BofA Says it Will Work With Wronged Homeowners -- If They Delete Stuff They Said on Twitter, Then Shut Up Forever

Ohhhh, Bank of America. Only you would respond to an investigation of your loan modification practices, amid allegations that you misled homeowners, by:

1. circumventing the investigators...

2. trying to settle with the homeowners...

3. ...but telling the homeowners you'll only work with them if they erase all the nasty things they said about Bank of America on social media sites, and then stay quiet about the bank forever.

What a "deal."

Bloomberg Businessweek has the story:

One 2011 accord involving a borrower facing foreclosure who defaulted on a $253,142 mortgage included a $5,000 payment, plus $7,500 for legal fees, and the defaulted payments were waived and the loan was modified to a 40-year term with a 2 percent interest rate, court documents show. The terms of the original loan and the borrower’s complaint about the lender weren’t described in the documents.

The borrower “will remove and delete any online statements regarding this dispute, including, without limitation, postings on Facebook, Twitter and similar websites,” and not make any statements “that defame, disparage or in any way criticize” the bank’s reputation, practices or conduct, according to documents filed in state court in Phoenix. 

ThinkProgress' Garofalo adds that this is an old game for BofA:

This isn’t the first time that Bank of America has been accused of obstructing an investigation into its mortgage practices. Back in June of 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general claimed that the bank was blocking access to employees and data in order to slow down an investigation into its alleged misdeeds. “Our review was significantly hindered by Bank of America’s reluctance to allow us to interview employees or provide data and information in a timely manner,” said HUD’s William Nixon.

Now, if the Arizona officials’ claims are true, Bank of America has gone from obstruction to explicit payoffs in order to keep its mortgage mess under wraps. 

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at January 26, 2012, 7:24am

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