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Servicing

Florida AG rips Bank of America over lingering servicing issues

Another attorney general is snapping back at Bank of America over its mortgage servicing practices.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sent a critical letter to Bank of America outlining concerns about the mega bank’s failure to fully comply with the servicing standards she helped negotiate during the National Mortgage Settlement last year.

The settlement, which was signed in 2012, required the five largest mortgage servicers to improve their customer service by complying with new mortgage servicing rules outlined as required standards. 

Bondie oversaw the Florida portion of the multistate settlement Bank of America (BAC) agreed to resolve foreclosure processing issues, including robo-signing.

In a letter that preceded a meeting between the National Monitoring Committee, Bondi shared her concerns on behalf of Florida’s homeowners and requested that Bank of America improve its processing immediately.

"It is deeply concerning to me, however, that it takes my staff’s direct involvement to get results I would expect to be achieved under the settlement without any facilitation on our part," the Florida AG stated.

She added, "Even more concerning are the troubling patterns that are emerging from our review of complaints, clearly pointing to possible larger systemic problems regarding Bank of America’s implementation of the settlement’s servicing standards."

Bank of America said the company is working in an efficient manner to address any issues brought to light by the AG.

"Bank of America has extended more relief under the National Mortgage Settlement to customers in need of assistance than all other servicers combined, representing nearly 60% of relief across the program," said Jumana Bauwens, a spokesperson for Bank of America.

But Bondi is unsatisfied with the results and provided specific numbers.

Nearly 40% of the 293 complaints that the Florida AG's office received from consumers over this matter were about the banking giant, Bondi said.

The concerns regarding possible non-compliance with the National Mortgage Settlement by Bank of America include failing to maintain a single-point-of-contact, allowing lengthy loan modification processes to occur and failing to oversee foreclosure counsel.

"It isn’t the statistics that are as important as the people they represent. Let me give you some actual examples of the problems I’ve outlined—real Floridians, who, without the assistance of my office, most likely would not have seen successful resolution of their circumstances," Bondi stated. 

The main issue is that no matter how many settlements hit, servicing issues are still taking up the AGs and the banks time.

As a result, many attorney generals, including Bondi, feel the servicers are not fully complying with the settlement agreement.

On a similar note, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced his intentions to sue Bank of America for violating terms of the National Mortgage Settlement.

The NY AG also sent a letter to the parties that oversee the settlement in response to complaints from homeowners who were put at risk by the violations of the banks. 

cmlynski@housingwire.com

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