Dear Bank of America,
How are you? Good? That's nice. Let me tell you how I am. Better yet, let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a family bought their first home and they said, "It's good." The years went by and America began to fail. The jobs went away, the money went away and the government turned a blind eye. Then, in what seemed like a miracle, the government said, "We'll help you, Americans!" We thought, "Finally!". Sadly, the government only had eyes for you, the Big Bank. You got your bailout and we got...nothing. No jobs, no money, no bacon. Then, the government said, "The banks will help you, Americans!". You were supposed to help us keep our homes. You were supposed to do the right thing and help our economy get back on its feet.
But you didn't. Shame on you.
The government enacted programs like, Making Homes Affordable and The Hardest Hit Fund. Your job was to work with homeowners that wanted to keep their homes. But you know what? You suck at your job. As it turns out, you were only interested in "helping" homeowners who had crazy interest rates or adjustable rates or balloon payments or in other words, homeowners with bad loans that banks like YOU gave them in the first place. Your plan of action? Foreclose on the house and write it off for your own benefit. It's a win-win for you, isn't it? You write off the loss and then sell the house at a ridiculous price.
Shame on you.
My family wasn't one of the favored ones. Our loan was a good loan. A fixed loan with a low interest rate. Seems pretty great, right? Not so much. Remember the part about no jobs? My husband was in danger of losing his job, so we took a huge risk and opened our own business. By the grace of God, our business was successful. I can feed my kids and pay our bills but there's a little, tiny problem. It's a stretch every month to do so. We looked at our finances and thought, "This is not good.", so we asked for help. For the next 2 years, we "worked" with a Bank of America agent. And by "work", I mean submitting our paperwork and then waiting for an answer. Guess what our answer was? "Your paperwork has expired, you need to resubmit it." For 2 years we did this, because your agent would wait for the paperwork to expire and then ask for it again. In the meantime, we were getting phone calls, 4 or 5 of them a day asking when we were going to make a payment. It's kind of hard to make a payment with no money. As our business improved, we were able to catch up on payments until we were again current. Then, one day, our credit companies started sending us ominous letters in the mail. Things like, "Your credit limit has been reduced" and "We are closing your account". Once we got over our shock, we discovered that Bank of America was accepting our checks every month, cashing them and sending us new statements, but were not applying them to our account. The result? Our credit score showed that we were 5 months behind on our mortgage payments. 5 months! In the meantime, your agent still hadn't gotten our paperwork together enough to be reviewed.
Shame on you.
After many phone calls, our credit was repaired but we were removed from the modification program, ironically called, "The Hope Team" or some such nonsense. But guess what? We still couldn't afford the house. About 6 months ago, we decided to try again, but this time, we hired someone to work on our behalf. We experienced an all too familiar process. Submit, re-submit, re-submit. Wait. Re-submit. Until we finally received our modification letter in the mail. Hallelujah! Let me share with you what I opened...
"We are pleased to tell you that you are approved to enter into a Trial Period Plan under the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program." Phew! I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe we can finally get some help! Well, guess what? Bank of America is nothing if not predictable. Want to know how much you are willing to "help" us with?
Yep, your grand gesture is $30.00 a month less than what we currently pay. I'm feeling overwhelmed by your generosity. How could we ever repay you?
Shame on you.
And as an added bonus, if we decide to make these super affordable "trial payments", you are going to be reporting to the credit bureau that we are only making partial payments. So, not only have you slapped us in the face with your ever so generous $30.00 savings, you are going to spank our credit in the process.
So thanks, Bank of America. Thanks for proving once again that Middle Class America will always get shanked and that your Big Bank and all it's executives will continue to profit from our loss. I hope you enjoy your dirty money, you earned it.
Very Truly Yours,
Middle Class America