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Lawsuit: BofA paid bonuses for foreclosures

Former employees claim that they received cash and gift cards for denying loan modifications to qualified borrowers

Six former Bank of America (BofA) employees have accused the bank of intentionally driving homeowners into foreclosure, and then rewarding workers who did so with cash bonuses and gift cards.

The allegations emerged in court papers filed as part of a class action suit from BofA borrowers in 26 states. According to the ex-employees, BofA instructed them workers to stall loan assistance applications and lie to eligible homeowners about the status of their mortgage payments in an effort to disqualify them from the government-run Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

These tactics reportedly resulted in homeowners being forced into foreclosure on in-house loan modifications, both of which make BofA more money than the federal program. The bank allegedly rewarded employees who put 10 or more accounts into foreclosure in a month with a $500 bonus, while punishing those who failed to meet their foreclosure quotas.

“We were regularly drilled that it was our job to maximize fees for the bank by fostering and extending delay of the HAMP modification process by any means we could,” Simone Gordon, a former loss mitigation specialist at the bank, said in a statement, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The bank, meanwhile, adamantly denies its ex-employees’ allegations. "We continue to demonstrate our commitment to assisting customers who are at risk of foreclosure and, at best, these attorneys are painting a false picture of the bank's practices and the dedication of our employees," BofA spokesman Rick Simon said in a statement. "While we will address the declarations in more depth when we file our opposition to plaintiffs' motion next month, suffice it is to say that each of the declarations is rife with factual inaccuracies."

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the mortgage crisis, see:

NY AG sues HSBC for violating foreclosure laws

Bank of America mortgage deal goes before judge

MBIA settles with Bank of America over allegedly defective mortgages

NY AG plans to sue Bank of America, Wells Fargo

Fraud allegations cannot reopen voluntarily dismissed foreclosure cases

Alanna Byrne

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