noted, that’s not the only way in which bank mistakes have affected [...]

  25. [...] and disorganization have caused mistaken foreclosures [1], but as several recent [2] reports [3] have noted, that’s not the only way in which bank mistakes have affected [...]

  26. MISTAKEN FORECLOSURES « INFOQUANDO on January 14, 2011 at 7:48 am

    [...] miscommunication and disorganization have caused mistaken foreclosures, but as severalrecent reports have noted, that’s not the only way in which bank mistakes have affected [...]

  27. [...] scores, and then refused to refinance their mortgage because their credit scores were too low. In a recent interview, Shock Baitch explained, “I begged them that they can’t do that in this case since they [...]

  28. [...] to get through the backlog. You’ve probably heard the stories. Last year, Bank of America foreclosed on a home owned by a family that never missed a payment. A JPMorgan contractor broke into a home to [...]

  29. David Blake on December 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    The people at bank of america need to be put In jail all of them,they are nothing but Frigin slime

  30. Darlene on February 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

    This is happening also to my sister. and a friend of mine with BOA!!!!! not missed a payment

  31. Vanessa on February 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I had never missed a payment on my truck which i had for over two years, and a month after my husbands death b of a reposessed my vehicle stating that my husbands death put me in default.they gave me no notice or anything , they just came to the house and took it.

  32. Stephen on February 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Bank of America foreclosed on my house though I had never missed a payment. They merely stopped cashing my mortgage checks and evicted me after 2 months. Fannie went along with it and when I asked if there was anything I could do, Fannie replies, “pay off the mortgage in cash by th eend of the month.”

  33. Don George on February 12, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I’ll try to keep this short but I need to start with some back ground information so you know that I don’t usually make such bad decisions. In the spring of 2007 there was a late snow and a quick warm up and circumstances were such that a lot of water came in the basement window and through the walls. Our basement was totally trashed. There was mud and mold all along the walls and on the floor. It was a disaster and true to form, the insurance company decided that this was an act of God and therefore they would not pay any of the damages or remodel. Now I am fairly handy around the house. I had remodeled the master bathroom, the main bathroom and the kitchen over the past five years or so, and they look really nice. I was getting prepared to take on the basement. With the help of my wife and daughter the wet and filthy carpet came out and the paneling on the walls and ceiling came down and out to the curb. We decided that to prevent another flood drain tile needed to be installed and the west wall of the basement had some cracks in it and was beginning to bow in a bit. That would require steel I beams to be installed which would stop the wall from moving and allow insulation and sheet rock to be hung. The more I looked the more I saw this huge project evolving and considering that it took me about six months to remodel the kitchen, it looked like a full time job for the next ten years for me to complete the basement and I already have a full time job which is how I planned on paying for this basement project. Long story short, I needed help. We hired Goodguy Construction to rebuild the basement and while they were at it, reroof, insulate and add a sunroom and new windows in our house to name a few.

    We were trying to refinance when the clinic that my wife worked at closed its doors for good. At that point we were not able to qualify for a refinance, so Brad at Wells Fargo 70th & Pioneer suggested we give the Mortgage Modification program a try which Wells Fargo offered. It was about at this time the bottom fell out of the housing market turning our once nest egg into a cow pie. We talked with several people from the mortgage modification program and with a great deal of confusion and uncertainty, proceeded with that program. Holly Gier was my contact person and she was very nice and seemed to be able to guide us through the pits and valleys of the Mortgage Modification program. We were told by the mortgage modification people that we should begin making our house payments to the modification program and ignore the calls that we would get from Wells Fargo Mortgage people demanding that we make the payments to them. There were many hoops we had to jump through in order to qualify for this program, and we did them because it looked like the best thing to do. This all began in June of 2009 and for the next eight months or so we did what we were told and made every payment to the Modification department of Wells Fargo and tried our best to ignore the constant calls from the Wells Fargo (here to for referred to as WF) Mortgage departments. We received calls from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday for the next eight months or so. They were from offices all over the country and all were demanding that we pay our mortgage payments to the WF Mortgage department and they demanded that we were behind with our payments and that we would soon face foreclosure. The WF modification people continued to insist that we were doing the right thing by making our payments to them and should continue to so. Joan found employment again which caused us to make too much money for the mortgage modification program which we didn’t find out about for a while. In the mean time WF Mortgage department had begun foreclosure on our house and on my parents’ house which they had graciously allowed me to use in order to have enough equity to borrow against so that we could get all of the work done on our house. By the way, WF mortgage department had been calling my parents as much as they were calling me and trying to get money from who ever would answer the phone, day or night. As the foreclosure date approached we decided to enlist the services of a lawyer because it just seemed impossible that this could be happening to us because we had done exactly what we were told to do by WF modification people. We found out just how real it all was. In order to stop WF from foreclosing on our house and on my parent’s house, my dad had to sell his farm and give WF $79,000 which stopped the action on their house. We had to come up with about $4700 to stop the action on our house. The problem still exists with my credit rating though. I can’t get a loan from my credit union which I have been a member for twenty years because of the lies that WF has told the credit reporting agencies. I have tried several times to get my credit score changed and it seems as though there is really nothing an individual can do to fix a situation once the banking institution has spoken. The credit reporting agencies don’t believe you when you tell them that the bank is lying and that you have proof that you have not missed any payments and that you have done exactly what the bank has told you to do. Now, when I contact the people that were helping us during the modification process, it seems that they cannot return their email or phone calls. So what can I do now?

  34. Milton on March 5, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I am having a similar problem with Chase Bank. The property is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Who do I call first for help. Federal Housing Administration or an Attorney?

  35. Ann Cognito on March 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Same thing here too, with Saxon. Never missed a payment. They required that we return documents by a date that we earlier on the date of the correspondence, making it impossible to do. We could prove it to the state of Michigan (who also got involved) by using the Fed Ex tracking codes, which I saved. They then told us that because we didn’t return them in time, we forfeited the offer of a modification (that we never asked for)We ended up having to get the State Of Michigan involved in order to find a viable compromise/resolution. We weren’t happy with any of it, but our options were severly limited if we wanted to keep our home. I was a fighter mid fight, I wasn’t about to lose it now! By the time it was all said and done, we have a principle payment that is almost .20 more than it was to begin with. We had several thousand tacked onto the ‘back end’ of the loan so we can pay even more interest on it with our new higher payment. And as soon as it was all said and done, they sold our mortgage. They wiped us off and swept us under the table. I think they think we will forget what they’ve done. Not a freaking chance!

  36. Ann Cognito on March 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Couple extra things. That should have said “They required that we return documents by a date that was earlier than the original date of the correspondence, and a week earlier than it arrived in our door making it impossible to do”
    And…
    The State Of Michigan was able to negotiate a retraction of all the late reporting to credit agencies back to the original dates so we no longer show any late payments for that time period. Having never missed one, I was adamant about it. I wouldn’t back down on that one. No one should.

  37. Marshall on April 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    The Day will come when the American economy returns to Greatness and when it does I hope everyone remembers what these banks have done. Any one with half a brain should never do business with the likes of Bank of American. Wells Fargo, Citi and Chase banks for they have all treated the working class of The United States like dirt. They all hold these Fake Home Modification retention programs around the country just for show. The politicians just seems to be Blind to it all and never realizing these Big Banks are not helping the middle class and working class or America. I say it is time to break them up for we bailed them out and they don’t even help the people who paid to save their businesses. STOP Doing business with the Big Banks and pull your money out from their control And just watch how long it takes them to Fail. Let them go out of business for they are No Help to the working class of The United States.

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