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Lender abuse?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis December 31, 2013 09:34 AM

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Government bureaucrats are bad enough. But corporate paper pushers, especially those at the big banks, are in a league of their own.

Homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure were given the run around by one of the country's major banks, according to this very interesting - and maddening - Bloomberg News piece.

A group of former employees for a contractor that helped Bank of America sort out requests for loan modifications claim they used all sorts of stalling tactics when dealing with desperate homeowners.

One-time employees of the contractor, Urban Lending, say they routinely requested more documents every 30 to 60 days, including new pay stubs and new applications, even if all the paperwork was in order.

Here's a pretty scorching, on the record quote from one of those former employees that ran in the Bloomberg story.

"Everyone knew that we weren't helping people," says Erik Schnackenberg, a customer service manager who left Urban Lending in 2011 and now runs a yoga studio in Longmont, Colo. "They were giving us all the pressure and none of the power to change anything. It was this absurd, self-contained ecosystem of worthlessness."

When homeowners started to get steamed, the customer service reps doled out $25 and $50 gift cards - just enough to pay for the moving boxes, staffers liked to joke, the piece notes.

OK, that's pretty low.

As the process dragged on, thousands of homeowners who might have otherwise won modifications to their mortgages and stayed in their homes were instead foreclosed on by the bank, the Bloomberg story contends.

A spokesman for the bank is quoted as blasting the complaints as "baseless" and the work of disgruntled ex-employees.


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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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