THE HERTZOG BLOG: Someone At BofA Needs To Read This...Matt Vernon, Are You Out There?

Someone At BofA Needs To Read This...Matt Vernon, Are You Out There?

Someone At BofA Needs To Read This...Matt Vernon, Are You Out There?

Today, I was asked to participate in the Channel 12 News Loan Mod-A-Thon here in Phoenix, AZ.  Channel 12 (the local NBC Affiliate, particularly reporter Melissa Blasius) should be given an award for the coverage they've given the local real estate crisis in AZ.

In a nutshell, Channel 12 took it upon themselves to conduct an 18 hour "call center" today.  From 4:30 am-10:30 am, real estate and bankruptcy attorneys were available to take calls.  From 10:30 am to 4:30 pm short sale real estate agents and housing counselors were there to take calls.  From 4:30-10:30 pm representatives from banks were taking calls.

Needless to say, I was there for the 10:30-4:30 shift.  I was amazed at the call volume.  There were 12 of us taking calls, and as soon as I hung up the phone, it was ringing immediately.  My brain was fried after 6 hours of non-stop action.  That being said, I left totally amazed by the calls I had received.  While I was happy to help, I was also totally dismayed by the stories I heard.  The one bank that kept coming up over and over again was BofA.

The biggest heart-breaker...  A 75 year-old man that took out a HELOC in order to pay for his wife's cancer treatment in 2006 and his young grandson's cancer treatment as well (he lost both of them in 2008).  While he knew he would be ultimately responsible for his debt by signing on the dotted line, he NEVER expected the market to tank as it has.  He has tried for almost two years to get a loan modification through HAMP/BofA, only to be given the same song-and-dance that we hear of everyday.  He didn't have enough income (with his social security checks) to support a loan modification.  He tried to explain that he had spent all of his savings, 401(k), and retirement savings up to this point to make his house payments.  It didn't matter.  He didn't have an income to support it.  He is now faced with either short-selling his home, or walking away, and renting a home.  This, from a Vietnam vet and retiree, after 45 years with his company.  He can't stomach the thought of not owning a home.

At 75 years old, how is he going to "make it back"?  What a terrible way to spend the remaining years of his life.

This is what scares me... I would say that 50% of the calls I took today were from people over the age of 60, in danger of losing their homes.  In most cases, they borrowed against their homes in order to pay for catastrophic events in their lives, AND THEY ARE ALL SCARED TO DEATH.  They know that time is running out, and they are deathly afraid of the "legacy" they are going to leave for their descendants.

At the end of my "shift" today, we were asked to hand off our phones to the "bank representatives" from all of the major lenders (BofA, Wells, Chase, etc.).  The last call I took was from a lady that has been struggling with a HAMP modification for almost 18 months with BofA.  I told her, "You are in luck.  I'm going to hand you over to a BofA representative who can help you out".  She was relieved.

I put her on hold, gave the BofA representative all of her details, and sat back and watched to see that he followed through.  I wasn't going to leave until he picked up the phone.  15 MINUTES LATER, after screwing around with his computer, laughing it up with his other BofA cronies, etc., he finally made it around to picking up the phone and talking to her (this from a woman who had been trying to call in and finally got through after almost 12 hours of trying).

I left the building, sickened (but not surprised) with what I saw.  After 6 hours of hearing the frustrations of the non-chalant attitude of lenders (particularly BofA), I saw it first-hand, with my own eyes.  I've spent countless hours on the phone with people like this from BofA, but to actually see it first-hand really made an impact.

Folks, THEY JUST DON'T CARE.  Sad to say, but it's true.  

I've seen Matt Vernon speak of how BofA is changing directions.  Based on what I saw tonight, IT AIN'T HAPPENING. 

After seeing this, I pulled up the website for the Channel 12 News Loan Mod-A-Thon, and a viewer comment caught my attention:

Finally got through and talked to the Bank of America rep. Seems they hold all the power and don't want to work with the American public. Funny how they can keep saying that even though you were offered a trail modification that it can take up to 2 years for it to complete. Federal law states once approved and you make the 3 payments it becomes final. Guess I am gonna lose my house since I can not go out back to the money tree and pluck $11,000 off it. And I am upside down now $100,000. Thanks Bank of America you sure are helping us Americans out during this difficult time.

Matt Vernon, I hope you're reading this.  This is reality.  This is how your employees are treating homeowners.  I watched you speak at the CDPE Convention in April, and you said you were here to change things.  You also said that you take the time to read blogs about your company's performance.  Time to stand up or shut up.  It's now six months later, and it's like watching a damned re-run.

Subscribe To This Blog Via Email

Facebook Link Twitter Link LinkedIn Link rss button

Bob Hertzog

Summit Home Consultants

Visit Our Website

Copyright © By Bob Hertzog 2010 *Someone At BofA Needs To Read This...Matt Vernon, Are You Out There?*





Bob Hertzog

Designated Broker-Summit Home Consultants




Comment balloon 51 commentsBob Hertzog • November 09 2010 01:14AM


I know they do not care they were bailed out.  They were stealing when they made the loans and now we saved them to steal by not helping the individual.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) over 8 years ago

Bob:  It's hard to watch the denigration of so many people who are trying to keep their's awful to hear these stories about the treatment folks are getting from the banks.  What goes around comes around, so the saying goes.  If it's true there are going to be a whole heck of alot of banking folks suffering nasty ramifications some day down the road.

Posted by Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country (Pacific Union International) over 8 years ago

Tim:  You're not kidding.  They just don't care, and as long as there is no oversight, they will continue to get away with it.

Kirsten:  Today ripped my heart out.  The majority of the calls I took today were heart-wrenching, and it gave me a "peek" at what is still to come.  People were calling, begging for someone to listen to them.  Most didn't seem to mind that I couldn't help them, they just wanted someone to listen.  Amazing.

Posted by Bob Hertzog, Designated Broker (Summit Home Consultants) over 8 years ago

Bob, thanks for sharing your experience.  Hooray for Channel 12 news!  I wish we had something like that here in SW Riverside County, California.  I can't believe the statement from a BoA customer - two years for a trial modification to complete?!!

They are not following the HAMP guidelines which is supposed to be 3 months trial and then a final review and loan modification becomes permanent.  I thought with all the fraud BoA is guilty of they'd want homeowners to have nice, pretty new notes.  That way when they go to foreclose in the future they'll actually have the Note.  BoA is the worst and they really need to read the blogs and comments from homeowners who are trying to save their home.

But like you said, it's not like they, BoA, care that homeowners have wiped out their savings, 401Ks, retirement funds, etc. in an effort to save their home.  The behavior of that one BoA representative at the call-in show, laughing and stalling to take a customer's call, says it all.  Yeah, where are you Matt Vernon?!! 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 8 years ago

Besides all of the bad things you covered in this post.  The other problem is that with them dragging this out, we will be dealing with these for a long time to come.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Bob, this was an excellent post & so upsetting to consistently hear that NO progress is being made for consumers at all in the short sale process with B of thing about you is you try to make that difference..

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Good Morning Bob, excellent post, thank you for sharing your experience.

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) over 8 years ago

Bob - I can hear the passion in your post.  This is the sort of thing that really brings home just how bad things are out there - especially for those that are running out of time.  Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.  Reblogging to help spread the word.

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 8 years ago

Bob, you are the poster child of a true real estate agent  .. you have the passion and care to represent us Realtors the way you do. . great job my friend!

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 8 years ago

Bob-Your compassion is palpable. I hope the powers that be can be encouraged to do something positive.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the comments folks.  Taking those calls yesterday was gut-wrenching, and watching the "mood" of the room change after the bank representatives took over was quite a sight to see.  I can only hope that homeowners remember how these banks treated them when we recover and it's time to get that next home loan.

Posted by Bob Hertzog, Designated Broker (Summit Home Consultants) over 8 years ago

I have NO google juice to help this post get out there. But I will be asking my boss to re-blog.  I know it's "pollyanna" of me to hope, but I do believe that we can make a difference and this information needs to shared with anyone and everyone.   Thank you for your efforts yesterday and for posting this, it can't have been easy. 

Posted by Cinnamon Wright, Assistant to Tish Lloyd (Wilmington Real Estate 4U 910.547.1446) over 8 years ago

This is why the free market must be allowed to work. If Adam smiths " invisible hand" would have been allowed to work its magic these banksters would have been allowed to fail and the pieces would have been picked up by someone who has a clue.

Posted by Nicole Needham, SFR (530) 302-5478 (Needham Realty) over 8 years ago

Exactly what we have seen over the past two years. To their credit B of  has gotten a lot better, but, that really isnt saying much considering how bad they have been

Posted by Freddy A. Saavedra (Essential Properties) over 8 years ago

It's not just BofA that needs to see this. Get your local, state and national elected officials involved.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 8 years ago

It would have been interesting if Channel 12 had their cameras on the phone bank -- like the PBS channels do during their telethons, that BofA character would probably have acted a little differently. ;-)

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 8 years ago

Bob, I have had no positive experience with BofA, and they bought my mortgage from Countrywide. As soon as I'm able, I'll be moving my loan to a local Lender. How marvelous of you to give of your time. I do hope this post gets read by some people who will take positive action.

When did our country decide it was OKAY to treat a Veteran this way, particularly after he lost both his wife and grandson to cancer?

Posted by Lori Cain, Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

And for that BOFA employee to sit there and keep her on hold for 15 minutes is disgusting!

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 8 years ago

Hopefully this post will get the Google Juice it deserves & Matt Vernon will respond. 

Posted by Julie A. Black, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker (KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist) over 8 years ago

I'm with you...I've experienced a lot of negative comments about BofA, and am currently working with an elderly woman who was "railroaded" into a reverse mortgage. The couple called an 800 number to speak to a BofA l.o. who told her husband he had to get the loan on his own, since the wife was under 60 yrs old. When her husband died, they called the loan due and gave her six months to get out. We're getting extensions on the loan, but no one is "there" to help this woman keep her house. Of course, there was no one there to warn this couple when they took out the loan that this was dangerous in case he died first. And that's just what happened.

Posted by Linda Schneider, Fast Newsletters for Real Estate Agents (Fast Newsletters) over 8 years ago

I know it's not just bofa, but it sure does seem like their the WORST!  I have had (and heard from everyone) the first hand mind boggl'n stories of the corporate culture there... ;-(

Posted by Phil & Celeste Pafford, Corona Short Sale Broker (, Corona CA) over 8 years ago

The groan that goes out when I convey that my short sale is BOA has become predictable. They really are a mess and the government needs to step in sooner rather than later to kick them in the pants. Awesome post. I think every media area should do the same thing. Kudos to you for giving your time.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 8 years ago

You are a credit to business.  Great job on your volunteer work, and SHAME on BofA

Posted by Daniel J. Hunter (REALTOR®) over 8 years ago

Bob, this is so utterly sad. I will reblog in a few days to spread the word on your sad. I hope Matt Vernon does read it, and I hope that dude gets fired along with many others.


Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 8 years ago

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment/re-blog this post.  Most of the stories I heard yesterday were absolutely gut-wrenching.  The sad thing is that the banks are going to continue this behavior until they get their hand slapped by the government.  Until that happens, I'm afraid we will continue to see more of the same.

Do your part to spread the word, like many others have done.  The only way we can fight these guys is through publicizing their arrogant ways.

Posted by Bob Hertzog, Designated Broker (Summit Home Consultants) over 8 years ago

Bob bless your heart for trying to help these folks yesterday. I can imagine how hard it was. I saw that was going on and wondered how it would 'really' turn out.  It is so heart wrenching to hear story after story of people stuck in these terrible situations - when they've done eveything right their entire lives.  I too heard Matt V speak at the cdpe deal in tempe - had some hope but quite frankly I've not seen much change at all.  In fact banks are getting worse - not better.  They don't care on tiny little bit. None.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 8 years ago

Congrats on a job well done.

I think the problem is that it so big, no one really knows how to fix it on a macro basis. However, on an individual basis, since the market has changed so quickly, certain adjustments must be made to take care of the honest hard working homeowner. I don't know the solution but treating people with dignity should come first.

Posted by Bill Pohl (Tetra Homes, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Thank you, I just re-blogged it for you too, I really hope it helps get to someone's attention. 

I seldom re-blog articles but this one needs to be shamelessley promoted for the simple reason that perhaps someone at B of A might just actually start to do something about the incompetence and non-challance attitude consumers and short sale realtors alike have to put up with it. 

If this happens to be caught by someone in an elected office, career politician, or lobbyist role I ask you to remove your pants and give yourself a spanking until your buttocks ache and you can no longer stand straight in front of a mirror.  How can you live with yourself knowing that a VET or for that matter any tax paying citizen has to endure this level of humiliation due to the protocols you and your colleagues live under - this "grotesque red tape, we don't care because we've got our backs supported by big business/wall st banks and big business/wall st banks have got their backs supported by self serving eunuchs like myself attitude"!!!!

Posted by Uzi Husain (Keller Williams Integrity First) over 8 years ago

Yep, that sounds like the B of A I talk to about short sales. Those kids they hire to answer the phone don't know anything about anything and have no power whatsoever.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Thanks Bob for spreading the word & sharing your story. I'm sure there are innocents out there that don't believe this is happening.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 8 years ago

Thanks for this post;  your passion did, indeed, come roaring through.  I despite BOA and hope someone sees this...not that it matters, of course, because as you said, they truly do not care one bit. And really, do I expect that to change?


Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 8 years ago


This is what I never wanted to see:

Folks, THEY JUST DON'T CARE.  Sad to say, but it's true.


But I guess we mostly know that ... it's true ... they don't.  The other thing to remember, that bank employee is on a salary ... not commission .. it really makes no difference to them what happens .... either way, they have a paycheck!

Posted by Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi, The Nines Team in Lodi (The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi) over 8 years ago

Bob, excellent post! Great job by Channel 12 & I think they should do MORE of this across the country & wake up the non-caring call center people and get to the heart of helping America get through AND beyond this crisis!

Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID) over 8 years ago

I said it before and I'll say it again, BofA = Bunch of #!$@@^% A$$holes.  They are a pathetic group of sub-humans.

Posted by Kathy Kenney, Realtor - Princeton & Central NJ Homes for Sale (Keller Williams, Princeton, NJ) over 8 years ago

I learned the most amazing tool today. Not sure it will help in all cases but we all have bofa horror stories. I learned today that if you tweet bofa_help and your issue you will get a response imediately. (yes I used immediately and bofa in same sentence) Today at 1:00 I tweeted bofa_help Agent needs help with Short Sale. I recieved a tweet back within 30 minutes, a phone call in 1 1/2 hours and a second call in 30 more minutes. They will expedite my file to a sss and they will make sure i get a resolution. I was amazed.

Posted by Sherry Chastain, Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales (Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee) over 8 years ago

Bob, I have been working with many homeowners for the past 2 years with loan modifications and I have spent at least 40 hours a month on the phone with Wells Fargo on behalf of "1" homeowner that has been in this process for over 20 months now....They have had "trial payments" made on time to be denied and the process started over.  Foreclosure sale date over and over.....the stress of trying to work and keep their home while in constant fear of losing it.  I contacted Jean Shaheen's office in NH trying to get help for this homeowner.  They have a "contact person" at Wells Fargo....Kevin Kriese in the Presidents Office at Wells Fargo left a message on this homeowners phone, the homeowner and myself have left several messages on his voice mail over the past 6 weeks with no return calls.  The homeowner did however receive a letter stating several erroneous facts regarding his loan modification.........That is just "1" homeowner...and the others...........same story.....different lenders. 


Posted by Donna Rattee, Turning Dreams Into Reality (Coco, Early & Associates) over 8 years ago

Yeah right...NOT!

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

That was a sad story.  I am working with clients right now that are retired, cannot do a HAMP and have no where to go.  We just all have to work together to help.

Posted by Keith Lawrence, ABR, CDPE, SFR, 203K Specialist (RE/MAX Properties) over 8 years ago

If Bank of America solved all of its problems, it probably would not need Matt Vernon. He's only one guy, though, and capable of doing only so much. If you're looking for Superman, I think you're out of luck. I've had both good and bad experiences at Bank of America. Not every employee is going to exhibit superior customer service skills, and when they do not, they should be called on it. Striving for excellence is a worthy goal, but I don't think any bank is capable of delivering it.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Bob, thanks for the great post.  And thanks for your work trying to help homeowners.  All I can say is talk is cheap and it don't come cheaper than BofA.


Posted by Tom Brannigan (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc) over 8 years ago

Millions of Americans are hurting, no fault of their own. The financial tsunami is too massive to outrun. Yet, many valiantly attempt to do the right thing by applying for a loan modification or short sale.

Bank of America in return combines callousness and inefficiency to prolong the process. Their processing delays cause BOA and their investors to lose tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of avoidable ADDITIONAL losses, per house!

While BOA tinkers with the file, the property continues to deteriorate, buyers back out, and the market declines. Sellers and Realtors nationwide are trying to help BOA mitigate their losses, but BOA seems content with the extra losses. Thereby many conspiracy theories have spawned that banks profit more from processing loans at the expense of the investors they represent.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) over 8 years ago

Since BOA is a servicer they keep using the excuse that their "service agreement" will not allow them to do "this" or do "that".  Since the public has no way to find out if this is really true we are stuck with whatever decision a low level, untrained agent gives us.  Using equator to escalate is like dropping something in a "blackhole".  They get upset when we get upset with their lack of action. 

The higher levels talk a good game but it has not reached the lower level worker bees.  I was lucky enough to close on a short sale with them last month but it was pure hell working with them and convincing them that it was for the investors good with over 70 active listings in the subdivision and some closing at lower prices then our current offer...sending them market reports over and over and describing the "local" market stats.  To me it was obvious that they should take the deal but I had to escalate to finally get them to approve after the seller kicked in some money to end their pain.

I have other listings with them as a servicer and I am not looking forward to the negotiations but I refuse to let them walk over me...I escalate and I take it to the president's office if they don't listen.  Squeeky wheel is the only way to deal with them.

I have my own mortgage serviced with them and have finally gotten a modification of sorts from them...but am still trying to get the 2nd lien modified after over 1 year! 

If we as Realtors, continue to expose them eventually someone will listen...send to your state and federal officials and don't give up!

Love your passion and encourage other Realtors to do the same!

Posted by Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc., Passionate About Real Estate & Our Clients! (Heart Realty Group, Inc..) over 8 years ago

The American Public has a long memory.  The Bank of America name is now just about worthless.  I will never bank with them again.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 8 years ago

I wonder how many of the BofA calls were originally Countrywide loans.  I bet BofA regrets making that purchase.

Posted by David M. Dwares, Title guy with a broker license (Title Professionals Corp.) over 8 years ago

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE!   B of A can run all the "feel-good" type ads it wants to but I can't see them ever fulfilling their original mission again. Remember how they started - an expansion of families pooling money to help family members.  They have surely gone the other way.  We in real estate have a lot of power over what companies get the loan business.  We need to use that power. 

Posted by Kathy Judy (Tri-Cities Real Estate retired) over 8 years ago

The title says it all!  Thanks for the blog.



Posted by Timothy George, Arizona Mortgage (602) 492-6847 (Arizona Mortgage Rates - FHA Mortgage Loans in Arizona) over 8 years ago

The title says it all!  Thanks for the blog.



Posted by Timothy George, Arizona Mortgage (602) 492-6847 (Arizona Mortgage Rates - FHA Mortgage Loans in Arizona) over 8 years ago

FYI: Matt Vernon isn't heading up the short sale dept any longer. He's in another position (promotion, I think). Patrick Youssef is in his position temporarily, and Alan Seelenbinder is a front-runner to get the job permanently.

Posted by Brian Bean, Homeowner Advocate, Dream Big Team, S.Calif (The Dream Big Team at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Champions) over 8 years ago

Ugh!  Our tax dollars at work! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Bob, I applaud you taking your time to post this. I think a lot of these people at B of A are just pencil pushers making $10.00/hour and don't own a home themselves, or they would be trying to help more people out. They probably just sit back and laugh at all of these people. Great job BOB!!

Posted by Jason Whaley (WestUSA Realty Revelation) over 8 years ago

Sad, give them millions to keep them open and we do not need to help them. THE BANKS AND THE INSURANCE COMPANIES RUN AMERICA

Posted by Jack O'Neal (Conway Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments