B of A Says Ex-Workers Made ‘Impossible’ Loan-Program Claims

Bank of America Corp. said former workers who alleged the firm awarded bonuses for sending homeowners into foreclosure misrepresented their roles and made “impossible” claims about the lender’s assistance program.

The ex-employees, whose sworn statements were filed last month in a lawsuit against the bank, had limited roles that didn’t allow them to understand the full scope of assistance efforts, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company said today in documents in federal court in Boston.

“The declarants’ wild misrepresentations about their roles lead to impossible claims about what they did and saw,” Bank of America said. They “could not have witnessed what they claim to have witnessed because they were not in a position to do so and would not have witnessed such things in any event because Bank of America’s actual practices were diametrically opposite.”

The bank, seeking to block plaintiffs’ efforts to attain class-action status, also said six of the seven former workers were fired for inappropriate behavior.

Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. lender by assets, is being sued by homeowners who claim the company didn’t comply with the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program. The borrowers said in court filings last month that the bank instructed employees to stall mortgage-modification applications, lie to customers and falsify documents.

Loan collectors were given $500 bonuses and gift cards to retailers including Target Corp. and Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. for putting customers into foreclosure, one of the ex-employees said. In sworn statements filed today by the bank, supervisors of those workers said that they didn’t give incentives for improper behavior and that the bank made good-faith efforts to help distressed borrowers.

Steve Berman and Gary Klein, attorneys for the homeowners, didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment about the bank’s filing.