At the Bank of America Signpost Up Ahead, Your Next Stop – The Loan Modification Zone

A homeowner wrote to me the other day, and I could tell from her emails that she had been through the ringer trying to get a loan modification. I’ve heard from so many thousands of homeowners over the last year that I could probably guess the lender or servicer just from the tone of the email.

This particular homeowner, however, kept notes of her journey with Bank of America into The Loan Modification Zone, and I couldn’t help but share them… you’ll see why.  Usually I’d comment more, but this one speaks for itself, over and over and over again.

Oh, and one more thing… Yoohoo!  Bank of America people!  Are you listening?  Well, that’s a silly question, I know you’re not.  Here’s a better one:


Because you damn well should be.

Nice slogan, by the way.  What does it refer to?

My Journey to Get a Bank of America Loan Modification

1/14/09 – Hired a lawyer to help with the loan modification.  He made me do all the work on home values in my area. Submitted my income and expenses and wrote a hardship letter. My mortgage was not behind at this time.

2/23/09 – @5pm – My lawyer said he had been calling Bank of America but was not getting anywhere, so I decided to make a call to Bank of America.  I spoke with Crystal and she said the only thing she could offer was for me to request forbearance, but not a modification because I wasn’t behind on mortgage payments.

3/10/09 – My lawyer still could not provide me any answers and said I should keep trying to call as well. So I did.

4/10/09 – My lawyer told me he can’t get anywhere with B of A and said since I was getting more information than he was from B of A, then I should keep trying on my own.  I asked if I could get a refund since nothing was done, but the answer was No.

6/1/09 – Missed my first mortgage payment

6/8/09 – Received a letter from B of A stating “there are no options available” for me to modify.

7/9/09 – Bank of America told me to resend income and hardship letter asking for a modification so I faxed it in again.

9/20/09 – Called B of A about status since now  injured at work and was taken off work.  No update at this time.

11/17/09 – 11am- Spoke with Crystal. She requested I resent my income and hardship letter again. SO I DID.

12/1/09 – Via automated phone line. Collection activity suspended until 12/22/09. Work out info still in review.

12/21/09 – Called B of A. Modification still in review.  Told B of A I was going to have to file for BK and was instructed to get a letter from my lawyer so the modification process can continue.

1/22/10 – Filed for BK

2/23/10 – Called and spoke with Crissy. They received letter from the lawyer, but no update at this time

2/24/10 – Called again. Spoke to Paris (BK dept). Need to resend all the documents again.

3/1/10 – Called to verify B of A received the documents. They did “again”.

4/2/10 –Received a letter from B of A stating “no options available” for modification.

4/5/10 – Called B of A. Spoke with Justin. Resend updated income and expense information. Also told to contact HUD for counseling.

4/8/10 – Called and spoke to Bill for status update. Was told there were “no options available”. Asked to speak to a supervisor. Spoke with Iris to find out why I didn’t qualify.  She couldn’t give me an answer, but said “you probably don’t make enough”, and said I should refax my income and expenses again. Then call in 3 days to see if they received it.

4/14/10 – Received a letter from B of A stating “no options available.

4/19/10 – Call HUD. Spoke to Delores. Told about denial letter from B of A. He went over my numbers with me and said I SHOULD of qualified for HAMP. She conferenced in B of A to ask why I was denied.  They couldn’t tell her, but they said I did not qualify BECAUSE  I WAS BEHIND ON MY MORTGAGE.  HUD was very firm with B of A and quoted the preliminary qualifications to her. B of A placed us on hold and then we got cut off. Deloris tried to call back, but was only able to leave a message this time.

4/20/10 – Call and left a message for Delores at HUD.

4/22/10 – Call HUD and spoke to  Cecilia.  She conferenceD in with B of A and we spoke with Desiree Delgado in the BK dept to get the reason for the denial.  No answer was given by B of A, but was told to refax all the income and expenses, hardship letter, etc. to the same number that I’d been faxing things all along.

4/27/10 – Called B of A to verify that they received the whole package. Spoke with John. Packet was received. I was transferred to the Bankruptcy Dept. and spoke with Rashida.  She said its “In review”, and to call back in 2 weeks.

4/30/10 – Call HUD, spoke with Ann. Will call me back. She said the “Escalation” dept of HUD is handling this with the B of A management.

5/10/10 – Called HUD Escalation team. Spoke with Nancy. She is going to review all the notes and call me back.

5/10/10 – HUD, Michelle called back and conferenced in B of A. Spoke with Julie. Said the file was still in review and then the call was dropped… or she hung up.  Couldn’t tell which.

5/11/10 – Call B of A Rania. Was transferred to the BK Dept. I sent in 2 mortgage payments and was making sure they were credited. Also inquired about status of modification. Transferred to Brianna- no update available on modification.

5/11/10 – HUD told me to call HOPE and do the counseling so it could be documented. Did that with Money Management International. Notes were sent to B of A.

5/17/10 – Call B of A. No update. No notes about notice of intent to accelerate or foreclosure notices at this time.

5/19/10 – Call HUD. Spoke with Steve. Conferenced with B of A and spoke with David. Verified that workout file is “in review”.  Also B of A verified some of the information I sent in and then said he was referring my file to the HAMP program for the next review. Stated I should receive a packet in the mail within 30 days to discuss the trial payments.

5/25/10 – Call B of A  on status. Spoke with Jason. Still under review.

6/3/10 – Called B of A. Spoke with Stella. File still under review.

6/4/10 – Wrote to Mandelman Matters about “who can I trust” to help me in my plight to get a loan mod.  We wrote back and forth a few times and he was prompt answering my questions.  Martin even told me to call if I wanted to talk about the situation.   I almost fell out of my chair when I read that because I didn’t know if I was in for a “sales” pitch.

6/6/10- 9pm – Decided to call Martin Aandelman with additional questions.  I couldn’t believe he said it was ok to call him so late on a Sunday night. We spoke for about an hour and then Martin thought I could get some solid help and advice from Julie Greenfield (a lawyer that deals with loan mods).  He texted her around 10pm to see if she could talk, especially being so late.  Martin conferenced her in with me and explained my whole dilemma.  She immediately had thought B of A had sent my file to the “transfer around the building party”.  I don’t know how the over 400 pages I had sent them, and resent them a dozen times could actually have ended into the wrong department. Julie offered to make an inquiry call for me to check on the status.  Julie would send me an authorization the next day to give her legal permission to speak with B of A.  I actually could not BELIEVE there were actual good people that would help me in my time of chaos with B of A, and not get paid for it.   THERE IS A GOD!

6/7/10 – Made my usual call to B of A, which seems to almost be daily now, about my loan mod status. Spoke with David.  I was placed on hold for a while so he could “review” the notes. He stated a negotiator was assigned (Oscar Nunez) to negotiate with the investor and then I should be receiving a packet by next Wednesday (6/16/10) or the following Wednesday. He explicitly told me to call back if I don’t receive it.

6/7/10 – Received the authorization from Julie Greenfield (the lawyer). Faxed it back to her and she said she would call someone at B of A the next day.

6/8/10 – Julie wrote me after she called B of A.  It seems now that my case had been assigned to a different negotiator from the one they told me about the day before. So now Valarie Kemp is reviewing the file for HAMP and Non-HAMP programs. However, now it could take another 30 days for review, which is A LOT different than “I’m supposed to get my documents by next Wednesday”.  At this point I don’t believe anything B of A tells me because if they think they can tell me one thing to get me off their back, and then tell an attorney another thing, which was probably the truth.  So, I’m still frustrated, but I finally feel I have someone to trust with my case. THANK YOU MARTIN AND JULIE.

You are quite welcome, and it was no problem… happy to help… and Julie’s not only one of my favorite people on the planet but she’s super smart about all things mortgage banking.


Here’s a good one…

Q. What do you get when you mix Bank of America with Countrywide and Merrill Lynch?

A. TARP Funds.

Or how about this one…

Q. What do you get when you mix Bank of America with Countrywide and Merrill Lynch?

A. A little over twenty million bucks, $20,404,009 to be precise.


Read it and weep, people, read it and weep.  Torch or Pitchfork?

While CEO of Bank of America in 2007, Kenneth D. Lewis earned a total compensation of $20,404,009, which included an annual base salary of $1,500,000, a cash bonus of $4,250,000, stocks granted of $11,065,798, and options granted of $3,376,000.

But wait… there’s more!

He is also leaving with more than $135 million in retirement benefits, including the pension and $10 million in life insurance benefits, according to an analysis of corporate filings by James F. Reda & Associates, an independent consulting firm.

Lewis is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in finance  from J. Mack Robinson College of Business. He is also a graduate of the executive program at Stanford University.

Wow… now that’s truly impressive. Not only did Kenny earn his bachelors in finance from Georgia State, but he hungered for knowledge, so he also took a couple of weeks off one summer to attend an executive program at Stanford?  Now you see, that I did not know.  Makes me feel kind of bad for calling him a spineless, yet dangerous moron for the last couple of years.

Actually, Kenny’s educational background has motivated me to sign up for one of those “executive programs,” but I’ve decided to attend the HARVARD EXECUTIVE PROGRAM.   (Now that’s what I call “HIGHER LEARNING!”)

Ergo Bibamus!

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