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Bank of America's blunders

Bank of America's blunders

CREATED Jul 1, 2011

The stark images that can be found in most any Las Vegas neighborhood remind us all of shattered lives, empty homes, and dreams left behind.

Who's to blame?

In many cases, it's Wall Street.

In the three we're about to expose, it's Bank of America.

Imagine coming home to a bright orange sticker on you door telling you you're forbidden to enter your own house.

That's what happened to Beverly Turner on September 21.

"I've been through hell with Bank of America," says Turner.

Her family's life has been shattered, like the mirrors in her now empty house.

"I have cried, cried, cried and cried. Heartbroken. I have a 10-year-old daughter who grew up here.  After they did this I was out on the streets. I didn't have any of my belongings. I couldn't get in."

The Constable, who was sent by B of A's lawyers to seal up Beverly's home, even had Animal Control take the family dog, and it cost Beverly $225 to get Princess back.

"She came back and she was just a wreck."

The real wreck here is that the eviction never should have happened.

Beverly was in the midst of negotiating a loan modification when B of A accidentally had her family kicked out.

In an email to Contact 13, they wrote, "We apologize to Ms. Turner for the mistake and have taken the necessary steps to correct the situation."

Not so fast.

B of A hasn't offered to reimburse her for anything!

Not for her moving costs.

Not for the rent she's had to pay at another house.

Not even for bailing Princess out of the pound.

The only apology offered was in that email they sent us when we called them on their mistake.

"When they say oops, it was a mistake, we never should have locked you out of your house, what do you say to that?" Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears asked.

"That's something I really can't say on camera," Beverly answered, adding, "I've been through too much. And I pity anybody else that is going through this."

Christie Jensen is one of those people.

Whether you call it an error, a blunder, a boondoggle, a faux pas... Whatever... B of A's actions were nothing short of devastating for Christie and her sister--who has a rare brain disorder and wasn't able to keep up with her medical bills and mortgage.

"She was living in extreme pain and having to deal with Bank of America at the same time, which didn't make it any better," Christie explains.

She reached out for help and thought it was on the way.

"And we were in absolute shock when we saw that on the door."

What they saw was a notice to get out of the house in 60 days.

Right in the midst of reviewing them for a loan modification, B of A sold their home at auction.

"It must feel like they robbed you of your home," said Spears.

"They did! They did. We had a lot of good times in this home. A lot of memories. And it's sad."

It's more than sad.

Contact 13 learned it was yet another grave mistake by B of A.

When we asked the bank about it, they wrote us saying: "We apologize to Ms. Jensen for the unfortunate mistake. We are in the process of reversing our error and we continue to work with her on a modification."

Christie says their offer to her sister simply added insult to injury.

"They offered her the house back at $360,000 and a 4% interest rate--which was better than the interest rate she had before--but considering they had just sold the house for $150,000 in this market, it was ridiculous to even offer her that, so she laughed in their face."

Bob Vitaro often laughs to keep from crying over his experience with B of A.

"I don't think they know what they're doing," he says matter-of-factly.

After making payments for three months on a trial modification, Bob got a denial letter saying he hadn't sent in enough paperwork.

"It didn't say what paperwork they were missing. It just said you did not send in the appropriate papers."

Contact 13 learned yet again, the denial letter was a B of A blunder.

"The letter was sent in error. It was a mistake. So then I had to appeal it," Bob explained.

"You had to appeal their mistake?" Spears asked.

"Yeah, they couldn't just change it."

And Bob was not alone.

When we challenged B of A about his case, they admitted that they mistakenly sent similar denial letters to hundreds of other Las Vegas homeowners.

They say the other "customers have been identified and their files went back into underwriting for review."

"Do you feel like you can count on them to not make more mistakes in your case?" Spears asked Vitaro.

"Oh no! I'm ready. I'm ready for the next one," he chuckles.

We've been covering Bank of America for eight months now.

The nation's biggest bank holds the majority of mortgages in Nevada.

Our investigations will continue, because the e-mails we get from you almost daily tell us it's a continued concern.

We've also learned the State Attorney General has recently stepped up their own investigation into the bank's lending practices.

Channel 13 works to bring you information that helps keep your family safe from scams and rip-off artists. If you have any story ideas, please email them to 13Investigates@KTNV.com or call 702-257-8440.