It seems that the banks just can’t stay out of the news these days—for all the wrong reasons. In addition to claims that they charge excessive fees and suspect overdraft charges, several banks are now facing lawsuits filed by emboldened homeowners, presumably with nothing left to lose, over their foreclosure procedures. And it looks like the homeowners may just have grounds.
Case in point, Bank of America (BoFA) was hit with a class action lawsuit in New Jersey last week by homeowners who allege the lender disregarded foreclosure process rules. Earlier this month BoFA imposed a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures and the sale of foreclosed homes after a government agency told BoFA it was worried about documentation problems.
Documentation problems? Read on…
It seems the banks have been hiring so-called “robo signers” or “affidavit slaves”—employees who literally sign hundreds of foreclosure documents a day, according to the Wall Street Journal, without carefully reviewing their contents. The Washington Post recently ran a story on a man who has signed as many as 10,000 foreclosure documents in one month. And, the suit brought against BoFA cites a statement made by a bank official in a Massachusetts foreclosure case who admitted signing thousands of foreclosure complaints without reviewing them.
Keep in mind that these people’s signatures—robo signers’ signatures—act as witness to the Read the rest of this entry »
SunTrust just can’t keep out of the news lately. If you believe in the adage that any PR is good PR, well then, SunTrust must be racking up new customers left and right. However, my gut is the type of news SunTrust has been involved with isn’t the run-right-in-and-open-an-account type.
Here’s the SunTrust round-up for the week:
Central Florida’s been getting hit with some bank robberies as of late. This past Monday, it was SunTrust’s turn—at the SunTrust branch located at 200 S. Orange Ave. in downtown Orlando. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the suspect, a white male between 25 and 30 years old got away with “an undisclosed amount of money”. The suspect was wearing a black messenger-style bag. Thankfully, no one was injured.
I could make a lousy play on words here and say something about how “at least something’s getting filled at SunTrust” in relation to recent charges against SunTrust for not filling (or more aptly, freezing) some clients HELOC accounts, but I won’t. (oh, I guess I just did—sorry). But this is no joking matter. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported earlier this week that Read the rest of this entry »
If you love a bit of irony, this one’s for you.
Betty Nestlehutt has found herself in the news spotlight lately. Betty’s a septagenarian out of Marietta, GA who underwent facelift surgery back in 2006—she’s a realtor and, according to reports, she had the facelift to be able to compete with younger real estate agents. The facelift didn’t go so well, and so sued for malpractice. But then a strange thing happened at court—she not only won, she won big: to the tune of over $1.2 million. Probably small solace for all she’d been through.
Regardless, she’s the center of attention again in 2009 because her case has become the center of a new case—the one in which her attorneys have asked the Georgia State Supreme Court to overturn a state law that caps damages in medical malpractice lawsuits at $350,000. (If you’re doing the math, yes, Betty’s settlement was greater than the $350k cap).
Now, here’s the irony. As any curious blogger would do, I went to check out Betty online. And I found her real estate site—she’s with Prudential. And as I’m scrolling…ta da!…there it is: a nice-sized display ad for SunTrust mortgages.
And I’m thinking of another set of septagenarians and beyond who allegedly found their SunTrust HELOC accounts frozen. And I’m wondering if Betty knew about that situation. And I’m just thinking of the irony…older real estate agent feels potential age discrimination in the marketplace, has botched facelift, sues, wins, displays advertising from company that allegedly, sorta kinda may have engaged in a bit of age discrimination…
God bless Betty and all she’s been through; and God help all those folks still waiting on answers from SunTrust…
Maybe it’s just me, but it kind of seems like no one who’s put their trust in SunTrust can actually trust that they are being taken care of by SunTrust. Ok, that was a mouthful. But let’s do a little ‘splaining and it’ll all make sense.
First, there were the clients who said that their SunTrust HELOC accounts had been frozen or decreased with no justification or warning—sad, but unfortunately not the first time a company has been accused of treating its clients improperly (when will these companies learn?) Also not surprising is that these clients have taken to the courts in an attempt to tell SunTrust that they are just not gonna take this lying down.
Now comes news that SunTrust faces a lawsuit, not from clients but from employees, saying the company violated ERISA laws by breaching its fiduciary duty to people involved in the company’s investment plans, profit sharing retirement plans or SunTrust Banks stock. Read the rest of this entry »
HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) accounts hit critical mass this week—or so it would seem if you’ve been following the legal news. Here’s the low-down on the HELOC trifecta:
Issue: Disappearing HELOC accounts with no real warning and, more importantly, no apparent reason. Lawsuit’s been filed. Part of issue—the pull on the heartstrings part–is that many of those affected by the allegedly freezing of accounts are elderly.
Issue: Reduced HELOC account balance due to improper use of a faulty computer model. Plaintiff Michael Hickman also claims Wells Fargo failed to properly notify him of the HELOC reduction. Hickman’s suit is seeking class action status.
Issue: Frozen HELOC accounts based on falsified home appraisals that showed decreasing home values to justify the freeze. Class action lawsuit plaintiff Pascal Majon alleges his account was frozen while the value of his home did not decline. The lawsuit also alleges that Chase did not provide customers with legally required notice of the impending freeze.