I have been posting excerpts from declarations from the In re HAMP case. To be clear, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steve W. Berman, of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is the attorney who should be credited with gathering this evidence, and filing it in the MDL. Kudos to him.
It should also be noted that Berman also has filed a series of exhibits under seal, because Bank of America has claimed that these documents are confidential and subject to an existing protective order. That issue will be determined by the judge. This includes deposition excerpts of several Bank of America employees, and from the corporate representative deposition of Roger Parkinson. It also includes internal emails between Bank of America employees.
Here are excerpts from the fourth affidavit from an ex-Bank of America call center employee. These affidavits were filed by the plaintiffs’ attorney last Friday, in the large multi-district litigation entitled In re HAMP, 1:10-md-02193-RWZ (Doc. 210-5). This declarant worked as a temporary “Home Retention Specialist” for Bank of America’s Texas call center:
Although I was called a “Home Retention Specialist,” my job was to collect as much money as possible from homeowners.
The autodialer made many thousands of calls an hour. My understanding is that it was loaded with telephone numbers of borrowers who Bank of America considered delinquent.
Although as a temporary employee, I did not qualify for bonus compensation, our team received bonuses based on the number of calls made and “talk time.”
I was told the average call time I was supposed to meet was just seven minutes.
Many of the borrowers I spoke to claimed they were not delinquent because they had either temporary or permanent mortgage modification agreements with Bank of America.
For many of the calls I handled, I could confirm in Bank of America’s system that the borrower contacted was in a temporary or permanent modification status in Bank of America account records and that the borrower was current on payments under that agreement.
Approximately 4 in 10 of the borrowers I spoke with had been set up on temporary modifications and were current on their modification payments but had not received a permanent modification. The borrowers, with a few exceptions, had made more than three monthly payments and had returned all of the requested supporting documents, but had not received permanent modifications.
She goes on to say that 2 of 10 borrowers were current on actual permanent modifications but were still being auto-dialed and harassed by the collection machine at Bank of America. She says she would update the customer accounts to show that they were permanently modified and current although she was not supposed to.
I saw instances where Bank of America sent borrowers who were current on their permanent loan modifications foreclosure notices. In some cases, where Bank of America did not update its system to implement the terms of a permanent modification, Bank of America foreclosed on homes of borrowers who were not delinquent on their permanent loan modification payments.
She details that she heard “again and again” from borrowers who had sent in documentation numerous times, and who were still being asked for the same information.