My neighbor tried to work it out with Bank of America, but couldn‘t

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To: Joe L. Price, Bank of America

My name’s Heather and I live in Olympia, Washington. I lost my house last year. Kind of fair and square, really, because I had no way to pay the mortgage. I had run myself $120,000 in debt after having a brain injury and losing my ability to work. So I knew what was coming and had to prepare for it. My doctor told me to stop talking to the collections people because conversations with them were making me feel suicidal. He said that my best option was to focus on getting medically stable so that moving wouldn’t kill me.

My neighbor Heather was also losing her house, and it made me curious because she was actually making money at the time. Maybe not enough money to pay the entire mortgage, but some. She had tried to negotiate with Bank of America, but they weren’t able to deal with her and kept sending people out to threaten her. She started drinking a lot. At the time I had accepted my fate and I was feeling a lot calmer about it. So I talked to her to console her and help her through it. She finally did lose her house in December 2010. I did too.

Now the two houses from the two Heathers sit empty. Mine was bought by a real estate investor. He is trying to fix it up to make it into a rental property, but it’s taking more time than he anticipated. Hers is still for sale. That’s right. B of A could have collected some portion of a mortgage from my neighbor, but didn’t want to.

I don’t understand the logic of your employer, Joe. You all had a chance to have my neighbor try to pay her mortgage, but you didn’t take it. That seems weird. In my case, I was just some lady with brain damage and huge medical debt who might die, so I can see how the bank might want to get me out of the way so they could move forward and get a mortgage payment going as soon as they could. But you all really could have had a mortgage payment from my neighbor who had her mortgage with you.

I’m wondering, Joe, if you are seeing where all this foreclosure activity is getting us. For me, it has given me a somewhat macabre sense of humor. If your only priority over at B of A is your bottom line, such practices aren’t panning out from a fiscal standpoint, and you might want to take a look at them.

Heather Duke
Olympia, WA

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