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Force-Placed Insurance Lawsuit Seeks Class-Action Status

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Encino, CAA force-placed insurance lawsuit filed against Bank of America seeks class-action status. The lawsuit, filed in California in 2012 by Christopher Gustafson, alleges Bank of America provided force-placed insurance from its own affiliates at a high cost to the borrower while receiving fees, payments or commissions from force-placed insurance providers. Force-placed insurance lawsuits have been filed against a variety of banks alleging the banks engaged in abusive and unfair practices.

According to court documents (case number SACV-11-00915-JST-AN, United States District Court, Central District of California), Christopher Gustafson filed his lawsuit against Bank of America alleging “unlawful, abusive and unfair practices with respect to force-placed insurance…” The lawsuit notes that when borrowers do not maintain their hazard insurance policies, mortgage loan servicers replace those insurance policies with force-place policies, which are typically more expensive than the original policies but have less coverage. Finally, the mortgage loan servicer allegedly receives financial gain in the form of fees, payments or commissions for using the force-placed insurance.

“Further, such policies often provide unnecessary or duplicative coverage, in that they are improperly backdated to collect premiums for time periods during which the mortgagor has absolutely no risk of loss,” the lawsuit alleges. Ultimately, force-placed insurance makes more money for the loan servicer, costs the homeowner more money with less protection and forces borrowers to pay for insurance that is unnecessary. The defendants do this without any attempt to provide competitive pricing for the insurance, the lawsuit alleges, but makes money off the transaction, constituting “exploitative profiteering and self-dealing” and a violation of mortgage contracts.

The lawsuit alleges that Bank of America used a force-placed insurance policy on his mortgage with a premium of $1,045, almost two times the original insurance premium of $614. Furthermore, the coverage exceeded the lender’s stake in the property because the coverage was for more than $76,000, where as the outstanding balance on the loan was for less than $48,000.

Other lenders have also faced lawsuits concerning their use of force-placed insurance and their failure to disclose that they received a fee or commission for using such insurance, which provides an incentive to go with prearranged policies rather than offering competitive solutions or allowing the borrower to have input into the conditions of the policy.

READ ABOUT FORCE-PLACE INSURANCE LAWSUITS

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I am currently fighting Bank of America with a forced placed insurance issue. I would sure like to speak to some one about this matter.

Posted by

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We have a loan that was bought by Bof A in 2007. The first time the home owners ins came up-they put the FORCED Insurance deal on us. We were current, and we were paying money to the eacrow account. My point is YES they LOVE the forced ins.money grab. Fast forward to 2008 ,the bottom fell out of real estate market in Fla. we quit making payments. Yes, OUR Friends at Bof A did the ''lender provided'' insurance ~4X the amount we were paying when we bought the place. If no one is doing a class action in FLORIDA -somebody should!

Posted by

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I am writing this to the authors of this letter from the Chicago Tribune. My name is Mark DeMarcus from North Carolina. The contents of your report regarding bank of america are so accurate. The bank told so many lies and advised my wife and I to commit Federal financial banking fraud to get help with a lie they initiated to begin with. I do not want to take up your time when I realize so many people have been damaged as well as us. Band of America did the same thing to us when we did not "ever" have a lapse in our homeowners. They invented it and by doing so they caused our payment to go up 900.00 a month. When we would not pay the escalated amount and tried to work it out proving and faxing our proof to them over 40 times there reeky was always we did not receive it. This infuriated my insurance agent so much we watched his office fax the document or proof over 3 times from "his" office. Of course BOA , which are the best "buck passers" under the sun kept lying to us it made our payments reflect that we were late. Our regular homeowners insurance was around 740.00 a year. Bank of America raised the premium to 5,000.00 a year. This action was followed by the onslaught of weekly threatening mail stating they were foreclosing on our home when we had never missed a payment. This action resulted in watching my family fall apart, my wife's constantly scared and crying and the pressure almost pushed me to the point of ending my life. We are not anywhere near alone. I developed systemic lupus, rheumatory arthritis, along with many other health issues. I cannot describe what the fear of losing your home over lie after lie does to a person. This went on while we applied for a modification because of a mistake they made and continued over 7 times in four years, All I can relate this activity to is describing it to someone putting a gun up to your head and continually pulling the trigger without a shell being discharged. After writing there CEO Brian Monihan, "begging" for theme to be truthful and solve this as well as requesting him to stop passing the buck of course that was his first move. The contact did "email me" and his name was Marvin Sinclair. This is the gentleman I recorded advising us to commit banking fraud by doing something we never did. Miss a payment. Actually two of them. That would be the only way they would help us get the loan they LIED about to begin with. We just want as promised a "principal and interest" loan that was promised but later found out the loan officer Bill Athey in CHarlotte NC wanted to make another commission by making us refinance again in a period of four weeks, pay another appraiser, as well as closing costs that were astronomical all so he could receive another commission. When Marvin Sinclair advised us to miss two payments so he could do the modification they finally did it but after repeated phone calls would not for any reason provide us with any type of disclosure notice about the loan. I have contacted federal agencies and friends in DC from the US Department of Justice to Fannie Mae, to Senator Mary Rapture, to four other offices that dealt with this for us; None of them but Ms Rapture tried to help us and she could not for we are from North Carolina. The senator from our district at the time Mr Larry Kissel's office was kind and gave us lip service but never helped us. Fannie Mae advised me that the reason Bank of America was so eager to foreclose was because if they succeeded that Fannie Mae would reimburse Bank of America 85% of the balance for :their " troubles, Good lord.. That is our tax money they are using to steal from folks. Sp help me god this is the truth and if not so help me lightning strike me down now. This has been thrown on my wife for I cannot work and want to. Had too much "pride" to get disability": for I thought I would get better and then found out I waited to long. When I heard John Keenedy say as a child "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" it inspired me and I would rather eat dog food that eat steak and be in submission from the federal govt. I love my country but when I find out through countless provable hour upon hour of research and investigation that our government seems to be allowing these banking institutions to literally "STEAL" from its citizens then who are we supposed to turn to.?? WHo? And though that investigation determine that members of our government strategically placed from Wall Street To washington are doing nothing but "sleeping" with these thieves I can promise you it is about too much to bear. Bank of America honestly stole over 49,000.00 from us originally and then when they finally called to "congratulate " us on our modification they would never disclose I learned why. They increased the payment instead of "helping" us. And if that was not enough for the greedy people they increased the amount of years from 18 years to 40 years they actually stole my home from us. No one would help and we still cannot get any help. I do not collect disability or take one penny from not one and I mean not one penny of help from ANY type of program or "entitlement" I think they call it out of a realization that maybe others need it more then enough is enough. They have stolen our home. Added over 19000.00 in fees to "close" our loan modification and got away with it without any official from our government saying one word on our behalf. So whose side is our government on. Certainly not the people of this country. Perhaps Pakistan that harbors terrorists with 3 billion in aide but not folks that have to do without food at times to survive. Plenty of people are there with outstretched hands to take money from us we do not have but not one of them will help us. Can I legally go and rob a bank of america for our money back without being shot or jailed. No... THe only reason it dawned on me to write a newspaper for I thought perhaps they should have integrity that has long left any financial institution in our country. All of my family is dead and we do not want to take anything from anyone that is not ours. All we are asking for is help and that came in the way of a legal robbery with placed individuals in our government that evidently need 5 more mercedes benz's or 5 extra vacation homes. Why can this not stop? When did truth, honesty, integrity and doing the right thing become what appears to be a crime in this country.? Why do hardworking people in this country are currently being stolen from yet folks seem to only care about themselves and there needs instead of doing there jobs and actually "REPRESENT" the constituents that placed them in office.? I have worked my fanny off all of my life, and tried so hard to be kind, honest and truthful to folks I have ever came in contact with yet I am treated back with disbelief and called a "phony" at my care and consideration for them.? What did my small family do to deserve treatment and lies and phone calls never returned and allowed this type of behavior from bank of america. They lied over a loan and got away with it. They committed fraud to steal thousands from my already poor and starving family for they know we cannot afford an attorney to help us as well. Im not laughing. What would happen to me to rob them back of our money they stole? How would anyone in this country feel if they could not take care of the family they love yet still get victimized by a lying and cheating financial institution as well as Washington officials that have better things to do then help us. I saw your article and as a last resort wanted to beg someone for some help with this problem. I don;t know what else to do? Please help us. I have not embellished or lied about one thing in this reply, I am ashamed that my country I believe in will allow this and say they can;t and will not care? Ruin our credit reports for errors and will not do one thing to make it right.? Please help us or direct us on who to talk with that :"will" help us. There is more I could tell but I really don't think anyone out there would ever even read this. If they do and can please help us can they. What did we do to deserve to do this? Told the truth and was honest. If anyone anywhere can help us with any type of information on someone that will help us could they please email me at sundance1@carolina.rr.com or call me at 980 622 3101? U thank you so much if you can.
regards
LM DeMarcus

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