Homeowner says dealing with Bank of America has been nightmare

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PHOENIX - “I mean look at the records! You see how many phone calls! You see how long this has been going on!”

That's homeowner Jacki Ruiz on yet another frustrating phone call with her lender.

She's had dozens over the past eight or so months and still, she says she's no closer to getting the answer she needs.

“It’s been a nightmare,” she said. “I can't even tell you how frustrating it has been.”

Her questions have to do with an interest rate reduction on her home loan.

“We were told at the closing that there was a special clause that after two years of paying on time our rate would be reduced to 5.5%,” she explained.

It would saved jacki about 2-hundred dollars per month.

jacki says she's lived up to her end of the deal but says Bank of America hasn't dropped her rate, and won't explain why.

“Even though I've had different people in customer service that say this is a legal document. we have to honor it, but nobody knows how to make that happen,” Jacki said.

She thought maybe she could make it happen by visiting a Bank of America branch in person.

“The answer was this is a Countrywide loan. It was a Countrywide loan. Nobody here knows about it. You should call 3 On Your Side,” Jacki recalled.

In a recent survey, out of 150 companies, Bank of America ranked worst when it comes to customer service.

Housing expert Dean Wegner says Bank of America has a particularly hard time answering customers questions.

He points to all those bad loans it inherited when it bought out Countrywide three years ago.

“These people, these entry level positions, they're not attorney's and they're trying to interpret a mortgage contract that's 30 years long, that's this thick of paper and so they just want to get you off the phone,” Wegner explained.

3 On Your Side contacted Bank of America about Jacki's situation and we were able to get an explanation in a matter of minutes.

In an email to 3 On Your Side, Bank of America writes:

“Ms. Ruiz’ loan has an addendum that allows for a rate reduction sometime after year two if her mortgage is now 75 percent of the current property value deemed through appraisal.  If Ms. Ruiz feels that is the case, we can walk her through the steps needed to appraise her home.  We are sorry that she did not receive the answer to her questions on this issue and had to make multiple requests to the Bank. 

Bank o f America apologizes to its customers if they did not receive the service level they expect from Bank of America.  Recognizing the need to do more for our customers, Bank of America has opened Customer Outreach Centers in various parts of the country, including Phoenix.  Keeping customers in their homes is in the best interest of servicers, investors and especially the homeowner.  Foreclosure is a last resort.”

It turns out, Jacki was given the wrong information.

The value of her home is less than what's required to even get the rate reduction, something she says she didn't know until right now.

After all this time, Jacki finally has her answer and she's no longer counting on that extra $200 a month.

The address for Bank of America's local Customer Service Outreach Center is 2231 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85016.

To schedule an appointment with a bank representative, call 602-308-4266.