On Hold: Even Congresswoman Gets the Runaround on Bank Help Lines

Almost two hours after her first attempt to reach a loan officer, Waters was finally transferred to the refinancing department -- where she was greeted with a recording and then cut off.

"Oh my goodness," Waters remarked. "Well, what they [the recording] just said is go to your computer and fill out info to see if you qualify. They don't check to see if you have a computer and they don't come back on line."

The Bank of America says it does a good job and is almost always quick to respond to calls.

"On average one to two minutes," said Steve Bailey, who heads the loan division of Bank of America. "In terms of once you are waiting for a cue from an agent, it takes one to two minutes to get through to somebody. Certainly if we are urgently wanting to speak to people we don't want them to wait 20, 30 minutes on hold just to talk to us."

Bank of America Apologizes

Bailey offered an apology to Waters and the Beards for the process they went through saying that's absolutely not the way Bank of America wants things to go.

But the congresswoman believes her experience was typical.

"Anybody witnessing what I was going through could see that I got pretty aggravated, and that I got upset about the basic inconvenience of the so-called system that they have, the lack of responsiveness, the inability to get anything done," said Waters.

Carol and Dave Harper of Los Angeles are behind on their mortgage payments and face possible foreclosure. Mr. Harper is recently disabled. Since last summer the Harpers have been trying without success to get IndyMac bank to modify their mortgage so they can make their monthly payments.

"We worked hard for this," Mrs. Harper told ABC News." He worked until he couldn't work any longer. I can't do it any more. I don't know what I'm going to do if these people take my home. I have nothing else."

Mrs. Harper says her calls to Indymac and multiple visits to bank counselors have resulted in nothing more than a six-month runaround.

"I've called. I've been on the phone so much it's pathetic," said Mrs. Harper. "It's hard. I'm at a point where I don't know where else to go."

When Waters attempted to reach Indymac on behalf of the Harpers it took her four minutes to get through all the recorded messages, prompts, and music to finally speak to a real person. Though once Waters identified herself she was quickly transferred to the public relations department. Despite her VIP-treatment, however, the Harpers still have not been able to get the bank to help them.

IndyMac told ABC News that the Harpers' case is too complex to handle through the call center and that the bank is now trying to help them.

Waters says her experience is further evidence that the lenders have created, but are not helping to solve the mortgage crisis.

"I think what we have discovered speaks for itself. They're not trying to help people do loan modifications," she said. "They put these products out on the street. They had brokers and salespersons out there signing people up because they really didn't have to keep them. They had investors and they securitized and packaged these things and sent them up to Wall Street."

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