Beloved YA Author in War With Bank of America

Illustration for article titled Beloved YA Author in War With Bank of America

Today in depressing housing-market news, YA author Francesca Lia Block could lose her home because the bank won't return her calls. The author of the Weetzie Bat books is underwater on her mortgage due to the recession. To make things more complicated, the mortgage is in her mom's name, and her mom is now dead. To refinance, she needs the loan in her name — and Bank of America told her that she can't switch the name on the loan while she's still underwater. But to fix that situation, she needs to refinance. And as is so often the case with these real estate horror stories, she says B of A refuses to call her back to discuss what she can do to fix things. On her blog about the struggle, she writes this list of complaints against the bank:

INEFFICIENCY IN PROCESSING LOAN MOD PACKAGE, HAD TO RESEND NUMEROUS DOCUMENTS NUMEROUS TIMES
NEVER TOLD ME I WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PROGRAM WHEN I APPLIED (ESTATE OF)
HAVE STILL NOT CONTACTED ME TO SAY MOD REJECTED (SINCE JUNE, 2011)
HAVE CHANGED PHONE NUMBER OF MY CONTACT PERSON SO I CANNOT REACH HIM. HE DOES NOT RESPOND TO MY EMAILS EITHER. HE TOLD ME THERE WAS AN ALTERNATIVE FOR ME BUT I WAS TOLD BY OTHERS THAT THIS WAS NOT TRUE. THEN TOLD BY SOMEONE ELSE THAT IT WAS BUT NO ONE COULD DIRECT ME TO CORRECT DEPT.
EXTREMELY RUDE SUPERVISOR WHO TOLD ME THE HOUSE IS NOT MINE AND THAT "YOUR MOTHER IS DEAD"
NO WAY TO MOVE FW. WITH ANOTHER TYPE OF IN HOUSE OR TRADITIONAL LOAN MODIFICATION OR ANY OTHER OPTION. I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR ONE YEAR.

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I know, the caps are no fun. But if you were in this situation, you'd be yelling too.

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DISCUSSION

manateraguad-old
manateraguad

I have nothing but contempt for BofHUA but I'm also sick and tired of people complaining about being "underwater", all that means is that your house is worth less than you owe on it, meaning you bought (or cashed out equity) near the peak of the real estate bubble. Surely when they were getting their loans the payment terms were spelled out, the market value of the house doesn't change that at all.

Merely being "underwater" may suck, it prevents you from selling without taking a loss or from refinancing but it shouldn't have any impact whatsoever on your ability to make the payments you agreed to.