After 700 harassing robocalls from Bank of America, couple wins $1 million judgment

(Graphic courtesy of Publicdomainvectors.org)

(Graphic courtesy of Publicdomainvectors.org)

From Good Morning America, here’s a story about a couple who won a $1 million judgment against Bank of America for subjecting them to some 700 threatening robo-calls over a period of four years, in response to late mortgage payments:

Bank of America is being forced to hand over more than $1 million to a Florida couple after the bank flooded them with hundreds of loan collection calls for years – the latest example of alleged behavior that has cost the bank tens of millions.

In a complaint filed in July, attorneys for Nelson and Joyce Coniglio said that the couple had been on the receiving end of “patterns of outrageous, abusive and harassing conduct” by a subsidiary of Bank of America that included 700 calls in four years, after the bank said the couple fell behind on mortgage loan payments in 2009. The Coniglios also received “threatening collection letters asserting false and misleading information,” the complaint said.

The couple sent multiple letters from legal representation asking the bank to stop, but the calls — sometimes up to five a day — continued. The complaint describes automated calls leaving repeated pre-recorded messages.

Incredibly, a Bank of America vice president told ABC that the calls were meant to “help them avoid foreclosure,” adding that BoA “has helped 2 million homeowners avoid foreclosure.” This claim alone gets a special chutzpah award! Bank of America’s own former employees have submitted written testimony stating the company rewarded workers who put homeowners into foreclosure, as this 2013 piece from ProPublica explains. In addition, as reported in the full GMA article, harassment of this nature from Bank of America and its affiliates is hardly unique.

Surely there are more humane and ethical ways of doing business. In BoA’s case, the same corporate arrogance that helped to fuel the economic meltdown in the first place continues, backed by hollow and disingenuous attempts to explain these practices.

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