A delegation of nine of us, peaceful and mainly senior citizens from ages 60 to 85 years walked into the Albany branch of the Bank of America to discuss with the bank manager community concerns about its foreclosure practices and its poor record of providing mortgage modifications to homeowners in trouble. Also, the BofA has recently agreed to reduce mortgages up to 35 percent on homes whose value is lower than the mortgage payments. We want to make sure that the Bank fulfills its promise.
The bank manager, after conferring with his superiors, not only refused to meet with us then but ever. We should submit our concerns in writing, and they will respond to us only in writing. We asked for just 15 minutes, and we gave him assurance that we would not request his views. But we wanted him to hear ours, which includes members of the delegation with accounts at the bank. We still couldn't persuade the manager. In fact, He even refused to give us his business card.
When we take into account the considerable -- and justifiable -- criticism of the BofA, its paranoia may seem understandable. On the other hand, if the bank seriously intends to turn over a new leaf they should have seen us as an opportunity to relate to a group of community people. That they were anxious about meeting with us suggests that we have good reason to be worried about the bank's promises to reform. A financial institution that doesn't trust the community should not itself be trusted. It is mandatory that the BofA's practices be carefully monitored by all communities.
To inform the public of the BofA's arrogance and malpractices, we are rallying at its Albany branch (Solano & Neilson), Monday, May 21st, 5-6pm.