Well, the 'net is buzzing once again with news of the latest screw-up by Bank of America. Seems that they took possession on the wrong house...again. My question is: how does a thing like this keep happening with the same company over and over again?
This time, it's Angela Iannelli of Gibsonia, PA just north of Pittsburgh who is the victim of BoA's gaffe. But she's not taking things lying down and has filed suit against the bank.
"If you or I did to Bank of America what Bank of America did to my client, we would be in prison for 10 years," says attorney Michael Rosenzweig, a partner at Edgar Snyder & Associates, the law firm which represents Ms. Iannelli.
The suit, filed Monday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, alleges that the bank's third-party contractor Snyder Property Services of Ebensburg, PA damaged her furniture, cut off the utilities to the house, put dangerous chemicals in the drains and water fixtures, removed Ms. Iannelli's pet parrot and padlocked the house.
According to Attorney Rosenzweig, the contractor "[t]ook her family pet of 10 years and denied any involvement in it for over a week before they finally told her how she could seek retrieval of her pet." She did eventually get her parrot back, but had to drive to Ebensburg, Cambria County some 80 miles away to do so. Ms. Iannelli says that she has always made her payments on time and that her mortgage has never been in default. Under Pennsylvania law, a lender must give a 10-day notice before entry of default and notice of intent to foreclose at least 60 days before any proceedings are initiated.
This isn't the first time Bank of America has pulled a stunt like this. Similar cases in Florida and Texas have resulted in a spate of lawsuits against the mortgage giant, which recently took ownership of Countrywide Financial. One guy whose home was wrongfully siezed doesn't even have a mortgage with BoA.
I could see this happening in an isolated incident, after all, with all the foreclosure activity taking place, someone was bound to get careless. But my question is how does a thing like this keep happening over and over again, and with the same lender? Who at Bank of America is responsible for seeing to it that proper procedure is being followed? A little due diligence on the part of the contractor could have gone a long way toward avoiding a lot of hassles for Ms. Iannelli and the others as well. Maybe I'm thinking too much like a researcher, but it seems to me that a trip to the local courthouse to verify the defaulting borrower's name and address could have prevented this from happening. For its part, BoA says it's "sincerely sorry" for the mixup and says it has "zero tolerance for this kind of error."
Yeah, and as Dr. Phil would say, "how's that workin' for ya?"