Richard Burnett, Orlando Sentinel
A federal bankruptcy judge in Orlando has slapped Bank of America Corp. with a $220,000 sanction — one of the largest fines on record in the local court — for ignoring the judge’s orders and refusing an Orange County couple’s court-approved mortgage-loan modification.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen Jennemann sanctioned the giant bank earlier this month after it failed to appear at a series of hearings but continued trying to collect unauthorized mortgage payments from the homeowners, according to a court filing.
The judge ruled March 5 that Bank of America had 30 days in which to pay the fine — or the couple’s mortgage debt, which totals about $223,000, will be “deemed fully satisfied.”
Jennemann acted in the case of Warren and Mary Grant-Hougland, who live in the southwest Orange County community of Gotha. They filed personal bankruptcy in 2010 under Chapter 13 of the federal code to restructure their debts and to fend off the foreclosure of their 1,900-square-foot home.