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3 Reasons to Keep Hating Bank of America

3 Reasons to Keep Hating Bank of America

For a couple of years, America’s collective attention was on the serial wrongdoing of too-big-to-fail banks like Bank of America. Admittedly, while media coverage of the banks’ indiscretions has subsided in recent months, the fraudulent behaviors have not. Here are three reasons not to forget to actively hate Bank of America:

1. This week, Bank of America agreed to pay an $800 settlement for tricking customers into purchasing useless credit monitoring and protection services when they obtained credit cards. Some customers believed they were acknowledging already provided services when signing the forms for this “protection.” Others were automatically enrolled in the program without giving their approval. Consequently, BoA began billing these customers monthly for an unnecessary service.

As usual, the corporation avoided litigation by agreeing to the terms of the settlement. The bank will pay an additional $20 million to be used by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide relief for victims and produce financial educational materials. Furthermore, Bank of America will not be permitted to offer customers credit protection products again until it can prove how such programs will be fixed moving forward.

2. Months ago, whistleblowers at multiple branches of Bank of America stepped forward to reveal how the corporation told employees to lie and commit fraud in order to foreclose even on homeowners who were making honest attempts to pay their mortgages. Bankers told customers that their documents were “under review” even though they had no intention of looking at the papers until enough time had passed that they could start foreclosure proceedings. They were able to do this by intentionally “losing” (read: destroying) relevant documents and fraudulently filing reports as to why their customers were ineligible for loan modifications.

Employees were incentivized to participate in this illicit behavior, receiving a $500 bonus for securing at least 10 foreclosures in a month or gift cards to retail stores for fewer foreclosures. Those who refused to participate or provided truthful information to homeowners were fired.

3. Ultimately, the United States determined that Bank of America has been committing rampant mortgage fraud and found the company liable for $850 million in October. The government has since increased the amount it is seeking in damages to more than $2 billion since the initial figure was overly conservative considering the massive profits Bank of America collected by committing this mortgage fraud. For the record, BoA still denies the allegations, despite overwhelming of evidence.

One particular executive, Rebecca Mairone, was found liable for fraud, as well. By that point, she was out of her job at Bank of America… not for wrongdoing but to accept a position at another company: J.P. Morgan. How reassuring that, in the banking industry, fraud is considered a job well done; Mairone is now overseeing foreclosures at this new business, and we trust it’s on the up-and-up as much her previous work.

Some people assume that after the period of public scrutiny and humiliation that companies like Bank of America cleaned up their acts and established higher standards of efforts. On the contrary, their shady practices have continued, particularly since the only repercussions are financial slaps-on-the-wrist. What are we going to do now that no amount of public shaming seems to stop Bank of America from being corrupt?

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Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

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113 comments

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2:03PM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

I have learned not to trust any banker. They are in the business to make money. If they can, they WILL take yours too! By any means available and within the banking laws.

1:32AM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

My answer to that last question is to throw the big shots in jail for some time to think about what they did to these people!!
We used to have a credit card with Bank of America a long, long time ago. I paid it off, and cut it up. This was about 15 years ago! I never liked the way they did business!

12:16PM PDT on May 20, 2014

Unfortunately, all banks are money lovers and poor people have to go through loans with them. Wells Fargo is much worse!! Those who have money controls the world, in an evil way; they just don't see what's coming after them. KARMA!!!!

11:33AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Frank the safeguards were removed before Obama was in the white house.

8:17AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

The fault for all of this lies in Washington.
The government had a system of checks and balances in place to make sure this kind of corruption doesn't exist. But Pres Obama has eliminated these checks and balances for Wall St. and the financial industries.

Instead they come up with this BS story of "Too big to fail" so Obama writes out a check for 800 Billion dollars and gives this money to these CROOKS.

Now that they got that knucklehead President in their pocket as a partner they will no doubt ask for more welfare money

Where was the "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" when all this was happening . Were they out to lunch. If I want to here BS....I'll listen to Obama's speeches

6:35AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Noted.

11:29AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

interesting, thanks

7:19AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

Noted

7:18AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

Noted

6:23AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

This is one of many examples of why I do not willingly conduct business with banks. I will not take out a loan from a bank, have a bank account, nor will I ever own a credit card. When people have mortgages and loans, they do not own the house or whatever it is-the bank does. To think anything else is foolish. I'll not work my butt off so that some bank can own my fancy vehicle or nice house, etc.

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