Big scoop from Barry Ritholtz, Where’s the Note? Leads BAC to Ding Credit Score.
With your curiosity piqued, you decide to ask Bank of America where your actual mortgage note is, and who is holding it.
That is what long time BP reader SM did. He writes in to note what happened:
“FYI Just to let you know I ended up doing Where’s the Note and it resulted in this for me, see the 2 reported disputes in the attached screenshots below for my Jumbo 1st mortgage. 40 point hit on my scores. I will be speaking with an attorney soon. We need to get a warning out (SEIU has not responded).”
That is astonishing –
SM included a snapshot of his Credit report (Nice payment history!):
BAC reporting to Experian and Trans union
Wow. We don’t often think of the credit reports as a form of social control because we think of algorithms as being value-neutral and the egregious stuff is usually very subtle, hidden and mostly will harm people least able to contest it. But this takes it to a whole new level.
In the middle of a foreclosure fraud crisis where people aren’t sure who owns their mortgage, a simple ask of “can you show me the contract I signed with you, just to make sure it is there if there is a dispute” is being used to threaten someone’s credit score. A note is an important document, and the research literature shows abuses in distress. Since credit scores impact everything else in your life, from being able to turn on your lights and electricity to renting an apartment to purchasing things, this is a serious threat, one of the more grievous ones a private company can deliver.
Luckily the guy has a perfect credit score, so we can see this clearly. I wonder how widespread it is; since many who want to see their note have other distress, it’ll disappear into a blur of algorithmic hand-waiving. This has to be viewed in combination with the fact that National Trust is now suing bloggers on the front line covering the foreclosure fraud crisis. I’ve been watching this unfold, and the trusts and servicers are getting more vicious, more cornered. I’m interested in seeing where this all ends up.