Bank of America Faces Class Action over Mortgage Foreclosure Practices

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Newark, NJ: Bank of America (BoFA) and two subsidiaries, LaSalle Bank and BAC Home Loans Servicing, are facing a potential class action lawsuit over allegations of "an undisciplined rush to seize homes" through "pervasive and willful disregard of knowledge, facts and statutes."

Bank of America has filed foreclosure proceedings on many mortgages in New Jersey without holding the necessary rights as the mortgagee or assignee at the time of foreclosure, the suit says.

"Many thousands of foreclosures are plainly void under statute and settled New Jersey case law. Many borrowers never obtain statutorily required notices, and many foreclosure suits are filed entirely based in inaccurate recitations concerning ownership of the mortgage, the note, or the assignment," the suit says.

The putative class in the suit, Beals v. Bank of America, N.A., 10-cv-05427, consists of all named defendants in pending New Jersey foreclosure actions initiated by Bank of America or its affiliates. The complaint includes counts of common-law fraud, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and violations of the New Jersey Fair Foreclosure Act and Consumer Fraud Act.

The plaintiffs cite a recent admission by a Bank of America official in a Massachusetts foreclosure case that she signed thousands of foreclosure complaints without reviewing them.

They also say the fact that the bank and its affiliates, by imposing a moratorium on foreclosures from Oct. 8 to Oct. 18 while reviewing their procedures, "have admitted that in all of their foreclosure cases, they, as a moving party, prosecute their claims with a complete disregard of whether or not they have met their burden."

The plaintiffs claim they are entitled to compensation for emotional distress, damage to their credit scores and time lost from work for attorney meetings and foreclosure proceedings. They also seek punitive damages and attorney fees as well as declaratory and injunctive relief dismissing the foreclosures of class members, with prejudice, declaring the mortgages and promissory notes of class members void and unenforceable` and rescinding or reforming the mortgages and promissory notes to conform to plaintiffs' reasonable expectations.

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