Today's Outrage: BoA's Dirty Mortgage Secret

Bank of America's Countrywide mortgage unit has got some nerve.
Publish date:

The story went almost unnoticed and is already lost in the flurry of headlines about

Bank of America's

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$20 billion in bailout bucks

and its quarterly loss.

In many ways, the unsung story I'm talking about is more outrageous than giving BofA $45 billion in taxpayer dollars even though it remains profitable (the company said it earned $4 billion in 2008 despite the fourth-quarter loss).

This truly outrageous story is that BofA's Countrywide division acknowledged in legal documents that it's only been giving lip service to lawmakers about helping struggling homeowners modify their mortgages, according to


The report says that Countrywide's lawyers describe the mortgage modification talk as "mere commercial puffery."

It seems Countrywide is defending itself against a lawsuit in New Hampshire brought by a family that claims it was refused a loan modification.

And the banks wonder why Congress feels the need to

legislate a solution

to the mortgage crisis.

Taxpayers deserve more after being forced to bankroll the likes of


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JPMorgan Chase

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-- even

General Motors'

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financing arm GMAC is getting bailed out (yes, GMAC got caught up in the mortgage mess, too).

Or maybe Bank of America would prefer to discuss "commercial puffery" in bankruptcy court?