Bank does not live up to motto

Osvaldo Castillo | El Observador

"Doing the Right Thing" sounds like something we should all be doing during these difficult economic times. Unfortunately, not everybody is.

According to the People Acting in Community Together organization (PACT), certain banks have not been acting appropriately and are not responsible corporate citizens. Their main target is Bank of America (BofA).

According to PACT, BofA accepted nearly $200 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout money, and as of October, 990,628 BofA borrowers were eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program. Yet, only 7 percent of BofA's eligible homeowners had their loans modified.

"We want Bank of America to know that we feel that what they are doing is wrong," said Gina Gates, "We want the public and the government to know this as well. We are targeting BofA because they are by far the worst performers."

Gates went on to say that most of BofA's customers want to modify and can modify their loans. But the response from BofA has been very vague.

"They tell us that they have a lot of customers to service, or that the paper work is not filled out correctly. Basically, they are lying to us," Gates said. "They received a lot of money from the government and have not done anything except kick people out of their homes."

PACT is asking that BofA; (1) not foreclose on a home where the owner is waiting for a modification, (2) establish a 45-day maximum time period to respond to a loan modification request, starting three days after the request is received, (3) provide transparent reports on the terms and demographics of loan modifications, and (4) create an appeals process for homeowners who were denied a loan modification.

"If BofA does not begin to change its ways, then we will move our funds to a bank that is here to serve the community," Gates said, "We will also work on encouraging other customers on doing the same."

On Friday, December 4, 2009, PACT members will be protesting Bank of America's policies at the Bank of America located a 125 S. Market St., San José.

If your home has been foreclosed or facing foerclosure, or if you just want more information, visit www.pactsj.org.

"We want people to know that they are not alone," Gates said. "We are here to help, and we have a lawyer available to help with legal issues."

Osvaldo