Friday, October 14, 2011

Bank of America - Still Failing

I used to think big banks would have to work really hard to fail. Then, I did business with Bank of America.

I had a checking and savings account with them when I started house hunting more than four years ago. I figured I'd get a mortgage with them, too. I regret that decision more each day.

When I realized I was being charged to call and talk to a customer service rep, I closed my checking and savings accounts. It was one of the few times I had a good customer service experience. Still, I kept my mortgage with them because I'm too lazy to make the phone call to get another mortgage somewhere else.

When this happened last year, I really thought, "OK, I need to seriously stop doing business with Bank of America." But that's as far as things went. Now, they have pushed me out of my lazy rut. So what did it take?
I opened my front door this afternoon to see a FedEx envelope from Bank of America. It listed my address, so I opened it. Can you make out the word "foreclosing?" That got my attention. In fact, it made my heart race and my head hurt.

"How can this be?" I wondered. "My payments are auto-drafted and I know they've all gone through."

Then, I took a closer look at that important letter. It listed a couple that definitely do not live at my address.

I had to leave for work, so I dialed that phone number while driving (hands-free, of course, which was good as my nerves were rattled and my hands were trembling). The call taker took my information, then recognized the name of the people listed on the letter (a sure sign she's been trying to make contact with these people). Her response?

"Oh. I see what happened (nervous giggle). We transposed a number."


Perhaps if I was some uninformed mortgage holder, I would have just said, "OK. Honest mistake. No big deal. My home isn't the one you want. We're all good." Instead, I immediately thought of stories like these cases. I also dropped a few f-bombs in my rage/frustration/shock. I know it probably wasn't the loan officer's fault, but this is not something to be taken lightly!

If they can't send a foreclosure warning to the right address how do I trust Bank of America to foreclose on the right home?

I told the woman that either she or a manager or the President of Bank of America needed to send me a certified letter with the following information:
  • The foreclosure notice was sent in error.
  • My property is NOT in foreclosure.
  • Bank of America will not foreclose on my property unless *I* default on my loan.
The woman said she had a meeting with her manager and would run that by her. Then, she said she would call me back. Guess what? Six hours later, I'm still waiting for that call.

Now, I get to worry these people who don't seem to make sure they have the details right when telling someone their home is about to be taken away are going to change the locks on my house, leaving my cat and dog stranded inside and me with no place to live - even though I've done nothing wrong. I not-so-nicely told the woman that if she thought I was being bitchy now, if they falsely foreclose on my home, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

I definitely plan to find another mortgage lender (I should refinance now while rates are low anyway) so I can sever all ties with this mess of a bank. But that doesn't give me peace of mind. And the fact that I never heard an "I'm sorry" today really speaks of Bank of America's arrogance and total lack of customer service. I don't have to give them my business, but I don't think they understand or even care.

So, count me in the group of people willing big banks to fail. Just don't expect me to stand out on the street and protest. Body odor makes me queasy.
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