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Bank of America is willing to go to some shady lengths to keep its customers hush hush about its lending practices. The Arizona Attorney General’s office uncovered details of 12 cases in which the bank agreed to waive thousands of dollars in missed payments and modify mortgage loans in exchange for borrowers’ silence, as reported by Businessweek.
Prosecutors came across the settlements as part of an ongoing investigation into the bank’s loan modification practices.
In one case, the bank waived more than $250,000 in defaulted mortgage payments. The bank also modified the borrower’s loan to 40 years with a low two per cent interest rate.
The catch: BoA made the homeowners agree to refrain from bad-mouthing the bank in the future.
In one document, BoA requested that the borrower “remove and delete any online statements regarding this dispute, including, without limitation, postings on Facebook, Twitter and similar websites,” Businessweek said.
The bank can’t seem to stay out of the news. Last month, Bank of America agreed to pay out a $335 million settlement for predatory mortgage lending practices against African American and Latino borrowers.
And two weeks ago, the bank was fingered in a New York Attorney’s General probe of lenders who alleged overcharged customers for force-place insurance.
Bank of America did not return a request for comment at press time.
Update 12:29 p.m.
Bank of America spokesperson Jumana Bauwens released the following statement in response to our request for comment:
“We do not include non-disparage or confidentiality language in our standard loan modification agreements. In legal settlement agreements, the parties sometimes will agree to non-disparage and confidentiality language and do so on a case-by-case basis based on the negotiated resolution of the claims.”