Dining room of typical house. March, 2011 8:30PM PST
Phone: Ring. Ring. Ring.
<Toshio picks up phone>
BoA_human1: Hello, this is Lewis at Bank of America Home Loans, calling about your account. Can you give me the last four digits of your social security number to verify your loan?
Toshio: Can I call you back to verify you are actually from Bank of America?
BoA_human1: Yes. You can call 1-800-669-0102.
Toshio: And what’s your name again?
BoA_human1: Lewis. But you can actually talk to anyone here and they’ll have this information and be able to talk to you.
<Toshio hangs up the phone. Dials 1-800-669-0102>
BoA_automated_system: Thank you for calling BAC Home loan servicing LP, the Bank of America company that services your home loan. Para español, por favor, pressione número uno. We are a debt collector. Please enter or say your account number.
<Toshio enters in the digits of his account number>
Phone: Beep beep beep beep beep.
BoA_automated_system: Okay [digit][digit][digit][digit], is that right?
BoA_automated_system: Are you an agent calling on behalf of a customer
BoA_automated_system: If you are calling to confirm if your payment has been recieved press 1 now. If you would like to pay by phone press 2 now. If you are calling to tell us when you will make a payment press 3 now.
<Toshio …. Pause… Finally hits star>
BoA_automated_system: Do you want the main menu?
BoA_automated_system: Ring. Ring.
BoA_human2: Hello, Home Retention, this is Malik can I get the last four digits of your social security number to verify your identity?
Toshio: [digit] [digit] [digit] [digit]
BoA_human2: Thank you. I see that your account can only be serviced by the advocacy department and their office closes at 5:00 PM Pacific standard time. I can give you their number to call back tomorrow.
Date of first contact with HUD approved housing counselor: June 2009
Date of initial packet for eligibility for the Home Affordable Modification Program sent to Bank of America: November 2009
Date for three trial payments: December 2009, January 2010, February 2010
Date that Bank of America sent us the “Modification Agreement” with new loan terms to sign according to the date on their letter: 19 August 2010
Date we received the “Modification Agreement” from FedEx: 23rd of August, 2010
Date we had to return it by: 29th of August 2010
Number of days spent on the telephone with Bank of America and HUD counselors trying to get answers to why there was a “Deferred Amount” of $11,852.52 : 3 days
Number of unique (does not count being transferred back to a previous phone number) Bank of America phone numbers transferred to in those 3 days: 23
Number of unique Bank of America Departments contacted by calling those numbers: 9
Date I called Bank of America to find out why we hadn’t gotten new payment coupons or a copy of the “Modification Agreement” that Bank of America had signed: December 2010
Story I got from Advocacy at Bank of America: “The underwriters have to look at the agreement and approve it.”
Information I got from talking to the company in charge of sending and receiving the Modification Agrement packets whose number was the one given on the Bank of America packet: “The packet you received was the final agreement. You’re just waiting for Bank of America to sign it and send you back the “Executed Agreement”. The underwriters have already looked at it so they just need to send you a copy.”
Story I got from Advocacy at Bank of America when I gave them the new information: “It’s with the negotiator. We’ll have them call you within 5 to 10 business days”.
Date of that phone call: end of December 2010, just before Christmas.
Today’s date: 8 March, 2011
I always do banking in bricks and mortar. It is a strange world where you are expected to operate other people’s machines!
And I believe in, you know, actually employing people…
Also, are telephone lines encrypted these days?
I’m very sorry that you’ve had to go through such difficulties. The world of mortgages is such a mess these days, but banks have the responsibility to employ people who can help lenders. I hope your situation can be resolved well for you and your family.