BofA Attempted To Take The Home OF An Elderly Handicapped Couple
“They (banks) had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.” –FDR October 31, 1936
About a year ago, I wrote an article on MFI-Miami calling on state and federal regulators to do something about the deplorable way BofA treats its elderly mortgage clients.
I told the story of Harry and Sonia Taub, former MFI-Miami clients who heard every imaginable excuse from Bank of America for not receiving their loan documents they requested because they believed they were victims of fraud. After months of being bullied and threatened by Bank of America with foreclosure, the Taubs called me. I called BofA and after being told by Customer Service that they would not accept the Taub’s verbal permission to release their file to MFI-Miami because it came through a TDD translator. I got pretty pissed off and I did something that not many people do. No, I didn’t turn into the Incredible Hulk but I did channel Ari Gold from Entourage. I shelled out $700 to a newswire service and hoped with a little luck someone in the mainstream media would have the cujones to question the largest bank in the United States. Someone did and although they didn’t publish the Taub’s story, their one phone call to Bank of America did motivate Bank of America to hand deliver their file to them the next day.
I have multiple elderly clients who have mortgage loans from Bank of America, and I hear the same horror stories from all of them. Last year, when I wrote that press release, I accused Bank of America of creating a pandemic of elder abuse.
Since I wrote that original piece, Ken Lewis was fired as CEO of Bank of America and almost overnight it seemed like an Age of Aquarius had swept through the ranks of Bank of America. It was like the euphoria at the end of Return of Jedi after Vader kills the Emperor and the rebels blow up the second Death Star. It was as if it was a new day at Bank of America and Brian Moynihan was going to play the hero. Or so we were led to believe.
Soon after, stories started coming out about BofA foreclosing on retirees who didn’t even have mortgages with Bank of America or Bank of America contractors illegally clearing out the homes of snowbirds in Florida who were current on their mortgage. MFI-Miami is currently investigating several claims from seniors that told us these types of horror stories. Unfortunately, instead of resembling the optimism like in the end of Return of the Jedi, it was more like the power shift in Afghanistan after the Soviets left. An evil empire was replaced by something much worse.
Disgusting stories began to emerge like what they doing to 91-year old, Peter Ruplenas.
Mr. Ruplenas is a decorated combat photographer who served our country in three wars. He served our country in World War II, Korea and Vietnam with winning a Purple Heart in Korea. However, little did he know that after coming home from his last tour of duty near 40 years ago that he would have to fight another battle, this time on American soil to protect his home from the very thing that fought to defend-the free enterprise system.
The Ruplenas’ story begins in 2004 when Mr. Ruplenas filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to cure the arrears on his home in Gerardstown, West Virginia home. Soon after Bank of America pretended not to receive Ruplenas’ payments which were paid through the bankruptcy trustee and tricked him into believing he himself had to make the payments directly. Bank of America continued to overcharge Mr. Ruplenas until he decided to apply for a loan modification under HAMP. An unknown representative from Bank of America told Mr. Ruplenas that the only way for them to help him was for him to stop making his mortgage payments. As most homeowners do he did what he was instructed to do. Soon Bank of America began sending Mr. Ruplenas foreclosure notices while still collecting his payments from the bankruptcy trustee.
Who is running BofA, Paulie Walnuts or Big Pussy from The Sopranos? This bank has consistently shown a total disregard for seniors. They saw an opportunity to take advantage of our most vulnerable citizens and they took it. It’s as if they purposely target seniors like common purse snatchers or thugs because they’re easy marks.
If these cases were isolated to one in a ten thousand Bank of America customers, I could understand. However, this is a pandemic that has become inherent in the Bank of America’s corporate attitude.