A complaint unsealed in court yesterday from a whistleblower alleges that Bank of America defrauded the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), designed to help homeowners facing foreclosure, by preventing "scores of eligible homeowners" from receiving loan modifications in order to prevent losses while at the same time receiving benefits for being part of the HAMP program.
Reuters reports today:
The complaint unsealed Wednesday was filed by whistleblower Gregory Mackler, a Colorado resident who said he worked alongside Bank of America executives while an employee at Urban Lending Solutions, a company to which Bank of America contracted some of its HAMP work.
While working at Urban Lending, Mackler said he saw BofA and its loan servicing subsidiary, BAC Homes Loans Servicing LP, implement "business practices designed to intentionally prevent scores of eligible homeowners from becoming eligible or staying eligible for permanent HAMP modification."
The bank and its agents routinely pretended to have lost homeowners' documents, failed to credit payments during trial modifications and intentionally misled homeowners about their eligibility for the program, the complaint alleged.
BoA let through just enough HAMP modifications to avert suspicion and allay congressional critics, while not enough to incur any substantial losses to its own bottom line, according to the complaint.
"In other words, BoA has had it both ways. BoA has continued to maximize the value of its mortgage portfolio with anti-HAMP modification practices and managed to make money by committing fraud on homeowner," the lawsuit said.