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Mixed messages from the bank on modified mortgage payments

Mark Cappel
UpdatedSep 1, 2010
Key Takeaways:
  • Learn what to do when receiving mixed messages during a loan modification.
  • Know with whom to speak and what to say, when communicating with your bank.
  • Keep detailed records of all communications, to hold your bank accountable.

Do bank's foreclose on borrowers that are current on modified mortgage payments?

I applied for a home modification with Bank of America and the documents stated that my payment was now $744 instead of the normal $1700. One month later I receive letter from BOA stating that I am past due on my mortgage. I called BOA and their agent asked me why I only made a partial payment. I told her I was on a modification program. She transferred me to different department and they told me to disregard letter, but the warning letters still kept coming. I called and asked what was going on and was told to continue making my modified payments. One month later I get a call from BOA saying they were going to foreclose on me because I've only been making partial payments. Soon after that, I receive a letter from the bank stating, "You are now up to date and current on your home loan payments." Now I have two different letters telling me two different things. Something is wrong with this picture.

Thank you for your question about the confusion surrounding your home loan modification with Bank of America.

Banks are overwhelmed

You are caught in the unenviable position of being subject to a very large bank that has undergone a significant amount of change in the last three years. Bank of America is struggling with an overwhelming portfolio of mortgage borrowers with unique situations and challenges. Focus firmly on your situation and avoid focusing on Bank of America’s larger issues.

How to react to mixed messages from your bank

Since you are receiving two different messages from Bank of America, the best thing you can do now is to contact the team that facilitated your Special Forbearance agreement and work with them to get the message to the other departments in the bank that you are in their program. Bank of America is not intentionally giving you mixed messages — it is simply the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

Continue to follow through, even when frustrated

As unfair as it is, it is up to you to make sure that the collections team knows that you have a valid forbearance agreement in place for your mortgage; you should also not be held responsible for the late fees if the forbearance agreement was in place prior to you incurring those fees, and the agreement makes it clear that you are not responsible for them. Continue to contact the bank and take all the necessary steps to get your situation clarified. No matter how frustrated you get, actively fight for your interests to be protected. If you do not, no one will.


I also suggest you do the following as you make your way through this ordeal:

1) Keep in regular touch with bank and the departments (such as the Special Forbearance team) that are involved in this.

2) Keep a written log. Record the names and phone numbers of the people you are dealing with. Document the date, time, and results of your phone calls.

Finally, additional information is available on our mortgage help page and at the governments Making Home Affordable page.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.




SShoreh, Apr, 2012
Hi Bill, I have a question. Do I have any recourse in getting BoA to complete the modification they agreed to when they set up a trial payment period? The trial payments were set up for Sept, Oct, Nov of 2011 and here we are in April of 2012 and I am still making the trial payments and cannot get a response from anyone at BoA. Thank you
BBill, Apr, 2012
The answer to your question is dependent on the contract you signed with Bank of America. Take your modification contract to a lawyer in your state who has experience litigating home loan issues with mortgage servicers. You may have a cause of action (a legal reason to file a lawsuit) for breach of contract against Bank of America.
CCarmen, Feb, 2012
I had a modification with boa that was denied but on December 2011 BoA gave me a new contract and i did two payments since then. On January 30th of this year, they return my checks and said that they can not work with me. They gave me a new contract and now they are breaking the contract without a reason. I called them and they transfer me to one another without an explanation. What to do?
BBill, Feb, 2012
Consult with a lawyer in your state who has experience with real estate law, or litigating cases against mortgage servicers like Bank of America. It is unfair and illegal for Bank of America to sign a contract with you, and then two months later say, "Whoops, we did not like that contract, here is a different one." A lawyer will review your contracts and other documents and advise you accordingly. Yes, a lawyer's time is not cheap, but the cost of not standing up for your rights is very expensive.
IIsrael, Oct, 2010
Hi Bill, I need an advice. I have a condo unit in san jose california. After 2 years I be able refinance it and got approved in bank of america. A couple of months later, we decided to rent out our condo and get a bigger place but we can't afford to buy another home, so we decided to get a apartment temporarily until the value come up, hopefully. Our trouble started when my company gave me a couple of my before they shutting down our building. That time I decided to apply for a modification with bank of america. First, they told me "they cannot approve my modification because I still have a job. I ask them, how you guys going to approve my modification if I don't have a job? They didn't give me an straight answer. I knew, I'm not going to afford my appartment and a mortgage, so we decided to stay with our appartment and foreclose my condo. Until now, it's been almost 2 years they haven't foreclose my property and the down side of it, i'm still paying my hoa. My question should I continue wait for my foreclosure process?? Currently, I'm in bill consolidation too. Please help. I need your advice.... Thanks.
BBill, Oct, 2010
Your story is not unique -- I have heard other Bank of America customers tell the same tale. The mortgage servicers are overwhelmed by the avalanche of foreclosures and will eventually foreclose on your property -- unless of course the servicer lost, misfiled, or threw away the documentation for your deed of trust. In that case, foreclosure may take years because it cannot prove it has the right to do so. I have no useful observation to offer because I have no insider's knowledge of your file at Bank of America. In the meantime, it makes no sense to rent an apartment if you are paying HOA fees on the condo. Either rent the condo or occupy it.