From the piece:
Cortez, the homeowner from Staten Island, had been trying to get a loan modification since 2008, ever since his monthly payments had doubled and his son, who lived in the home, lost his job. He said he probably would have signed the forbearance agreement if he hadn't had legal representation, since any offer at all from Bank of America had been so difficult to come by.
"I might have signed it, but that would have been worse for us. I've heard of people who signed their three-month agreement and then don't get their modification and then get foreclosed on."
When Cortez's attorney objected to the clause, the bank initially resisted removing it. At a court hearing in January as part of New York's foreclosure settlement process, Bank of America's attorney said it was standard language for the bank's agreements and shouldn't be removed, said Diane Johnston, a paralegal at Staten Island Legal Services. The agreement was eventually withdrawn. Having resubmitted their documents once again, Cortez's family is still waiting to hear whether they're getting a modification.
Rick Simon, a spokesman for Bank of America, said it wasn't standard to have a waiver clause in its agreements and there'd simply been a mistake.
Bank of America had stopped the practice back in 2008, he said, but a "specialized unit of the home retention division" had been mistakenly sending out agreements with the waiver language last year. "The mistaken presence of waiver clauses in some agreements appears to be limited to the unit and was discovered in December. The situation was rectified in January."
Read the article in full at slate.com.