Protestors accuse Bank of America of Scrooge-style foreclosure
CLAYTON, MO — (KMOX)– Police arrested six people for trespassing on the steps of Bank of America — during a foreclosure protest in support of a south St. Louis county couple facing the loss of their home right after Christmas.
Singing mock Christmas Carols accusing Bank of America of greed, the crowd of more than 60 protestors marched up and down the sidewalk in support of Mike and Mary Boehm.
The Boehms claim they have never missed a payment, but when he was out of work for eight months, they applied for a “modified” loan with Bank of America, making $1,000 payments, instead of their normal $1,400 payments.
“We made our payments on time,” Mary Boehm said, “Now they were the modified payments, but it was exactly what Bank of America told us to send in. And we never heard anything about how you could still be foreclosed in the middle of a modification process until last month.”
Echoing complaints heard by people facing foreclosure nationwide, the Boehms claim that Bank of America repeatedly asked them to send in their paperwork related to the loan modification process, and repeatedly claimed to have lost it or never received it.
“I’ve done everything they asked us to do,” Mike Boehm said, “We filled out all the applications sometimes two or three times, after they lose it or can’t find it, whatever the case.”
When asked whether Bank of America is really “losing” his paperwork , or just giving him the run around to get his house, Boehm shrugs.
“I want to believe they just lost it, but after 408 days of doing everything they said and they still can’t approve us for a modification, I don’t know what the answer is anymore,” Mike Boehm said.
The Boehms were seeking an immediate approval of their modification terms, a halt to all foreclosure proceedings, and forgiveness of any late charges.
No one from Bank of America in St. Louis was authorized to talk about the case. KMOX was directed to contact a spokesman in another city, Richard Simons, who issued a statement about the Boehms situation:
- To be perfectly clear, the Boehm’s loan is not in foreclosure at this time. Once started, the foreclosure process takes some time to complete. There is no immediate threat of their home going to a foreclosure sale.
- · Our home retention team does have the Boehm’s mortgage under review for modification possibilities, and was requesting required documentation as recently as this month.
- · Based on the latest financial information provided by the Boehms, their current mortgage, tax and insurance payments total less than 31 percent of gross income, which is the mandatory affordable payment target of the Home Affordable Modification Program. For this reason, they are likely to be declined for the government program on final review, because they are already paying less than the government program would provide.
- · Assuming we cannot approve them for HAMP, we will review their loan for consideration under an alternative modification plan; however any alternative will be subject to approval of the mortgage investor who holds the loan.
- · A homeownership retention associate will be contacting them to discuss the current status of their modification request. We will conduct further review of contacts with them to clarify and address any discrepancies in our understanding of their modification history.