POSTED: Monday, August 15, 2011 - 5:26pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 7:50am
LAS CRUCES - Some people in Las Cruces say a popular bank isn't doing enough to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
They held a protest Monday morning outside the Bank of America at 250 W. Amador, before marching inside with their demands.
"I'm not even sure what my future holds," said Roseann Vasquez.
She recently graduated with her Master's degree but hasn't been able to find a job in the tough economy.
"I haven't been able to make my mortgage payments on my home that I have lived in for 12 years with my three children," she said.
At risk of loosing her home, Vasquez is hoping Bank of America will help. She's asking the bank to modify her home loan and reduce the principal amount to reflect the current market.
But she said Bank of America told her they have no local representatives to meet with her, and instead have given her a number to a customer service representative.
"I'm not requesting anything unreasonable from Bank of America,” said Vasquez. “I just want some attention from them as an individual homeowner."
After about half an hour of protesting outside of the Amador Bank of America, Vasquez and her handful of supporters marched into the bank and demanded to see the manager. But less than 5 minutes after going inside the bank, the group came back out and said they didn't get the help they were looking for.
"The bank manager caught us at the entrance and told us she can't talk for Bank of America and she told us to leave," said Sarah Nolan, the director for Comunidades en Accion y de Fe. The organization is a faith-based community group based in Southern New Mexico.
In response to Monday's protest, Bank of America released the following statement to NewsChannel 9:
Bank of America is committed to keeping as many homeowners as possible in their homes in these difficult economic times, as long as they have the desire and financial capability to make affordable payments. We now have more than 35,000 people dedicated to working with these customers, intent on exhausting available loan modification and other foreclosure prevention measures prior to a foreclosure sale.”
The fact is Bank of America has completed more than 900,000 modifications through all available programs since the start of the housing crisis in January 2008, including about 150,000 permanent modifications through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, leading the industry. About 250,000 additional customers have been provided with a HAMP trial modification which either remains active in the trial period or was closed.
Vasquez said she has no idea how long she will be able to stay in her home before the bank forecloses on it. She is just hoping Bank of America will be able to re-negotiate her loan before it reaches that point.
"I'm hoping that there will be a successful outcome in the long run."