By now, the so-called “allegations” I have posted on my blog have been widely distributed and publicized by an unknown online collective known only as Anonymous. To the average American, it would appear to be simply the work of a disgruntled employee against his former employer.
Attorneys and Attorney Generals nationwide, however, have been working diligently against their banks in order to keep their clients in their homes. Keep in mind that there are several levels of indiscriminate behavior going on. For now, however, I will give you a general overview of how the various tracking systems interact and how the reporting works so that those with the power to subpoena documents for their clients know where to find the correct documentation to support their individual cases, because as Abigail Fields points out, “It would certainly be provable/disprovable by subpoenaing documents.”
In order to do that, however, an attorney would need to know where to look. If you were to only subpoena generic loan information, you will only be provided with the System of Record (SOR) data, which previous posts have clearly proved do not show the full picture as there are several common ways of removing information from the system of record both individually and en masse. As the email trail I posted clearly shows though, there is always an audit trail in the back end if you know what to ask for.
Some of the more common scenarios are:
They foreclosed on my property without proper documentation
This is a difficult one to prove, but it can be done with proper timing. As mentioned in previous posts, there are multiple departments under the document tracking umbrella, but as a prosecuting attorney against Bank of America, the easiest place to start looking is in the mail room.
A hypothetical mail room’s document tracking systems would work like so*:
(*Note-Terminology used/Flow Chart key is not exact in order to avoid extravagant assertions of “stealing” from “Anonymous” Bank of America representatives.)
Now the chart above is simplified and only represents documents received via mail, Fedex, etc. It does not include EDI (Electronic Document Image) files sent from certain insurance carriers, nor does it include documents you fax in. That information will be covered later. Mailed documentation is important, because if you time it right, this is going to be your first point of reference when locating your “lost” deed of trust, promissory note, mortgage, etc.
The first documentation you, as an attorney, will want to subpoena is the servicing contract between the insurance tracker and the loan servicer. Each contract contains quite a bit of information, but you want to look specifically for the information regarding the Service Level Agreement (SLA), Return to Lender (RTL), and Unable to Locate (UTL) documents.
What you are looking for specifically is: a) How long the insurance tracker is required to keep a non-insurance related document, and b) How the insurance tracker is required to process a non-insurance related document.
Why is this important?
One loophole often exploited by the mortgage servicer to “lose” documentation is hidden in this system. There are 2 ways to prove this:
In a hypothetical situation in which a mortgage company is taken over by a Federal bank on the west coast, what the company would need to do to exploit this loophole is simply box up all of the files they don’t want anybody to see, and send them to the insurance tracker. The insurance tracker will take care of them, because: a) The document will remain in possession of the insurance tracker for X amount of days -90 will be used for this hypothetical situation, although it can be in any range-, and b) Any documents that have the loan servicer’s (or an acceptable subsidiary’s) name on it will be returned to them after the 90 day period, while any documentation that is unidentifiable (scratched out, torn, etc) will be shredded.
In order to prove this scenario, you will also need to subpoena the full volume tracking documents for the date ranges the Feds would’ve been checking records, as well as a few weeks before and after. This is because the volumes are recorded at each step of the mailroom process. The volumes are tracked throughout several internal share drives, SQL databases, and even on paper. If you were to subpoena these specific documents for the date ranges you are looking for, you will notice the irregularity.
On a high volume tracking level, you will be able to see an influx of documents received within 3-5 business days of any timeframe in which the Feds were investigating actual documents. You will also notice that the influx of incoming documents during your target date range inconsistently affects the relative amount of RTL & UTL documents when compared to the ratios outside the target range.
If you wanted to further prove the point, you can also subpoena the signed delivery records kept by both FedEx/DHL/US Postal Service and the insurance tracker in order to see where these large volumes came from. You can find the information in the loan servicer’s expense reports as well, because large boxes haphazardly filled with documents are surprisingly heavy and cost quite a bit to ship.
As an added side affect of an assembly line production environment, you can even subpoena the employee timesheets (which are also tracked indefinitely) and production logs for the same timeframe in order to identify which associates were working in the mailroom at that time. Why would you do that? Anomalies don’t just show up in the system. They stick out in a human being’s memory as well. In an assembly line production environment you’re used to consistency. No matter how many years go by, you will always remember the timeframes when something out of the ordinary occurred, such as:
The times you had to cancel your evening plans to work late because of higher than normal volumes
The times you had to sort through a bunch of unorganized boxes and nobody bothered to tell you why when you asked
The times you had to keep going through a bunch of embossed manila certificates and 15-20 page documents that had nothing to do with your job in insurance
You will not be able to document exactly who these documents belonged to utilizing this method, but you will be able to prove the high volumes of documents and type of documents quite easily. One thing a mailroom associate specializes in is learning and recognizing document types at a very quick pace.
This method is identical to the previously outlined method, however in order to catch the hand in the cookie jar, you have to find a way to search the mailroom within the SLA. I am not aware of a legal way to do this so I will skip ahead to the next scenario.
*Note – Please keep in mind that the mailroom of an insurance tracking center does have windows, and human beings love sunlight, so it is possible to catch the crook with their hand in the cookie jar, but as I have not yet received any word on my previous post for the legality of utilizing cameras/camcorders within an insurance tracking center, I can not go into further detail as illegally-obtained evidence is not usable in court, and effective January 5, 2011, I am no longer involved with any institution that would involve itself in illegal, unethical, or immoral activity.
They are inflating my loan/escrow account, not paying my premiums, etc
Payment-related issues are an entirely different beast. While the above scenarios may also apply, they are not necessary, because a financial institution has countless reports and tracking systems to track payments. Some common systems utilized to track payment and escrow information are the FAS Collateral Command System, an AS/400 system, Rembrandt, and the hopelessly-outdated-yet-somehow-still-in-use BOSS system.
All transactions between systems (especially financial and foreclosure related) are tracked through various reports provided by Fidelity systems, however each report serves a specific purpose, so I can not give a generalized explanation at this time.
It’s getting a bit late now, and there’s quite a bit of information listed already, so for now, if you have specific questions on how to fight your specific case, please leave a comment below, so I know what information will best serve you, the downtrodden consumer. I can’t provide information specific to your case due to probably legal issues (and mostly because I’m not dumb enough to allow the banks to see my full poker hand in advance), but I am available as a paid independent consultant, expert witness, etc for any attorney who needs one to assist their specific case.
In the meantime, keep your eyes on bankofamericasuck.com. I hear a few more Bank of America and Balboa employees are beginning to step forward to leak information. I would once again like to remind everyone that I am in no way affiliated with Anonymous. I am simply restating information I have seen retweeted around the Twitter-cooler from @OperationLeaks and Co.
I hope this FAQ has proved helpful for those in need of direction.
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work appears in Huffington Post, High Times, Fast Company, The Street, and Hardcore Droid.