CHARLESTON – Bank of America is being sued by a couple claiming it knowingly referred them to a third-party foreclosure scam.
John Doe Holder was also named as a defendant in the suit.
On Sept. 25, 2008, Daniel S. Bednar and Mitzi D. Bednar entered into a refinance mortgage loan transaction that provided for an initial principal balance of $166,885, according to a complaint filed Feb. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The Bednars claim in February 2009, Daniel Bednar lost his factory job and began receiving unemployment and Mitzi Bednar was forced to undergo a major surgery to have a kidney removed that same month and did not receive any income for a substantial time.
In December 2010, the Bednars no longer had a way to make their monthly payments and contacted Bank of America for assistance, according to the suit.
The Bednars claim when Mitzi Bednar spoke with Greg Alonzo from Bank of America, he informed her that Bank of America would not be able to do anything about the loan payments, despite their financial hardships.
Alonzo told Mitzi Bednar to contact Juris Consult Law Group for help and stated that Juris was a third-party agency Bank of America dealt with all the time, according to the suit.
The Bednars claim they contacted Juris and agreed to pay for its services to help with a loan modification and Juris sent them a loss mitigation package, which they completed and returned.
On Feb. 23, 2011, the Bednars received a call from Bank of America seeking payment and during the phone call, the Bednars were told there was no loan modification being considered, according to the suit.
The Bednars claim on May 10, 2011, Alonzo informed them that they had been denied for a loan modification and would not provide an explanation for the denial.
On June 7, 2011, Beverly Rice told the Bednars that their debt ratio was too high for any form of assistance and suggested bankruptcy to discharge the unsecured debt, according to the suit, and on July 7, 2011, Mitzi Bednar left a message for Rice to inform her they were filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, as she suggested.
The Bednars claim over the next year they attempted to work with Bank of America regarding the bankruptcy and loan modification and timely provided all documents they were asked to submit.
On Aug. 10, the Bednars received correspondence from Teays Valley Trustees, LLC, advising that it was proceeding with foreclosure on their residence, according to the suit.
The Bednars claim on Sept. 14, Bank of America represented that it would review what their best options were and again requested all the information and documents required for loss mitigation review, which they promptly provided.
On Dec. 12, Jessica Dudley, a Bank of America employee, called the Bednars and asked if they were still interested in a loan modification, and told the Bednars that the defendant had not heard from them since September when it had received their tax documents, according to the suit.
The Bednars claim they told Dudley that was inaccurate, as Mitzi Bednar had called her on Oct. 9 to confirm she had received the documents.
On Dec. 12, the Bednars also received a letter that their loan was not eligible for modification because they did not provide the requested documents, which was false, according to the suit.
The Bednars claim Bank of America breached its contract with them.
Bank of America falsely represented to the Bednars that they were being considered for a loan modification, that the loan modification was going through, that their paperwork was in order and that they had nothing to worry about and concealed that it would not provide a loan modification or other loss mitigation option to them, according to the suit.
The Bednars are seeking equitable relief and actual damages. They are being represented by Bren J. Pomponio, Sara Bird and Colten L. Fleu of Mountain State Justice, Inc.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-281