Abigail Field at Daily Finance regularly presents clear, revealing analyses of the games mortgage servicers, banks and other predators in the mortgage industry play, but she outdid herself this week. She dug into Bank of America’s effort to make life easier for the important folks by issuing a special telephone number for legislators, their families, staff and constituents reaching out to them for help.
In short, Bank of America confirmed Halperin’s story: It is empowering legislators with the seemingly godlike power to get BofA to fix a homeowner’s mortgage modification. But in order to preserve the godlike nature of that power, no one else can have access to the number, not even people who most need it — like lawyers representing people struggling to get modification problems with the bank solved. It’s worth noting BoA’s press releases didn’t say anything about the special hot line number.
BofA’s letter to legislators concludes: “Your constituents, our customers, deserve a direct response to their concerns regarding their mortgage needs. This communication is just another effort on our part to ensure that we service their needs in an appropriate and timely fashion.”
I couldn’t agree more. With that in mind, here’s the special hot line number and e-mail address that the company reserved for legislators (and specifically requested I not publish): 888-655-7622, firstname.lastname@example.org.