Nevada Wallops Bank of America With Sweeping Suit; Nationwide Foreclosure Settlement in Peril
Wow. It appears Bank of America has systematically been screwing people - not by accident, but by design. Click here for the whole story, which contains a response from Bank of America.
The state of Nevada dramatically expanded its lawsuit against Bank of America today, turning the narrow case it filed late last year into a broadside that targets virtually all aspects of the bank’s mortgage operations. Bank of America has previously denied wrongdoing.
The sweeping new suit could have repercussions far beyond Nevada’s borders. It further jeopardizes a possible nationwide settlement with the five largest U.S. banks over their foreclosure practices, especially given concerns voiced by other attorneys general, New York’s foremost among them. (You can read the suit here.)
In a statement, Bank of America spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens said reaching a settlement would bring a better outcome for homeowners than litigation. “We believe that the best way to get the housing market going again in every state is a global settlement that addresses these issues fairly, comprehensively and with finality.”
The suit also weakens a separate, 2008 multistate settlement in which Countrywide promised to evaluate troubled homeowners for loan modifications.
Most broadly, Nevada’s action signals that the banks’ problems with home mortgages—the main cause of the financial crisis—continue to burden them and rattle investors. Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank and company that services mortgages, has seen its stock plunge about 40 percent since March, in part because of its mortgage liabilities. Nevada’s action won’t help.
Nevada’s attorney general charges that Bank of America and the now-defunct mortgage giant Countrywide acquired by the bank in 2008, deceived borrowers and investors at almost every stage of the process.
According to the suit, borrowers were duped into unaffordable loans and then victimized again through a misleading mortgage modification program that homeowners tried to use to avoid foreclosure. Finally, the suit alleges, the bank filed fraudulent documents to move forward with the foreclosures.
“Taken together and separately, [Bank of America’s] deceptive practices have resulted in an explosion of delinquencies and unauthorized and unnecessary foreclosures in the state of Nevada,” the suit alleges.