One Afghanistan War veteran is claiming that he might have trouble paying for his daughter's wedding thanks to Bank of America -- and he's not taking it sitting down.
John McDevitt, an Army reservist who served for one year in Afghanistan is staging a protest outside of a local BofA branch in Utica, New York after he claims the bank refused to reimburse him for supposedly fraudulent charges he incurred while on two weeks leave in Athens, Greece, WKTV, a local NBC affiliate reports.
McDevitt says he was charged more than $25,000 by an Athens nightclub even though he claims he only bought a few drinks there, but BofA's investigation has conluded that he'll have to take the charges up with the Greek merchant if he hopes to recoup the lost funds, according to WKTV. The loss is that much more painful since McDevitt says he planned to use that money for his daughter's wedding.
McDevitt is just one of many veterans operating on a tight budget. More than one-third of military families struggle to pay monthly bills, while 27 percent face credit card debts over $10,000, according to a 2010 military survey. In addition, the unemployment rate for veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq averaged 12.1 percent in 2011 compared to 8.7 percent for the overall population.
McDevitt's story isn't just one of the financial woes facing military families, it also adds to a barrage of recent reports from consumers claiming they've been wronged by BofA. In at least one case, BofA allegedly hounded a consumer to pay off a debt she'd already settled, American Banker reports.
And in another example, a man who had already filed for bankruptcy protection was called by the bank 38 times, ultimately resulting in him being awarded $12,500 in emotional distress damages.
But how much longer the nation's second largest bank will wield so much power remains to be seen. A recent report from bank analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods contends that big banks once deemed too big to fail may soon be broken up by regulators. Currently, BofA has over $2 trillion in assets.
But it's not always fraud reimbursement that's getting big banks in trouble. Just look at these foreclosure fails:
After she and her husband were allegedly duped into a bad loan, California mom Sheri Prizant faced the possibility of being evicted from her home on Mother's Day, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/11/sheri-prizant-eviction-mothers-day_n_1507681.html?1336741860" target="_hplink">MSNBC</a> reports.
Richard Castaldo survived the shooting at Columbine High School 13 years ago and now he is fighting to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/richard-castaldo-columbine-foreclosure-occupy-la_n_2198146.html?utm_hp_ref=business" target="_hplink">rescue his home from foreclosure</a>. The people of Occupy Los Angeles are helping Castaldo and others like him to save their homes.
The USDA foreclosed on 78-year-old Texas resident Alicia Ramirez, reportedly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/alicia-ramirez-cancer-eviction_n_1747933.html?utm_hp_ref=business" target="_hplink">after she was diagnosed with cancer.</a> While the USDA has thus far allowed Ramirez to remain in her home, a court order evicting the senior citizen could be issued at any time.
The Vercher family of Woodstock, Georgia, offered to give away a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/vercher-family-woodstock-craigslist-foreclosed_n_2017738.html?1351188857" target="_hplink">number of household items in a Craigslist ad</a> after their house was foreclosed on. Instead, they ended up losing nearly all of their belongings when people began taking items from inside the house.
Terminal breast cancer patient Cindi Davis could no longer keep up with her mortgage payments due to the cost of her medical bills. Faced with media scrutiny, her lender <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/wells-fargo-forecloses-cancer-patient-cindi-davis_n_1883956.html?1347635836" target="_hplink">Wells Fargo told a local radio station it was seeking "assistance"</a> for Davis just weeks before setting the date to auction her home for December 19th, 2012.
Descendants of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler have been hit hard by the housing bust with their <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/candler-family-foreclosure-losses_n_1890911.html?1347906436" target="_hplink">real estate development company losing $37.5 million to foreclosure since the Great Recession began</a>. (Pictured: the former mansion of Coca-Cola heir Asa Griggs "Buddy" Candler, Jr.)
Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa of Connecticut <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/bank-of-america-foreclosure_n_802861.html" target="_hplink">were threatened with foreclosure by Bank of America</a> after never missing a payment. BofA mistakenly told credit agencies they were seeking a loan modification. "Now I am literally and financially paying for it," Baitch told <a href="http://ctwatchdog.com/finance/bank-of-americas-christmas-present-foreclose-even-though-not-a-payment-missed" target="_hplink">CTWatchdog.com</a>.
Facing foreclosure, Perry Laspina of Jacksonville, Florida ended up with a home practically for free after his mortgage lender was shut down by parent company Wells Fargo, <a href="http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/04/14/foreclosure-foul-up-wins-man-a-free-home/" target="_hplink">AOL Real Estate reports</a>. Laspina got the home "because of the significant decreased value of the property," a bank spokesman said.
In Boynton Beach, Florida, Bank of America filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the owner of a building that houses one of its own branches, <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2011/05/27/foreclosure-roundup.html?page=all" target="_hplink">South Florida Business Journal reports</a>.
A Massachusetts man was told he'd <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/08/massachusetts-homeowner-receives-foreclosure_n_872518.html" target="_hplink">face foreclosure unless he paid an outstanding mortgage payment worth $0.00</a>. "I'm going to write a check to them for zero dollars and have it clear? I couldn't help but laugh," he joked with local <a href="http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/i_team/I-Team:Man-gets-a-$0-foreclosure-notice" target="_hplink">News 22 WWLP</a>.
Chris Boudreau of Brooksville, Florida <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/florida-home-ransacked_n_890656.html" target="_hplink">told local news that his house was ransacked by his mortgage company</a>, 21st Mortgage Corporation, who he says even shredded his wife's wedding dress. "When she saw what happened...she was crying her eyes out," <a href="http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/article/199268/8/Mans-home-trashed-by-mortgage-company" target="_hplink">he told WTSP 10 News</a>.
A senior couple in Pasco County, Florida faced foreclosure not for missing payments, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/22/senior-florida-couple-faces-foreclosure-mortgage-early_n_933147.html" target="_hplink">but for making one too early</a>. According to a Bank of America representative, they made themselves ineligible for a mortgage modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program when they did not make their payment in the "month in which it [was] due."
Property developer Kent Swig and his soon-to-be ex-wife Elizabeth faced foreclosure from their apartment at 740 Park Avenue, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/26/foreclosure-hits-property-developer-billionaire-building_n_937676.html" target="_hplink">a New York City address often cited as "the world's richest apartment building."</a>
Brian and Khanklink Pyron of Houston, Texas were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/10/brian-khanklink-pyron-foreclosure_n_1003339.html" target="_hplink">threatened with foreclosure despite keeping current on their payments due to an untransferred title</a>. "We did everything we were supposed to do," Brian Pyron told <a href="http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/local/110926-family-hit-by-surprise-foreclosure?CMP=201110_emailshare" target="_hplink">MyFoxHouston</a>.
Brad Gana, of Seabrook, Texas was threatened with foreclosure by Bank of America even though his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/foreclosure-crisis-bank-of-america-hurricane-ike_n_1068080.html" target="_hplink">house had been completely destroyed years earlier in Hurricane Ike</a>. "Bank of America is ruthless in their incompetency," <a href="http://www.click2houston.com/news/Bank-Forecloses-On-Home-Destroyed-By-Ike/-/1735978/4718190/-/vpooliz/-/index.html" target="_hplink">he told Houston 2 News</a>.
Utah's Shantell Curtis and her family were threatened with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/bofa-foreclosure-missing-1-already-sold-home_n_1074538.html" target="_hplink">foreclosure by Bank of America on a home they had already sold years prior</a>. On top of that, the whole episode concerned the matter of just a $1 coding error.
George Knapp, chief investigative reporter for Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS, found he was a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/foreclosure-crisis-investigative-reporter-george-knapp-victims_n_1119480.html?ref=business" target="_hplink">victim of the very brand of foreclosure fraud he was investigating</a> for a news report. Him being the reporter, the episode put him in a "very weird spot," <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/als-morning-meeting/153585/local-tv-station-tackles-mortgage-mess-as-investigative-reporter-discovers-hes-a-victim-too/" target="_hplink">he told the Poynter Insitute</a>.
Robert Galanida, a 41-year-old man paralyzed from the shoulders down, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/12/bank-of-america-sends-false-statements-paralyzed-eviction_n_1202463.html" target="_hplink">battled Bank of America for nearly a decade</a> because it repeatedly sent him false statements threatening foreclosure.
In January 2012, actor Tracy Morgan reportedly refused to give his mother <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/tracy-morgan-foreclosure-mother_n_1244641.html" target="_hplink">$25,000 she needed to avoid foreclosure</a>, instead offering only $2,000.
The Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta was sold at a foreclosure auction in February after its landlord, BentleyForbes, could no longer afford mortgage payments, <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-14/american-foreclosure-bottoms-at-atlanta-tower-auction-mortgages.html" target="_hplink">BusinessWeek reports</a>. BofA <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/10/bank-of-america-plaza-foreclosure_n_1197040.html" target="_hplink">was a tenant in the building at the time</a> but had no other connection besides sharing the tower's ironic name.
Even while it promoted a February 2012 campaign to "fulfill" the "vision" of Martin Luther King Jr., <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/helen-bailey-foreclosure_n_1260078.html?ref=foreclosure-crisis" target="_hplink">JPMorgan Chase threatened 78-year-old civil rights activist Helen Bailey with foreclosure</a>. The bank ultimately allowed Bailey to stay in her home indefinitely after Occupy Nashville helped bring national attention to the issue, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/14/425255/helen-bailey-foreclosure/" target="_hplink">Think Progress</a> reports.
Despite being billed as "cosmopolitan living for ages 60+," the luxury <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/fox-hill-foreclosure_n_1314970.html" target="_hplink">Fox Hill Senior Condominiums was threatened with foreclosure</a> in March after its lenders said they were backing out.
David Englett was charged with fines by the city of Arlington, Texas for not mowing the lawn of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/david-englett_n_1317276.html" target="_hplink">a house he had already lost to foreclosure years earlier</a>.
Texana Hollis was evicted from her home due to foreclosure in September 2011, then <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/22/texana-hollis-evicted-detroit-woman_n_1222452.html?ref=foreclosure-crisis" target="_hplink">denied a subsequent promise that she could move back in</a> by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It wasn't until April 2012 that <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57409700/texana-hollis-evicted-at-101-allowed-back-home/" target="_hplink">she was finally granted permission to return to the home</a> she's lived in for 60 years.
According to Pamela Flores, an Atlanta homeowner, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/bank-america-foreclosure-miss-mortgage-payment_n_1414988.html" target="_hplink">Bank of America advised her to stop making payments</a> on her loan in order to negotiate a modification. After doing so, the bank foreclosed on her anyway, claiming she'd missed a trial payment
Dirma Rodriguez and her disabled daughter<a href="https://editorial.huffingtonpost.com/entry/?blog_id=2&entry_id=1423883" target="_hplink"> were forced to flee their home in minutes</a> after Bank of America sold it to a flipper at a foreclosure auction, even though the bank had already modified her loan. But not all hope is lost; Rodriguez may get her home back after the Occupy Fights Foreclosure movement intervened.