HONOLULU (CN) - A widow says Bank of America cruelly harassed her during her husband's wake, making repeated dunning calls to a speaker phone set up for condolences, though the bank knew her husband had just died, and that it would get its money as soon as she received her life insurance check.
Deborah Crabtree sued Bank of America Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, and Countrywide Home Loans on 16 counts, including unconscionability, bad faith, outrage, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and violations of state laws.
She says the bank called her "incessantly every day" after her husband died. During the wake at their home, she says, she and her children had set up a speaker phone to receive condolence calls. She says the bank called "every 15 minutes during the wake," broadcasting "throughout the house, stating, 'This is Bank of America, and we are calling to collect with regards to a debt.'"
Crabtree says that other companies granted her requests for 30 days to get her husband's business affairs in order, and her life insurance money - but not Bank of America.
She says the bank's collectors called throughout the wake, "every 15 minutes, forcing plaintiff, her son, Daniel, or her daughter, Tracy, to rush to the phone to hang it up before the message was broadcast throughout the house again."
And it didn't stop with the wake. She says Bank of America has continued its barrage of "incessant ... every 15-minute" phone calls, up to "48 phone calls daily," as it tried to foreclose on her home.
The day after her husband died, the widow says, she "tried to explain to defendants that her husband, Robert, had died the day before, and that she needed at least 30 days [to] get her husband's business affairs in order, and that she would pay them and get her accounts up-to-date as soon as she received his life insurance."
She told the bank she had only "$5K on hand for food for the family, to bury her husband and prepare for the wake."
But the bank told her that "the calls are computer generated and they won't stop until they are paid."
She says the bank did this even though she had "repeatedly told defendants she had the canceled checks, telephone payment confirmation numbers and/or a record of bank withdrawals to prove her payments."
Fat chance. Crabtree says Bank of America told her that "they could legally call her up every 15 minutes, every hour from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at night, seven (7) days a week and they would continue to make such calls."
She says she and her husband had been current on their mortgage since the inception, except for the immediate period surrounding Robert Crabtree's death.
She says Bof A also charged her for unnecessary hurricane insurance coverage, after she provided proof of coverage with a non-party, and says it continues to threaten her with foreclosure.
Crabtree, 63, is represented by Gary Shigemura.