From Phoenix Business Journal:
Former homeowners are seeking class-action status in an ongoing suit against Bank of America Corp., which stands accused of using gift cards, cash bonuses and other means to encourage employees to meet foreclosure quotas.
According to Bloomberg News, the plaintiffs, whose class-action appeal is working its way through a federal court in Boston, submitted potentially damaging statements from former Bank of America employees who suggest that the program resulted in delays and other processing hiccups that helped maximize the Charlotte-based bank’s fees from foreclosure related accounts while failing to properly assist homeowners eligible for various assistance programs.
According to statements from one former BofA employee, workers who managed to push at least 10 clients into foreclosure received $500 bonuses as well as gift cards to Target and Bed Bath and Beyond.
“We were regularly drilled that it was our job to maximize fees for the bank by fostering and extending delay of the (loan assistance) by any means we could,” said former Bank of America staffer Simone Gordon, whose May 23 statements on the incentive program were included in last week’s submission to the court.
In an email to Bloomberg News, Bank of America spokesman Rick Simon said the bank has helped the most homeowners under U.S. Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, and is committed to assisting customers at risk of foreclosure.
“At best, these attorneys are painting a false picture of the bank’s practices and the dedication of our employees,” Simon said. “While we will address the declarations in more depth when we file our opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion next month, suffice it to say that each of the declarations is rife with factual inaccuracies.”
U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel is scheduled to rule on the pending class-action request Aug. 1 .