A California homeowner sued Bank of America(BOA) in Small Claims Court after they denied his modification request and initiated the foreclosure process. Dave Graham, who lives in California, applied for a loan modification under the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which is supposed to give eligible borrowers a “permanent” five-year modification if they make reduced payments during a three-month trial period. Despite making on-time payments for over a year, Bank of America told Mr. Graham that he didn’t qualify for HAMP and that he’d lose his home unless he paid about $7,000 to make up the difference between his normal monthly payments and the reduced payments he made during the trial period.
Graham, who was solicited by BOA to apply for a HAMP modification, decided to sue the lender claiming that he was the victim of a bait- and-switch program where the lender’s collection department attempts to collect as much money from the borrower before initiating the foreclosure process. While Mr. Graham may not be able to save his home, he did gain a victory against the lender in small claims court in the amount of $7595. More important, his story has received national attention and exposed the fraudulent lender practices that have plagued loan modifications across the nation.
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