Feds: Bank of America Illegally Foreclosed on Active Service Members’ Homes

At least 160 active members of the U.S. military had their homes “illegally foreclosed upon” by the Bank of America, according to the Justice Department.

While Americans honor their men and women in the armed forces today, the Justice Department announced that Bank of America’s home loan servicing subsidiary will have to pay $20 million to about 160 service members, as part of a settlement agreement. Each service member who lost his or her home in an unlawful foreclose will be paid a minimum of $116,785 — plus compensation for any lost equity that came as a result of the foreclosure. The foreclosures settled today came between 2006 and 2009.

Bank of America agreed to provide information about its foreclosures from mid-2009-2010 and will pay damages in the same minimum amount to those service members whose homes were illegally foreclosed upon during that time period. The review of those foreclosures is on-going.

“The men and women serving our nation should not have to worry about a bank foreclosing on their home while they bravely serve our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously enforce the laws that protect service members while they do the difficult and necessary work of protecting our country.”

The Justice Department said that beginning on Nov. 14, 2011, letters will be sent to 157 service members to notify them of the amount of money that they may receive under the settlement. The settlement is designed to compensate the service members for the bank’s alleged violation of the Service Member Civil Relief Act  between 2006-2009.