Attorney General Dow,
I am writing to ask that you open an investigation into Bank of America in order to protect New Jersey homeowners.
My district offices have received many complaints from constituents who have had problems obtaining loan modifications and who felt as if they were also misled and misinformed by Bank of America regarding their loan and their realistic chances for modification. As of July 2010, almost 5,000 homes in New Jersey had been foreclosed upon. This large number begs the question of how many foreclosures could have been avoided were lenders like Bank of America acting forthrightly with their customers.
Bank of America is being charged by several states, most recently Arizona and Nevada, for being a predatory lender and misleading their customers in search of loan modifications. These practices have resulted in extra penalty fees, increased debt, and foreclosure for many Americans. Customers were misled to believe they needed to be in default in order to qualify for loan modifications. Many were assured they qualified for a loan modification, only to be told days or weeks later that they were ultimately denied. Lawsuits filed in Arizona and Nevada also allege that Bank of America falsified reasons to deny customers loan modifications. In addition to the lawsuits being pursued by Arizona and Nevada, there is simultaneously a multi-state investigation into Bank of America's actions being led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
The 111th Congress spent the last two years fighting abusive lending practices perpetrated by Big Banks. We fought hard to keep working families in their homes amidst a housing crisis, all due to the irresponsibility of lenders and banks. My constituents, and many Americans, have seen their lives destroyed by Bank of America and others banks' questionable practices.
It is my hope that your investigation will result in helping these customers keep their homes and prevent loss of home for customers in the future. Meanwhile, I will continue to work on the federal level to stop these egregious acts by lenders that only serve to hurt the customer and my constituents.
If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Albanese in my office at (202) 225 4671 or at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress