A federal bankruptcy judge who took Bank of America to task for its treatment of homeowners in a foreclosure case refused to rescind his scathing opinion in which he called the bank “heartless” for its conduct, despite the bank’s agreement to settle if the judge did so.
In Sundquist v. Bank of America, the judge awarded nearly $6 million in damages to the couple ($5 million of that in punitive damages and attorney’s fees), as well as $40 million to the intervenors in the case for the bank’s actions. The bank has offered to set aside its appeals and settle the case for several million dollars in excess of that $6 million, if only the judge will expunge his opinion and vacate the $40 million in damages to the intervenors. The couple has offered to donate $300,000 to the intervenors. However the judge, who has been labeled a hero in some circles, while agreeing to vacate the intervenors’ damage award, has refused to rescind his opinion. In a new recently-released response opinion, the judge stated the bank’s settlement offer was a coercive effort to erase the record. He frankly stated, “No chance. No dice.”
The intervenors in this case include a number of law schools and non-profit consumer advocacy organizations intervened on behalf of the public. The judge noted that the points made by these entities were valid, and the bank has thus far issued no apology and offered no remorse or made offers to change the corporate practices that led to the foreclosure abuses this couple suffered – which were not isolated incidents. Continue reading