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Monday, October 25, 2010

Lawsuits accuse lenders of sabotaging mortgage modifications

Anaheim lawyer Damian Nassiri said his firm had filed about 100 lawsuits against mortgage lenders since 2007. Earlier suits alleged that lenders misrepresented terms of mortgages or engaged in other shady practices to foist abusive loans on borrowers. Most of his firm's suits now accuse lenders of dealing in bad faith with borrowers who have become delinquent on loans.
Worse, Nassiri said, in cases where foreclosure was inevitable, banks misled borrowers into accepting trial loan modifications. The intent, he claimed, was "to get some kind of money out of them" while stalling actions to seize the homes.
"There are too many bad loans for the banks to handle, and they can't dump all these properties out on the market all at once because we would have another Depression," Nassiri said.
The BofA rebuttal
A spokeswoman for the Charlotte, N.C., bank declined to comment.
In court documents filed in one of the cases, Bank of America said the plaintiffs mistakenly believed they were guaranteed loan modifications if they made three trial payments under the government's program.
"A borrower must actually qualify, including income verification, an analysis of the modified loan's affordability and other factors," the bank said in the filings.
The loan-modification lawsuits add to enormous legal headaches for the banks.
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