Friday, February 1, 2013

How BOA Tainted the Allegedly Independent Foreclosure Review

How BOA Tainted the Allegedly Independent Foreclosure Review 


The "Independent Foreclosure Review" (may it now rest in peace) was established as a result of a settlement of federal lawsuits against numerous mortgage loan lenders and servicers. The intent was to provide compensation to borrowers who were improperly foreclosed upon. Borrowers were supposed to be able to file for relief, have their case reviewed by independent third parties, and perhaps end up with a monetary award. Obviously, the "independent" nature of the process meant that the big banks were not supposed to be able to influence the results - in other words, the inmates were not supposed to have the keys to the jail. Well, it turns out that, Bank of America, at least, was directly influencing the outcomes of the "independent" foreclosure reviews. I realize that this will be *shocking* to all of you whom have enjoyed your mortgage relief and foreclosure experiences with BOA.

Some of the review work was performed by consulting companies which are regularly used by the big banks, which calls the objectivity of the reviews into question from the start. However, the more incredible fact is that the "independent" reviewers were receiving files to review - along with the conclusions to various investigatory conclusions already reached by Bank of America itself. In other words, the "independent foreclosure reviewer" would open a a review file (on the computer) and the default answers to the investigatory questions would already be there, as entered by BOA. 

Amazingly, one of the third parties conducting the reviews eventually admitted this (as did BOA) but also had the unmitigated gall to come out and state that its decisions were reached "without input or influence from Bank of America." Really? Really, Promontory Financial Group? I mean, we're not all idiots. The "answers" were on the screen  - put there by BOA - and yet BOA had no "input" or "influence"?!  

It appears that the reviewer was able to override the conclusions that BOA's own folks had reached (and entered into the file). However, given human nature, it is indisputable that having the "answers" already there influenced the findings and decisions in at least some cases. This ridiculous scenario was changed in late 2012, when both BOA and Promontory admitted that a "technical change" had been made in the process so that the *independent* reviewers allegedly no longer saw the conclusions reached by Bank of America before they reached their own conclusions.


McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides assistance to those involved in mortgage disputes, including borrowers in need of mortgage relief services such as mortgage loan modification, foreclosure negotiation, and deed-in-lieu or other negotiated settlement resolutions.