Bank of America Does the Wright Thing – DOERS Did It Again. JOIN US, BE A DOER!
On Monday at 5:00 PM, as I was running to catch a flight to Phoenix to work with a state senator on a piece of legislation I’ll be announcing soon, I posted a DOER ALERT titled: “Dear Bank of America,” about an octogenarian by the name of Dale Wright. He had been trying to get his loan modified for a couple of years… been turned down… reapplied, and was told he was under consideration as recently as December 23, 2011… and then Bank of America sold his home on January 3, 2012. Mr. Wright found out when an investor showed up at his door saying that he would understand it he needed more than THREE DAYS to get out.
By mid-day on Tuesday, Bank of America had responded to say they were looking into it… and by 4:30 PM that same day Bank of America DID THE WRIGHT THING, and gave Mr. Dale Wright his home back… from a bonafide third party purchaser. BofA has also notified me to assure me that the bank is also modifying the loan, and I’ll be talking with them tomorrow to get details, among other things.
The point is that there should be no question that my DOERS are very effective, and likewise there shouldn’t be any question as to why that’s the case. In our democracy, there’s only one thing more important than money and that’s getting reelected. If our elected officials understand that they are at risk of being voted out of office… they react. Their loyalties to banking lobbyists dissipate quickly when they realize that no amount of money will overcome the will of the people. We used to understand this to be the case.
In 1954, Brown v. The Board of Education didn’t end segregation. It took ten years and hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets before President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1964-65.
In 1971, President Nixon saw from his White House windows, tens of thousands of people protesting the war in Viet Nam and became paranoid that he would lose the election in 1972. It drove those around him to break into the Democratic headquarters and led to the Watergate scandal… even though he won reelection in 1972 by a landslide.
And more recently, in 2009, news of AIG bonuses totaling $160 million and a corporate retreat at the St. Regis luxury resort in Southern California, caused people to take to the streets, outraged that a company recently bailed out by the taxpayers would be allowed to pay out what appeared to be extravagant bonuses. Within two weeks the House of Representatives authored and passed a bill that would have placed a 90 percent tax on those and other bonuses. It was killed in the senate, of course, but that’s not the point. The point is that our elected representatives can move quickly… if they are properly motivated.
We’ve got over a thousand DOERS… and we’ve saved 6 out of 6 homes, all of which were about to be sold within days or already sold as was the case with Mr. Dale Wright. (6 out of 6 is NOT a coincidence, by the way.) But, if you really want to stop the foreclosure crisis…
We’ll need at least 100x that number…
To become a DOER you only need to DO 3-4 things and they’re all easy:
- Click here to SUBSCRIBE to Mandelman Matters. That’s the only way you’ll get an email whenever there’s a new post and when you see “DOER ALERT” in the headline, you know it’s time to DO something that will matter.
- Send an email to me at email@example.com. Just type: I’m a DOER or something close in the subject line. I’ll add you to the database of DOER emails. When we want the element of surprise I won’t post it, I’ll email you the plan.
- Actually check your email from Mandelman Matters or from firstname.lastname@example.org and when you see the words DOER ALERT, open it and read it right away or certainly ASAP. Not the next day… that day. Then, assuming you want to help make a difference, read it and send an email to the CEO’s email while I always list at the bottom of the DOER Alert. Of course, the more thoughtful the email the better, but it doesn’t have to be a long email if you’re pressed for time. Just a few sentences is just fine and dandy.
- Help recruit other DOERS. Send others links to articles on Mandelman Matters and tell them you’re DOING it and it’s working.
That’s all there is to it, and all I’m asking for is a four month commitment. After that, if you agree that it’s worth DOING, then give me another four months. The more DOERS we have the larger the problem we can tackle.
Consider this… right now there’s all this controversy over the 50 state AG settlement. A few days ago many people thought the deal was about to be announced and people were very upset. Well, if we had 100,000 DOERS now, we could stop that deal from getting done for sure.
Just think of being a DOER as being a way to “occupy” without leaving your home, sleeping on the ground, getting arrested and sprayed with pepper spray. It’s also more effective than doing those things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do them, but I’m telling you that DOERS can stop this mess in its tracks this year or next.
I have to be honest about something…
There are two things that really bother me. One is that we only have a thousand DOERS. That means that thousands of people are reading and not signing up as DOERS. How can that be? Hopefully it’s because Im haven’t promoted it well, which is something that’s going to change. But, if its not that… if you’re reading my column and not signing up and subscribing so you can join forces with the rest of us… why the heck not?
How can you not want to help save someone’s home or influence the state legislature, or make congress in Washington D.C. take notice and hear our voice? I really don’t understand… so please… if you’re not going to DO it, please at least let me know. Maybe you have a good reason that I’m not thinking of, in which case fair enough. But if you don’t, why wouldn’t you DO this? How can you not DO this?
And two… if you’re a DOER and you didn’t send an email this last time around… and please don’t tell me you didn’t have time to send a 3 line email because if I had time to write it, you could send an email about it. I missed my flight to write about Mr. Wright by the way. Had to drive all the way back home, then worked until 2:00 AM and then back to the airport the following morning. And you didn’t have 5 minutes? Come on…
Not only that, but how could you let down your fellow DOERS… to say nothing of Mr. Wright? What if BofA hadn’t done what they did, and Mr. Wright had lost his home? And you didn’t send an email as you promised by being a DOER. I’m serious about this… I couldn’t DO that and sleep at night. Your email can be the one that matters. But you were too busy… so now at 82 years old, a veteran loses his home… and you let down your fellow DOERS? Not cool, people. Really, not cool.
Time Matters… A Lot.
DO you not see that we are losing this war… because we definitely are. More than 3,000 evictions a day, seven days a week. Foreclosures not slowing a bit. And interest rates are still low. What’s going to happen when they are six percent or even higher?
And this is an election year… this is when politicians are the most concerned with reelection. We have to act and it must be now. Period. We’re doing the wave and we need you and everyone else or it doesn’t look like a wave. And even though it’s just begun, it’s unquestionably working. What else is working even half that consistently… NOTHING, I’m sorry to say.
Sample emails from a few DOERS to Bank of America this last time around…
Some of the emails received by the bank show just how deeply offended Americans are by what’s being allowed to go on… I’ve excerpted a few paragraphs as examples… they are all addressed to Mr. Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America…
“It seems more and more these days your Bank and the rest of the Banks that are involved in Mortgage backed secured investments are reaching criminal status
What has just happened to Mr Wright in Cloverdale, CA should at least bring a long jail sentence to your door. I am sending out as many e-mails as I have contacts and then I am going on every blog site I can find and pass this article to them as well. Then I am writing my congressman and then the Attorney General !!!!!”
“As if we needed any more proof that servicers have no clue who owns the loans or how to properly service them, now we have the nincompoops who worked on Mr. Wright’s foreclosure to illustrate the depths of BOA’s incompetence. This one will stick in everyone’s mind because an old man is being thrown out of his house after BOA repeatedly “lost” the papers or “misidentified” the investor in a series of memorably unfortunate events.
I work a lot of real estate buyers and if this mistake isn’t rectified immediately then I’m telling all of them about elderly Mr. Wright and cautioning them to stay away from BOA mortgages from Wednesday until I retire in 20 years. Hope we’re able to do business again in the next two decades Brian, but remember there’s lots of other lenders out there and I can’t recommend BOA with this kind of crap going down.”
“I have read the story about Bank of America’s foreclosure sale on January 3, 2012 of the home of Mr. Dale Wright of Cloverdale, California. He is an 82 year old Veteran and a widower. Your bank refused to convert his HAMP trial payment plan because of a false claim that he had failed to send you in IRS Form 4506-T. This was a false claim. Even if it wasn’t, for the lack of such a minor document, no institution with any moral sense would have allowed that to be a basis to proceed to take away this man’s home. The action of Bank of America feeds the public view of your institution as one which has no corporate responsibility or conscience.
I was recently told by Bank of America’s Maine Market President how Bank of America has improved its practices. How can anyone believe that when a story such as Mr. Wright’s is exposed.
Bank of America’s abuse of America’s homeowners has simply got to stop. Would you please act like a responsible executive of one of America’s largest financial institutions and intervene in this case by telling your people to do what ever it takes to get the title to Mr. Wrights back into his hands, to give him the HAMP permanent modification to which he is entitled, and to compensate him for the enormous emotional distress that your bank has caused him to suffer.
It would be unconscionable for you to fail to do this at once.”
“I’m not sure how much more egregious you can possibly get than to sell a home out from under an 82 year old veteran after 1) approving him for a modification and 2) admitting that after you screwed up the first time since he was making his payments and then 3) while he was “under consideration” a second time as recently as December 23, 2011 you sold his home?
And then you BLAMED WELLS FARGO?
It would behoove you to immediately rectify this situation with Mr. Wright. Make it right! I don’t really care how you do it, but to turn his home over to a “home flipper” when he not only qualified for a modification but was approved for one and made his payments on time is beyond disgusting.
I’m only e-mailing this because your offices are closed at the moment. Wait until I call, then I’ll give all of your staff an earful. This really has me steamed. And they should be ashamed that you are their boss.
I’m positive that I will not be the only one that will be contacting you on this one. This is only the first wave of a coming tsunami.
Fix it, Moynihan. We are all tired of you and your cronies shenanigans and the dam of outrage is about to break all over this country. There will be way too many holes in it for you to plug up, and it will all come crashing down like the worthless paper you claim to hold on all these mortgages.”
“Regarding the above-referenced loan, please use your infinite powers to assist this elderly gentleman in the later years of his life to work through this difficult situation. It is so atrocious the way in which distressed property owners in all age groups, of all ethnicities and from all socioeconomic strata are being treated by institutions that simply do not appear to care about the impact their industry has had on the citizens of this country. But his particular story goes beyond the customary and usual. This gentle man has served to defend those of us that are unable or unwilling to put our lives on the line for our country!
When will you do something about the way in which Bank of America’s servicing departments botch up paperwork, lie to people in life-changing circumstances, and then blame it on others? As a major institution within the financial realm, one would think that BofA would be on the cutting edge in the technology arena to keep paperwork intact; in hiring capable and ethical employees to problem-solve rather than lie, cheat, or delay, and in providing resources with whom customers can discuss their problems to get back on tract?
More importantly, however, is when will Bank of America become the financial institution that deserves the trust of the people that keep you in business?
It is time to stop the spiraling loss of wealth to the vast majority of homeowners that rely on the equity in their homes to enjoy a peaceful and well-deserved retirement. It is time to have compassion for those individual homeowners whose jobs have been cut out and now must move their entire families elsewhere in a real estate market that causes them to go into default. It is time to develop a plan to actually work on customer service that truly assists (rather than bullies) homeowners in lieu of the almighty dollar.
Mr. Wright’s story is, without a doubt, a very sad story that requires immediate measures. Mr. Moynihan, let his story be the catalyst for extreme changes within your institution. It is, after all, within your power to make these changes. The bucks stops with YOU.”
Having read the story of Mr. Wright and his appalling treatment by Bank of America, I trust you will reverse the sale of this house and return it to its rightful owner.
I hope you are familiar with the details of this horrific treatment by your bank. If not, then you can read about it here:
OFFICIAL DOER STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
BY MARTIN ANDELMAN & ABIGAIL FIELD
We, Mandelman & Field, are joining forces to end the foreclosure crisis. We’ve been writing about the crisis—Mandelman for more than three years and 600+ articles, Field for about half that—but frankly, writing’s not enough.
We need to DO more to solve the massive crisis our country is enduring. We must act now, because the crisis we’re in will get much, much worse. This year is an election year… the time for decisive action is now.
But by ourselves we can’t do enough. We need YOU to DO too.
Mandelman has already inspired a core group of DOERS, people who have already solved the mortgage modification nightmares of six people. But to solve the problems faster than one mortgage at a time and to attack bigger problems, we need more DOERS… a lot more.
Here’s what we DOERS DO:
1. We take action.
We are knowledgeable, active and involved. We know that our actions make a difference because we’re all working together, multiplying our impact. That’s why we continue to take action, each and every day.
2. We know there’s no “try” in DO.
Either you DO, or you don’t.
3. We build big victories out of little victories.
We’re singles hitters with a really high on base percentage. We scratch out the runs it takes to win every way we can. Our actions are simple, discrete, and quick to do, like sending an email, making a call, mailing a letter.
We work this way because swinging for the fences wastes lots of effort and results in more strikeouts than our country has time for. Besides, it took years to make the mess we’re in, and there’s no silver bullet that fixes everything all at once. We have to do many things, and collectively they will make the big changes we need.
4. We focus on our similarities, not our differences.
We’re not about right and left… we’re about right and wrong. Frankly, our nation’s policies on housing and banks are so bad, we have plenty of solid common ground for everyone. Since we’re focused on fixing those two interrelated issues—housing and bank policy—our divisions on other issues are irrelevant.
5. We believe in “We, the People.”
We join forces to make change because we are Americans. It’s our Constitutional birthright to be in charge, to make change together. And we know if we act together to make good policy, we all benefit.
6. We recruit more DOERS, because size matters.
To solve the big problems we need to be correspondingly big. We’re not playing games. We are DOING to win.
7. And we are in it to win it.
We are relentless. We take our tasks seriously. We do our best. We never let down our fellow DOERS by not DOING our individual parts.
Please don’t delay… DO it today… it’s easy to DO… and to win, we need you.
Becoming a DOER and committing to our code of action is easy. Just send an email to either one of us:
Martin Andelman at: email@example.com
Abigail Field at: ACFRealityCheck@yahoo.com
And also don’t forget to subscribe here: SUBSCRIBE
All you have to write in the message is: Count on me to be a DOER. Or, just say: I’m in. Tell me what to DO.
And we’ll be in touch. Something like once a week we’ll call on you to DO something important… something that matters a lot. It feels really good to be a DOER, ask anyone who is.
Mandelman & Field… OUT!