Arizona, Nevada Sue Bank of America

State alleges bank misled homeowners who lost their houses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2010 2:56 PM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2010 6:36 AM CST
In this file photo taken Oct. 18, 2010, the exterior of a Bank of America branch bank is seen in Palo Alto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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(Newser) – Attorneys general in two states filed civil lawsuits yesterday against Bank of America, alleging that the lender is misleading and deceiving homeowners who have tried to modify mortgages in two of the nation's most foreclosure-damaged states. Bank of America violated Arizona's consumer fraud law by misleading consumers who tried to reduce their mortgage payments, said the state attorney general. Hundreds of homeowners kept making their mortgage payments because Bank of America repeatedly assured them their loan was being modified, he said. Instead, many lost their homes anyway.

"Those people could have used that money for something else," he said. "They were deceived into continuing to make mortgage payments when they had no hope of saving their homes." Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto told the AP that her state's lawsuit was a last resort to try to get the bank to change its ways. It was filed after several discussions with bank managers led to assurances but little more. "Clearly there is a disconnect between what Bank of America tells me at the management level and what's happening on the front line," Masto said.

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