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Bank Of America / problems with flood insurance!

1 United States Review updated:

When our mortgage was sold to Bank of America, we were almost immediately told we would be required to carry flood insurance. I tried to communicate with customer service by phone and correspondence but was very much ignored. I was sold a flood insurance policy at over $600 per year. I tried to communicate with Bank of America asking why my property had been identified as being in a flood plain. I finally got a hold of someone in the second year of the flood insurance policy and was told by them that It was up to me to prove that I wasn't in a flood plain. I asked them where the proof was that I was and was ignored. Finally at the beginning of the third year I hired a surveyor who verified I was no where near a flood plain and I sent the report to Bank of America. Without so much as an apology they notified me that new information had surfaced about my property, that it was not in a flood plain. At that point I requested reimbursement for the two years of flood insurance and the cost of the survey, a total of about $1500. I never heard a word from them, not an apology, go jump in the lake, or any kind of a response. Rest assured if the shoe were on the other foot, I would have paid through the nose.

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Comments

  • En
      15th of Jun, 2009
    +2 Votes

    Its not BoA's fault that you needed flood insurance. FEMA has identified areas that fall into "flood plains" that are really at any significant risk of a flood. BoA requires flood insurance if you fall into one of these plains and it is your responisbility to prove you do not.

    If you were half way through your second year of insurance, you should have gotten a full refund for that years premium, but the first years premium and the cost of the surveying is not refunded.

    We had the same issue when we closed on our house with Bank of America. Be glad your policy was only $600 a year, ours is currently at about $1700 a year... JUST for flood insurance. Waiting on our letter that says the requirement has been removed.

  • Fr
      28th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I'm having a similar problem with BoA right now!. As soon as BoA acquired my mortage from Countrywide I got a letter from them telling me they had "contracted with an independent provider to perform a flood zone determination" of my property, and this "independent provider" had determined that my property was currently located within a zone A Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), requiring flood insurance. I thought, hmmm that's weird, I'm nowhere near any water ways. So I go to the FEMA website to review the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Sure enough, what do I find? Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell my property is located in a zone D, which does not have a mandatory Flood Insurance requirement. I contact my insurance agent who reviews all her maps, etc, and she tells me BoA has their head up their A$$, and to push back. I go down to the county offices and check with the county surveyor and he tells me BoA is mistaken, and to push back.

    I call BoA (customer service reps, useless) to try to explain to them someone on their end gave them bad info. I''m hoping that if I can convince someone at BoA, by my research of publically available FEMA documents, that a mistake has been made they will remove the requirement from my account. The customer service rep is of no help. Like talking to a brick wall. They tell me I have to file a LOMA appeal through FEMA.

    I do some more research at the FEMA website and find there are basically two avenues of appeal.

    The first avenue of appeal is a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) which includes Letters of Map Amendments (LOMA) and Letters of Map Revision (LOMR). A LOMC is an appeal to FEMA that a property while located in a SFHA on a Flood Insurance Rate Map is itself on ground that is naturally above the Base Flood Elevation (LOMA) or is on fill ground that is above the Base Flood Elevation ( LOMR). This appeal requires aquiring the services of a licensed land surveyor for the application (at a cost of approximately $1500). Again, this is for property that when located on a Flood Insurance Rate Map is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.

    The second avenue of appeal is a Letter of Determination Review (LODR). This is the avenue of appeal for when the lender and the borrower do not agree on the reading of the Map, my situation. BoA has been told by the "independent provider" that based on the flood map my property is in a zone A; I say the flood map says I'm in a zone D. This appeal (LODR) involves providing FEMA with the exact location of the property, and FEMA reviewing their maps to make a final determination. A couple of requirements of the LODR process is that the request must be submitted jointly by the lender and borrower, with original signatures, and the request be made within 45 days of notification by the lender.

    I call customer service again and explain the situation to them again, get transferred three times, explaining the situation each time. I tell the final person I would like to initiate a LODR but I need the cooperation of BoA. She's never heard of a LODR. I quote the information to her from FEMAs Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines. She still doesn't know what I'm talking about (she tell's me she is just a customer service rep). I ask her if there is someone a little more knowledgeable on the subject that I could talk to. She tells me that would be someone in the "insurance determination dept." I say great, connect me. She says "they don't take calls". Am I on candid camera?! I tell her for customer service they don't provide much service. She tells me she will open a dispute claim (I think she made that up) with the "insurance determination dept." and will get back to me after the weekend. I tell her I'll fax her all my research in the hope it doesn't disappear into the void. Then guess what she try's to do as I say good-bye, SELL ME HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE!! Did I wake up in bizarro world this morning!

    And meanwhile the clock ticks on the 45 days.

  • Ra
      2nd of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    You are not alone, I have a similiar situation BOA, I say we all get together and file a class action lawsuit against BOA, they are ripping people off with this flood insurance requirement game.

    Here's my story, I do live in a flood plain so naturally I am required to carry flood insurance. No problem right? Wrong, I have always been reminded by BOA that my flood insurance coverage has to match the same amount of coverage listed on my hazard homeowners policy. So when the housing market was booming and market values kept increasing I would have my home owners insurance adjusted according to the replacement value. Shortly after that I woul receive the letter to increase my flood insurance to match the same value. This went on approx 2-3 times during the housing boom. Now things have changed housing market as we all know is in a turmoil and market values have dropped drastically so I had my homeowners insurance coverage re-adjusted to current values and re-adjusted the flood insurance to match the hazard insurance just as BOA has always required. Then I get the another letter of Notice of Flood Insurance Requirement stating that after comparison of the amount of flood insurance on the current flood insurance policy to the most recent policy we have on file, we have determined that additional flood insurance is required. Talk about double standards. It was great for BOA all along to keep increasing the flood insurance requirement when the housing market was booming and now they don't want to come down with the market values instead they want to keep over insuring homeowners which I'm told by my insurance agent that this is totally illegal and that I am paying for something that I will never see even if we needed it heaven forbid we get flooded. We will only receive what the market value replacement cost would be.
    Anyway, this frustrates me that I cannot get a straight answer from the insurance dept. All I get is and associate that has no clue and plays dumb like they have never heard of something like this happening. Meanwhile BOA has been taking approx $30.00 out of my checking account every month. I know this is not alot of money but it is the principal that bothers me most, knowing that BOA is stealing money from hardworking, law abiding taxpayers throughout this country and getting by with it.

    If I don't get proper clarification from BOA, I am contacting an Attorney!!

  • Se
      23rd of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I completely want to sue them for harrassment. I prove that I have flood insurance every year and every year they misplace it, ignore it and put their lender placed policy on. I then have to fight for another few months to get it removed never really knowing if I was fully refunded.
    It is a SCAM and I'm sick of it. I even have their reps tell me they see in the records that the policy is not expired but they take the expiration date off of another policy which is my own personal policy covering the contents inside of the condo and remove my flood insurance info. It is a joke and is definitely a business practice of theirs as this has happened EVERY year I've had the loan.
    So here I am again having to prove I have insurance for the 5th time this year to get their policy removed. Without a doubt this is harassment and extremely BAD business.

  • Le
      30th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I received the letter form my mortgage company this week informing me of inadequate coverage. Considering I have had the mortgage for 8 years am located in a flood zone and have always had flood insurance in excess of the mortgage amount I figured the letter was a mistake. My mortgage company referred me to FEMA and after talking with several people there confirmed that it was not a FEMA requirement for the additional insurance, didn't think so, FEMA actually said they get that call all the time. I then went to my insurance carrier. They had never heard of such a requirement so I started over with the mortgage company. My mortgage company apparently has the mortgage serviced by BOA and that is where the new requirement came from. I had no idea BOA had anything to do with my loan. I was able to talk to the insurance section and they said I could increase my flood insurance or decrease my homeowners insurance. As long as they match I would be ok. My mortgage company wants about $360 a year extra (I already pay &1750 a year even though the house floor is above flood level they base it on the ground under the house). Trying to figure out why BOA cares since if I get my insurance from FEMA they don't get any of it I think I stumbled on the reason. Allstate wanted about $650 extra for the additional coverage (FEMA decides on the amount). Since BOA is less I would be inclined to get it from them. They must know I don't really need it and would never collect on it or they would never offer it, certainly not at a cost less than FEMA.

    My options seem to be to pay BOA for what I don't need, pay Allstate even more for what I don't need (at least BOA wouldn't get it), reduce my homeowners insurance (that makes me nervous but would save money if nothing happened, or refinance with a company that doesn't do any business with BOA (that will cost some money also). However, if BOA is using bailout money to buy up loans I would probably end up back with them again. I've heard of their credit card scams, apparently they have found a new source of revenue. I guess I need to just pay it off and hope I didn't need my savings for anything else.

  • Sl
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    We have a similar problem. We re-financed, and the paper was sold to B of A. After one year, our payment went up by $75, so we started researching it. They had started putting about $42/m in escrow for Flood Insurance. This piece of rental property HAS NEVER BEEN IN A FLOOD PLAIN. They took it off after I found out, claiming it was just a mistake, but it just didn't smell right. We got to thinking about how much interest they must collect by taking people's money and putting it in escrow. If no one notices or understands what has happened, it can go on forever. If it was legit, they would have required us to have it, and our insurance company would have had to pay it, but they simply raised the payment and started putting money in escrow. Not only do we have to pay for their 20 billion bailout, but apparently they're still scamming people and I would be happy to add our name to a class action. We all need to contact the FDIC and Ralph Nader. Maybe we need a Facebook site too! Millions of people are on Facebook for causes, and no one has to have your e-mail or personal information.

  • Br
      14th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    i believe BOA is ruining the economy single handedly.
    i am in a food plain but dont understand why my flood ins. should exceed my loan amount. especially since i have never had a flood claim. also if i did have total destruction from flood it would be the end of civilization because we would all be under water. this country is a ###ing joke. and the banks and leading the way to self destruction. if i didnt have so much equity i would simply stop paying my loan. thanks Bush you chump.

  • Fe
      14th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I just recieved notice from Bank of America that I need to upgrade my flood insurance to MORE THEN DOUBLE my mortgage balance. The only answer I could get from them after spending almost 3 hours on the phone yesterday is that, that is thier policy. They have given me 4 weeks to upgrade which will cost me an extra $695.00. { I already pay $761.00 for flood insurance} Which I do not have, I am on a fixed income and have been out of worked for 2 months. I can see no logical reason for this. I will be paying flood insurance for more then replacement value on both my home and the property that it is on. Makes no sence at all.
    Needless to say, I will be spending my day trying to refinace with someone else instead of job-hunting. And, I'm sure that will not be an easy task considering I am out of work.
    But, I refuse to let Bank of America RIP ME OFF.

  • Ca
      15th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    The flood ins.requirements from bank of America is a joke. It is based on a lie to the consumer that Fema makes the policy. Not true I have the part if the letter that Fema sends to the banks, all banks saying to them you should cover your loans bye charging the same as the total loss or replacement cost on the home owners policy.What it really says is, To meet compliance requirements, the amount of flood insurance must be, but not limited to the lowest of:The outstanding principal balance of the loan(s);or The maximum amount of coverage available under the NFIP for the particular type of building.or The full insurable value of the building and /or its contents, which is the same as 100-percent replacement cost value(RCV).(...) it goes on to say, To protect collateral interest, a lender should consider whether its collateral is adequately insured against flood damage.A sound flood insurance risk management approach follows the insurance industry practice of insuring buildings to full RCV. Wow! Who is Fema working for? Not the consumer.So now they want$ 250.000.00of coverage on my home that I could probably sell for$ 180, 000.00, If any one in my neighborhood could sell. Needless to say there has never been a flood ins. claim on my property ever!

  • Wf
      16th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I am having the exact same issues as everyone in here with Bank of America. I'm all for class action lawsuit.

  • Wh
      29th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I just saw flood insurance listed on our account. I called and they said it was a mistake and removed it but why was it added in the first place. Our mortgage is over a year old so why now. They also listed it with no payee information or account number so it was obvious that it was no legitimate. We don't live in a flood plan but they still "accidentally" added an $800 a year fee to our mortgage. I can't control what bank buys my mortgage so I have no option to leave BofA. What rights do we have. This is bad business but there doesn't seem to be any way to avoid it. Like another person said above, how much interest do they earn off of this? What if I had not noticed and how many other people out there have not noticed this?

  • Kg
      4th of Feb, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I'm all for filing a class action suit against them too. I've never had so much trouble with a Mortgage Company as I have with BOA. The very month they assumed the mortgage from Countrywide, I've had trouble. I am in a flood zone, but got a survey done in 2004. It was filed with the Countrywide, no problems ever.

    Now mind you, I don't get my flood insurance through BOA, maybe that is their problem, and for sure I won't now, (which they tried to do a week ago). They put lender placed flood insurance on my mortgage, saying I had not payed it, well I had two weeks earlier. So I had my insurance carrier send them a copy of my policy, then they said they never go it. I had them fax it to them again, and oh yeah, they got it, and now say I had a lapse in my policy and had to pay 647.00 because of it, and are going to tack that on to my mortgage if I don't pay it in 15 days.

    I too am looking to refinance with someone else, even if it means a higher interest rate, I'm not putting up with them.

  • Jk
      5th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am so glad to find out that I am not the only lucky ### to be screwed by BoA.Amazing how there executive office customer relations department is unaware of these issues. I am still fighting them. I have also contacted my congresswoman, and The Office of the Controller of the Currency. Both of these are a joke but what else can we do. The OCC phone number is1-800-613-6743 file a complaint soon, because BoA has 30 business days to respond and another 60 days to do something. I am also looking to change mortgage companies. All for a class action lawsuit.

  • Ka
      14th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Our loan was first with E-Trader, then sold to Countrywide, and now to BOA. Our original loan ONLY required flood insurance for the remainder of the loan. This was not a large loan. We built a studio adjacent to our house. Now BOA is insisting that we have flood insurance for the full value of our property, twice the cost of our present flood insurance. We signed a contract. Isn't BOA required to honor the original contract? We are also appealing our flood zone status. We have lived on our property for 35 years and have never had a a flood event. We are on a fixed income and told them that we wouldn't be able to accommodate this breach of contract and their answer (after an unanswered "certified" letter and many frustrating calls) was that they would buy insurance and add it to our mortgage). Yes to a class action lawsuit.

  • Mr
      21st of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I'm having the same problem with BOA as you all are experiencing. BOA claims that my house is located in Flood Zone AE or possibly A or V. This is a joke. According to FEMA Flood Zones AE or A are indeed Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) requiring flood insurance. Flood Zone V is for SFHAs near the coast. My house is at least 30 miles from the nearest coastline. BOA records are wrong. I have proven to them twice that according to FEMA my house is located in Flood Zone X which means NOT in a designated SFHA and therefore mandatory flood insurance is not required. But that's not good enough for them. I finally got an official letter from the town's Office of Public Works and Engineering that clearly states that my house is located in Flood Zone X and not in a SFHA zone as BOA claims. Let's see what the ###s at BOA have to say now. My advice, get an official letter from your town's office of Public Works that declares if your house is located in a SFHA zone or not.

  • Gl
      14th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    You can contact the following web site for complains regarding the bank that is not giving you thhe proper solution: https://appsec.helpwithmybank.gov/olcc_form/.

  • To
      21st of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    BOA is doing this to us too - I have $60, 000 in flood insurance on a $40, 000 principal balance...7 years to go. BOA insists we need to TRIPLE our insurance to $180, 000 at an extra cost of $6 hundredsomething which they've now stolen from my escrow account. Through my insurance company, it would be another $900. I found this on the FEMA website in frequently asked questions about flood insurance, considering getting a policy:

    Q Why does my mortgage lender require me to buy flood insurance?

    A Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally related financial assistance for the acquisition and/or construction of buildings in high-risk flood areas (Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs).

    The amount of flood insurance coverage required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, is the -- L E S S E R -- of the following:

    1.The maximum amount of NFIP coverage available for the particular property type,
    *********2.The outstanding principal balance of the loan, ********* or
    3.The insurable value of the structure.

    If the property is not in a high-risk area, but instead in a moderate-to-low risk area, federal law does not require flood insurance; however, it is recommended since historically about one-in-four flood claims come from these moderate-to-low risk areas. Note that if during the life of the loan the maps are revised and the property is now in the high-risk area, your lender will notify you that you must purchase flood insurance.

    Sounds to me that they need to shake you down for the LEAST AMOUNT, rather than the LENDER'S CHOICE of the amount, which means i have 50% MORE insurance than i am required by FEMA to have. I'm gonna have to ask a lawyer or something to help me push back, because I'm not paying them this kind of money for another 7 years, AND i'm not paying $4000 to refinance for another 10-15 years, only to get sold back to these idiots. I just don't know what to do, and that makes me so mad I can't see straight.

  • Jo
      25th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I guess I am kind of in the same boat as all of you happy customers. I got my loan from countrywide and when BOA took over all the sudden they started trying to put lender place insurance on my loan. I live in a condo and I have insurance through my dues. I sent BOA proof of insurance several times, everytime it seemed to get lost. Finally, about two months ago they finally got the paperwork and I got a refund (I HAD TO DEMAND MY REFUND...THEY WOULD NOT JUST GIVE IT TO ME). But, the problems back now...I once again have sent them the paperwork. Now their story has changed though, they say I don't have enough coverage and want me to buy a $160k policy on a unit worth a 115k and my BOA loan is only 104K. That makes absolutely no sense to me. I honestly do not know what to do. I think they (when I say "they" I mean some backwards corprate leader/s, not some freindly desk person who is trying to make an honest living) are milking me or trying to steel my house and resell it. I would do class action but whats the point if it is all legal. My last resort is to pay my own taxes and send my mortgage payments, specifically "stating for mortgage interest/principle, not insurance." Then what can they do though?

    Here my questions for BOA.

    Why did you not properly file my paperwork and info as I repeatedly sent it to you?
    Why did I have proove to you that you charged me for your placed insurance to get a refund?
    Why do I need more insurance than my house is even worth?
    Why do none of the other units (my neighbors) have any problems with the same exact flood insurance I have?
    Why are you trying to steel my money?

    BTW... I physically went into a BOA branch and spoke with a friendly desk employee about this problem. She said the problem would be investigated and fixed in about a week, and then gave me a case #. She specifically said she would be the one handling the case. I find it kind of awkward/fishy that a week and a half later I got a call from the branch manager saying my "case" had been transfered to him and he was going to be dealing with it from then on. I bet she saw how stupid it was and tried to fix it but BOA would not let her and took her off the case (thats just a theory of many going through my head). Do BOA's employees even see (who have absolutly no power) how backward they are?

  • At
      9th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I read your story about Bank of America Mortgage and their requirement for flood insurance. We had the same thing happen to us. In late October 2009 my fiancé and I received a letter from them stating that our property had been rezoned and was now in a flood zone and we were required to purchase flood insurance. Our house has never flooded so we were surprised. Also, the letter was sent so late that we did not have much time to purchase it before the date they imposed in the letter. I called them and after several hours and nine-kinds-of-hell I finally got through to a rep. They said FEMA rezoned us. When I asked for a copy of the documentation they received from FEMA to base their decision on they refused to produce it. I argued back and forth for several days having to talk to a different rep every time because their insane automated system does not allow one to talk to the same person every time. Every time I called it was a new world and a different story. We were finally forced to get our own flood insurance to avoid them purchasing one for us. They promised they would not purchase it.

    Problem solved, right? WRONG. They went ahead and purchased it anyway. It took us until the first part of this year to get the idiots-at-the-wheel at Bank of America to refund everything and lower our payment back to what it was before this mess. Problem solved, right? WRONG. In May of this year we received yet another letter saying we needed $3000.00 more in flood insurance. Again the letter was sent so late we barely had time to get it increased before they would purchase it on our behalf. We went through another series of torturous phone calls to Bank of America and still more hollow promises. We got our insurance increased, faxed all documentation as instructed and they promised not to purchase it. Problem solved, right? WRONG. They went ahead and purchased it yet again. We are still fighting with them to refund it.

    I just saw a report on our local news channel 2 in Tulsa, OK tonight. Apparently this is happening to a lot of people. Is there no legal recourse against this? We have no money to hire a surveyor to prove what is already obvious. Somehow it seems unfair and illegal that Bank of America or any other mortgage company can impose these requirements without providing credible evidence to support their claim. Yet, because they have money and we do not; they are allowed to screw us and we are supposed to take it. We would like to at least turn in a formal complaint to whatever board or agency governs them (assuming they have one) but have not been able to figure out who that is.

    As far as I’m concerned, if I ever buy property again I will make sure that it is set up somehow that our note cannot ever be sold to Bank of America, nor will I ever willingly take out a mortgage with them or have any accounts whatsoever with them again. They are nothing but a bunch of white collar crooks

  • Sc
      5th of Aug, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I completely agree with everyone here. Basically, how do we start a class action suit?

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