Bank of America Accused of Withholding Loan Statements, Leading to Foreclosure Threat

bank of america class action lawsuit

Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Bank Of America Stops Monthly Statements On Home Equity Lines Of Credit, Leaving Borrowers Unaware Of Ongoing Debt.

A single-mother is in fear of losing the family home she hoped to leave to her children after Bank of America recently began chasing her for a debt she didn’t know she owed, according to a new lawsuit.

Plaintiff Rebecca S. Atkins filed the proposed class action lawsuit against Bank of America on March 28 in a Virginia federal court, alleging violations of state and federal consumer laws.

Atkins, a mother of four, says the bank violated federal law and her loan contract when it stopped sending her monthly statements on the loan she had with it. She says, as a result, she didn’t know she still had a debt with the bank, until it sued her. Unable to pay, Atkins says she is now facing foreclosure on her home.

Now she’s looking to represent other Bank of America customers whose lives have been affected in a similar way. “Ms. Atkins is far from the only victim of these practices,” the lawsuit states.

No chance to get debts in order, the lawsuit says

The lawsuit alleges Bank of America has a practice of enforcing home equity debts against consumers who have no opportunity to prevent the accumulation of the debts.

The practice is made possible because the bank doesn’t send them monthly statements – as required by law, the lawsuit alleges.

Atkins says this is what happened when she defaulted on the $60,000 Home Equity Line of Credit she got from Bank of America in 2005, to finance upgrades to her home. 

She says the terms of the loan required the bank to send monthly statements notifying Atkins if there was an outstanding balance on her loan, and the amount of her minimum payment due. However, when she fell behind in her payments in 2018, the bank charged off the loan and stopped sending monthly statements. 

“Eventually, with no statements disclosing amounts owed on the [loan], Ms. Atkins stopped sending in payments,” the lawsuit says.

She also says the bank violated the Truth In Lending Act, which also required banks to provide monthly statements if there is an outstanding balance on an account.  

Plaintiff says she was led to believe balance had been waived

Atkins says the experience with Bank of America has dashed her hopes of leaving generational wealth to her four children. 

Atkins says she bought her home in Virginia in 1993. After splitting with her husband, Atkins says she managed to remain current on her primary mortgage despite going through a divorce, raising her four children as a single mother, and experiencing financial difficulties from job changes and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After getting the loan from Bank of America, she remained on top of the mortgage and loan payments for many years,, she says, before falling behind in 2018, when the bank charged it off. Despite this, Atkins says she continued to make monthly payments to the bank through to the end of 2019.  

The lawsuit alleges that by not sending statements, the bank led her and other customers to believe their loans had either been discharged or the outstanding balance had been waived.

Fear of foreclosure

Atkins says she was laid off last year, and decided to retire to take care of her 86-year-old mother. But then, Bank of America filed a lawsuit against her claiming she owed more than $78,000. 

“In the years that she had not received monthly statements on her [loan], Ms. Atkins had started to build equity that would provide her and her children with all-important stability,” the lawsuit says. “Unable to meet BOA’s demands, Ms. Atkins’s home remains under threat of a foreclosure sale, and she faces a judgment against her for amounts that she had no opportunity to prevent from accumulating.” 

Atkins says that if she knew that the loan was still outstanding and had not been charged off as the bank claimed, she would have continued to pay it, or sought a modification. 

As a result, she’s suing on behalf of anyone like her who got a Bank of America home equity line of credit and then was charged for payments of amounts for periods that they were not sent statements. Atkins is suing for violations of the Truth In Lending Act and breach of contract. She’s seeking certification of the class action, damages, fees, costs and a jury trial.

Adding to the concerns raised in Atkins' lawsuit, Bank of America is also facing a separate class action lawsuit in a California federal court. This other lawsuit alleges the Bank misled customers about overdraft fee refunds promised during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit claims Bank of America stopped offering the refunds without informing customers, effectively reneging on their initial promise.

The plaintiff and proposed class are represented by The Law Office Of Dale W. Pittman, P.C. and Kelly Guzzo, PLC.

The Bank of America monthly statements class action lawsuit is Atkins et al., v. Bank of America, N.A., Case No. Case 3:24-cv-00227-MHL in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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