A court recently ruled in favor of a Florida couple who were in foreclosure, and awarded them over $1 Million. Bank of America, the foreclosing bank, robo-called the couple more than 700 times over a period of several years. The judge rules BOA's conduct as a pattern of "outrageous, abusive and harrassing conduct."
Nelson and Joyce Coniglio fell behind on their mortgage payments in 2009. When BOA acquired the loan from now-defunct Countrywide, they started harrassing phone calls to the Coniglios, calling up to 5 times per day. The automated calls included many repeated, pre-recorded messages to the Coniglios.
The $1.051M award amounts to approximately $1,500 per call.
BOA responded to the settlement by stating they were not trying to collect a debt against the Coniglios, but rather to "help them avoid foreclosure after they fell behind on their mortgage payments in 2009."
To date, we at Gantenbein Law Firm have not heard of a bank so enthusiastically trying to help a homeowner in foreclosure.
Bank of America has been the subject of multiple robo-calling lawsuits, including a class action suit for $32 Million in 2013.
Unfortunately, harrassing debt-collection phone calls and robo-calling seems to be par the course for many large loan-servicing companies and debt-collection companies. Often, the only way to get them to cease and desist is to hire legal counsel. There are claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as well as Colorado rules, that may be able to protect consumers from harrassing phone calls- and award consumers monetary compensation for those abusive practices.
However, if you are trying to modify your loan, make sure to speak with your bank or lender. If the calls become merely debt harrassment calls, please contact local counsel.
Gantenbein Law Firm assists homeowners and consumers with both loan modifications and debt-collection harrassing phone calls. Call 303-618-2122 if you need assistance with your loan mod, foreclosure, or debt-collection issues.