After months of anticipation about a trove of documents that could shake giant Bank of America to its knees, the hacker organization Anonymous released e-mails to the public Monday its members say prove that employees of a Bank of America-owned company committed mortgage fraud in a number of foreclosures.
But so far, anyway, the e-mails released by Anonymous seem to prove little, at least on their own. Bank of America played down the release, made by a former employee, saying that the leaked e-mails don’t even relate to foreclosures.
“We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue,” a bank spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.
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The former employee worked for Balboa Insurance, which was bought by Bank of America in 2008. Balboa sells force-placed mortgage insurance, in which a homeowner who does not buy insurance has it bought for them by the servicer of their mortgage, with the premiums added automatically to their monthly bill.
The e-mails released Monday are between Balboa employees discussing plans to delete loan numbers from documents “so the documents will not show as matched to those loans,” one employee wrote.
You can see the e-mails at bankofamericasuck.com. The website appears to be crashing regularly, however, perhaps due to overwhelming by traffic. The former employee alleges that deleting the loan numbers was part of effort of “knowingly hiding foreclosure information from federal auditors,” and “falsifying loan documentation in order to proceed with foreclosures….”
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The e-mails themselves do not provide enough context to justify these claims.
In 2010 Julian Assange, founder of website Wikileaks, announced he possessed documents that would bring down a major American bank. In another statement he said he had internal documents belonging to Bank of America. Though some people are involved with both WikiLeaks and Anonymous, the two groups appear to be separate, and it was not immediately clear Monday whether the e-mails released regarding Balboa were the same ones Assange alluded to last year, or whether Wikileaks has other documents it plans to release.
Image: Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr.com