I just finished reading this article from Mother Jones which outlines the 10 most hated banks in America, according to complaints received by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau from 2011 to 2014. Ah ha, the winner is Bank of America. And Bank of America is hated by a good distance, by the way, with Wells Fargo, Chase and Citibank in the pack following them.
Why Bank of America is Hated–its Mortgage Modification and Foreclosure Practices
Bank of America drew most of its venom from customers due to their mortgage servicing practices. When I went to the actual data at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s report, the majority of complaints in the mortgage servicing arena deal with “problems when unable to pay”. Specifically, these problems revolve around loan modifications, the mortgage modification process, collections or foreclosure-related issues.
I have found that Bank of America seems to aggressively reach out to borrowers to encourage them to modify their loans (in an effort presumably to reduce their interest rates or rework their arrears). Their representatives call my office over and over to encourage borrowers to apply, But when the borrowers actually follow through with Bank of America and apply for loan modifications, then BoA abruptly changes its position, and winds up denying any assistance. As a result, I am not very fond of BoA’s form of passive-aggressive behavior!
We all know that mortgage lenders can’t be forced to enter into mortgage loan modifications, but on the other hand, one can only hope that the banks act in good faith. I, for one, am sick of the big mortgage companies telling borrowers that their loan modification documents were never submitted (when the borrower has a fax receipt to prove otherwise!).
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Complaints
I encourage folks to go to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau website and read up on the complaints lodged against other companies as well. It makes for interesting reading, and it’s not just mortgage collections issues that are explored, but also student loans, credit cards, debt collections, payday loans and other issues too.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.