I purchased a car in Florida in 2001 with an auto loan from Bank of America. I repaid the loan in May 2004. When I recently (June 2011) attempted to sell the car, I discovered that Bank of America had not released their lien on the car. The first BoA agent I spoke with wanted to charge me $20 for a lien release statement. I declined and called the Florida DMV to determine what exactly I needed. They told me that BoA needed to release the lien electronically via the FL DMV system.
I then attempted to get back in touch with BoA (7/12/2011). After being hung up on multiple times, I finally got through to an agent named Diane Washington. She initially told me that it would take her a few minutes to put the information into the system. When I pressed her to clarify whether she meant the DMV system, after several rounds of Q&A, she said: no, she was just keying in a ticket for someone else to address. When I asked her when I could expect this someone else to actually get onto the FL DMV system and release the lien, she said it would take 7-10 business days. When I told her that was completely unacceptable - they had already had 7 YEARS to release the lien, she said she would put a rush on it and have it resolved within 48 hours.
It was not. I called the FL DMV four business days later (7/18/2011) and was told that BoA had not filed the lien release.
I called BoA back this morning (7/19) and spoke with an agent named Jacob Landrum, who said that BoA filed the lien release yesterday, though he could not tell me what time it had been filed. He offered no explanation or apology for not meeting their promised turnaround time of 48 hours. I then called the FL DMV back, only to be told that the lien had not yet been released by BoA.
I then called BoA back and spoke to an agent named Kia Collins, who was unable to provide any further information. I then requested a supervisor and was put in touch with Tonnisha Taylor, who told me that Diane Washington could not have promised me a 48 hour turnaround because their typical turnaround was 7-10 days. I assured Ms. Taylor that Ms. Washington had and that even Ms. Collins had seen the promised 48-hour turnaround in the system. She then said that if Ms. Washington had promised me a 48-hour turnaround, she should not have done so.
I then asked Ms. Taylor why a two-minute task – filing the lien release in the FL DMV system – should take that long to complete and she replied that “the agent needed to research the matter before releasing the lien.” Note that all call center agents and the supervisor had complete access to my repayment date and all other vehicle and loan information they needed. So it is still unclear to me why filing the lien release should even have taken 48 business hours, let alone the 96 business hours that it appears to have taken … and at this point, I only have BoA’s less-than-credible word that they have actually filed the lien release.
I am completely disgusted with BoA. Not only have they not been proactive in addressing their 7-year old error (they took my phone numbers but never called back to inform me that the matter was delayed or resolved), but at each stage, agents have been downright ignorant, made excuses, prevaricated, and simply attempted to get me off the line as quickly as possible without any concern for resolving the problem. Given everything I read about the company and my own past experiences with them, I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but I am … that a company this unprofessional continues to stay in business.