After a few weeks of the multiple times per day barrage of phone calls from Bank of America I attempted to resolve this by calling to see if I could reach a supervisor. The colossal comedy of incompetence a person has to suffer in order to get a straight answer from Bank of America is deplorable! As a Mortgage Loan Officer with nearly 15 years of experience speaking the language of mortgage lenders I can only imagine how impossible this experience must seem to someone without similar experience. In one phone call I informed the agent who called me that I didn’t owe Bank of America any money because they had released me from the debt by issuing me a 1099-C and I suggested Bank of America should refrain from further attempts to collect it from me. It was at this point the agent alluded that Bank of American could foreclose on the house, the same house Bank of America had surrendered its legal interest in more than two years prior! After explaining to the agent why I would not pay a single dime towards this debt she told me that she would have her supervisor review the account and he/she may or may not call me back to let me know the outcome, it really just depends on how they feel about it (I have never heard back from Bank of America).
Bank of America’s questionable accounting
Needless to say this has troubled me greatly; enough that I have spent $24 on certified letters to the credit reporting agencies and to Bank of America to cease collection efforts. But this also left me wondering just how many accounts like mine are Bank of America still holding on their books after reporting to the IRS that the debt has been forgiven? Just how bad is Bank of America’s accounting and how does this differ from what they have reported in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. To the average person this might not seem like much more than sloppy accounting, but in order to generate a 1099-C for $73,000, a Bank of America manager or perhaps even vice president is required to code the account as a forgiven debt. However, to continue to generate statements after such coding occurred, another manager would input a different code to over ride the previous code in order to continue billing interest and late charges (income that Bank of America can then report to its shareholders in its prospectus and to the SEC). How many less informed borrowers are being intimidated into repaying loans to Bank of America which have been forgiven and reported to the IRS and just how many “forgiven” loans are still being held on Bank of America’s ledgers?
This dodgy accounting reminds me of a similar experience I had in 2001 with a company called WorldCom who later declared bankruptcy behind a$ 3.8 Billion accounting fraud at the hands of its CEO run by Bernie Ebbers who should probably still be in prison for his role in the scandal. Just how bad is Bank of America’s accounting, I can’t say for sure but if my experience is an indicator, gold, guns and food storage might be your best investment strategy today.
- Bank of America finds few takers in short-sale program in Florida (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- What is a Short Sale (raleighmortgageguy.com)
- Gold, Guns or Real Estate? (raleighmortgageguy.com)
- Five Reasons Your Short Sale Won’t Close (raleighmortgageguy.com)