In the recession’s fallout, Bank of America has been a primary target, and the demonstrations at its shareholder meeting are just another in a long list of efforts to combat abusive banking practices. What are they protesting? Here’s a list of the top five reasons that Bank of America is being occupied:
1) Cruel and unusual foreclosure practices.: Bank of America’s foreclosure practices are something out of a science fiction novel. There’s the case of the woman and her disabled daughter who were foreclosed on, even after they’d received a loan modification; there are the homeowners that BofA offered loan modifications to if they erased mean things they said about the bank on Twitter; there’s the man who almost lost his home over an 80 cent typo, the elderly couple who were wrongly foreclosed on for paying their mortgage too early, and the man who had the destroyed remnants of his hurricane ravaged house foreclosed on.
2) Bank of America places Bank of America over its customers: Serious accusations leveled against Bank of America include the claim that Bank of America intentionally blocked its customers from seeking mortgage help (“The bank and its agents routinely pretended to have lost homeowners’ documents, failed to credit payments during trial modifications and intentionally misled homeowners about their eligibility for the program, the complaint alleged”), and that they allow homes to fall apart in areas that are heavily populated by people of color.
3) A ton of fees, for very little reason: Bank of America customers can expect to pay fees for just about anything. Recipients of unemployment insurance can get hit with fees simply for withdrawing their money. Similarly, taxpayers can find themselves paying a fee on withdrawing their tax returns in some states where the returns can be loaded onto pre-paid debit cards.
4) Bank of America is guilty of robo-signing: As recently as last year, Bank of America was still using robo-signing, the practice of approving foreclosures without verifying basic loan information. Instructions came from management to continue robo-signing, despite objections from lower-level staff.
5) While their customers suffer, the CEO at Bank of America is raking it in:
Less than a month ago, we reported that CEO Brian Moynihan got a $7.5 million pay package. Meanwhile, the company’s shareholders saw the stock lose more than half of its value. In fact, Moynihan’s pay quadrupled in 2011.