Why did Bank of America sell me down the river?

Why did Bank of America sell me down the river?

When I moved to Florida, a lawyer suggested that I get a mortgage from Bank of America. I took his advice and had no problems for 9 years, thanks to a great mortgage man at the bank.

Then, last weekend riffling through the papers on my desk, I came across a bland and eminently ignorable note from an entity named Green Tree Lending. The letter informed me that Green Tree now owned my mortgage. I thought I had never heard of Green Tree, but apparently I had.

Looking around for letters from Bank of America I found one that had slipped my mind completely. It mentioned that BoA was dumping me off to Green Tree. The letter was just one of an endless stream of impact-free communications Americans get these days. My first takeaway from all this is DO NOT GIVE SHORT SHRIFT TO MESSAGES FROM ORGANIZATIONS THAT CAN MESS UP YOUR LIFE.

I thought I knew who and what BoA was but I was wrong. I went online to see who and what Green Tree is. If you have a strong stomach, check them out yourself. You’ll find lots of miserable stories like this: WorldFreeNews.com

I’m not as horrified by Green Tree as I know I eventually will be. For now, I’m more horrified by Bank of America. There is something seriously wrong in the bowels of that formerly reliable institution. I have no idea what it is but I suspect it goes back to the disastrous government-driven policy of issuing mortgages to people who couldn’t possibly have paid for them and the blood-sniffing sharks that took advantage of it.

Or maybe I’m missing something. If you know what it might be, I’d appreciate reading about it in your comment below.

BTW I wonder why banks (like BoA) spend all kinds of money on Branding, and then let it fall apart. I wrote a piece about Brand on my Forbes column (Marketing Matters More Than Ever): Why Brand Matters and there I said, “In one sense, perhaps the most important sense, a brand is a promise.

So what happened to the Bank of America’s promise to me?

4 Responses

  1. Well, what goes around comes around. If banks treat us poorly it will eventually come back and hurt them too. It’s sad…because we used to be very “bank loyal”.

  2. Lois,

    Same thing happened to me about 10 years ago. These days, it seems that all of the banks end up selling the mortgages to smaller, unknown institutions.

    Sadly, it is consistent with much of the behavior you see from the banking industry. Corporate profits trump customer service. And they have the nerve to talk, publicly, about customer loyalty. Why should the customers be loyal to an institution that only values the contribution to the bottom line?

    Very disheartening.


  3. I don’t know why B of A doesn’t realize the disconnect between their branding and their other public actions, as well as their customer interaction. Part of it is because it, like many institutions, has become so large (a.k.a. “too big to fail”) that, as someone has noted, there is not a constant striving to improve itself throughout the company culture.

    I’ve been a credit union customer for over 20 years. I do all of my banking with it, and despite its growth into one of the biggest credit unions in the Philadelphia area, I still feel strongly that there is a consistent effort to improve customer service. Its branding is also quite good, and while it may be a slight bit behind the curve in offering banking via NFC & all of the other latest gizmos, people do know them more for their friendly tellers, fun events, etc.

    If I were in your position, I’d look into credit unions & see about refinancing your mortgage.