Bitten by the Banking Wars

My “banking career” began in the early 70’s of the previous century and ended with my retirement in 2013. In the 80’s and 90’s the bank failures and buyouts created havoc in the industry and the lives of many workers and their families. My close friends and coworkers in IT managed to survive as many as 5 takeovers during that period and were involved in the conversions to the buyer’s computer systems and hardware. Other people contributed heavily in the conversion to the “new” bank’s way of doing business.

In 1989, the Mrs. and I obtained a mortgage to buy our condo from the bank I was working for at the time, Bank of Boston CT. I was working for Bank of America (end of the buyout chain) when we paid off that mortgage in 2013, just before I retired. Over the life of that loan, it changed hands from one mortgage lender to another as well as one bank to another.

I am currently in the application phase for a Home Equity Loan with Bank of America, as a retiree, to make some needed home repairs. This application required financial forms and verifications to be obtained and attached, and the bank was helpful with the process.

But guess what showed up yesterday? An existing lien on my home from the original Bank of Boston CT mortgage. Total nonsense. I’ve been through at least one title search since the loan was paid off and no lien showed up. This should be interesting. A bank that no longer exists making claim to my home. This may cause a lengthy delay in the current loan application’s completion. Or hopefully I’ll be lucky and it’s an easy fix.

I think a conversion plan dropped the ball in at least one of those buyouts and allowed that lien to come alive again on a list somewhere. It should have been closed out.

UPDATED 08/08/2019: The belief that the issue was a glitch in one of the bank buyout conversions proved to be true. The bank has told me this is their issue to resolve, not mine. However, it’s taking quite a long time with escalations to other departments and internal auditors. I still have no idea when my loan will be available (or declined). This process started on June 12th.

UPDATED 08/18/2019: On August 9, 2019, the Bank’s stand on the bogus lien issue dramatically changed. They advised they would no longer be addressing this matter and that I needed to contact Bank of Boston CT (a bank which has not existed since the latter part of the last century). The bank later changed my contact to Chase Manhattan Bank as they now “own” the mortgage history and advised I had 30 days to get resolution before the loan application would be marked as “denied”.

On a conference call with the loan department, my temper got the better of me and I strongly advised they just cancel my application. I had a feeling this was going to take longer than 30 days, so no loss. I contacted a lawyer who explained what steps would need to take place and what documents would be required to release the bogus lien on my home. Remember that on more than one occasion I was told by the loan department that this was the bank’s issue, not mine, as it was a file conversion issue during the chain of the bank buyouts and that they would resolve it.

That a bank of this size completely reversed this commitment with out a satisfactory explanation and refused to take responsibility for resolution, is what angers me the most. Pursuing this further with the loaning bank would be akin to an ant trying to wrestle a dinosaur to submission, so I am forced to accept the situation.

I do worry however, that the loan application being marked as denied will have a negative impact on my credit score.