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Bank Of America Forecloses On Pamela Flores' House After Telling Her To Miss Payments

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/10/2012 12:10 pm Updated: 04/10/2012 1:40 pm

Bofa Foreclosure

Here's how Pamela Flores tells it: A couple years ago, she found that she couldn't keep making mortgage payments on her Atlanta house.

She says she then tried to get a loan modification, according to CBS Atlanta. Instead, Bank of America advised her to stop making payments altogether so that she could qualify for the Making Home Affordable Program, a federal initiative meant to provide mortgage relief.

Flores says BofA put her on a trial plan, then told her she'd missed a payment during the trial period and rejected her application. Flores contends she made that payment. Now BofA is foreclosing on Flores's home, saying it will go up for auction in less than a month.

Flores has subsequently aligned herself with the Atlanta chapter of the Occupy movement, whose members say they are setting up a site at her house and will work to reach an agreement with the bank.

Flores is far from the first homeowner to come forward with a story like this. Since the implosion of the housing market a few years ago -- followed by a spike in unemployment -- millions of people have been looking for ways to cope with mortgages that they suddenly can't maintain.

In many cases, banks have advised struggling homeowners to miss payments in order to qualify for a loan modification -- only to turn around and foreclose on the homeowner instead. The same thing allegedly happened to Frank and Deana Dixon of Scituate, Massachusetts and Annette Lake of Santa Clara, the latter also dealing with BofA. The practice is so common that it was one of the central subjects of a Senate banking committee hearing in December 2010.

Flores's case is also the latest public-relations snafu for BofA, which has been at the center of a litany of homeowner horror stories since the housing crisis took hold.

The bank has foreclosed or threatened to foreclose on homeowners who have never missed payments, in some cases putting those homeowners through months of unnecessary court battles.

In another case, in 2009, BofA contractors entered the home of Angela Iannelli, a borrower who was believed to be in default. The contractors padlocked Iannelli's doors, cut off the electricity and water and confiscated her parrot. The bank later apologized, admitting that they'd made an error and Iannelli was not actually in default.

And last summer, BofA mistakenly foreclosed on a retired Florida couple whose only crime was to make a mortgage payment a week early and file another payment online without a signature. The foreclosure was eventually halted.

As for Pamela Flores, BofA sent a statement to CBS Atlanta saying it never got the disputed payment and has made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Flores. The bank says it will keep trying to reach out to Flores to consider her for a loan modification.

Check out some other foreclosure fails:

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  • Mom Evicted On Mother's Day

    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.

  • Columbine Shooting Survivor Fighting Foreclosure With Occupy LA's Help

    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.

  • USDA Forecloses On 78-Year-Old Cancer Patient

    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.

  • Foreclosure Victims Lose Belongings After Free Yard Sale Goes Wrong

    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.

  • Wells Fargo Offers Cancer Patient 'Assistance' Then Forecloses

    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.

  • Coca-Cola Heirs Lose $37.5 Million To Foreclosure

    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.)

  • CT Family Never Missed A Payment

    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>.

  • Man Gets Free Home After Lender Shutdown

    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.

  • BofA Forecloses On Building With Own Branch Office

    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>.

  • Threatened Over $0.00 Unpaid Mortgage Payment

    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>.

  • Home Allegedly Ransacked By Mortgage Company

    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>.

  • Mortgage Payment Made Too Early

    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."

  • Foreclosure In 'World's Richest Apartment Building'

    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>

  • Untransferred Title Leads To Unfair Foreclosure

    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>.

  • Foreclosure On Hurricane-Destroyed Home

    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>.

  • $1 Coding Error Leads To Foreclosure

    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.

  • Investigative Journalist Becomes Foreclosure Victim

    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>.

  • BofA Falsely Threatens Paralyzed Man With Foreclosure

    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.

  • Tracy Morgan Refuses Mother Foreclosure Help

    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.

  • Bank Of America Plaza Foreclosure

    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.

  • JPMorgan Tries To Foreclose On Civil Rights Activist

    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.

  • Foreclosure At Luxury Retirement Home

    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.

  • Man Fined For Not Mowing His Old Lawn

    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>.

  • 101-Year-Old Woman Evicted From Home

    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.

  • BofA Forecloses On Woman After Telling Her To Miss Payments

    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

  • Mother, Disabled Daughter Forced Out Of Home Even After BofA Modification

    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.

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