A veteran who served in Afghanistan has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging Bank of America threatened to foreclose on his home and harm his credit score, violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that protects active duty service members from financial hardship.
Morgan Murphy, an Alabama resident, also alleges the bank modified his loan above a 6% limit guaranteed by the SCRA. The lawsuit claims Murphy was told by a BofA staffer that a notice had been sent to his home scheduling a foreclosure. Murphy submitted an application for a temporary order to stop it, and BofA responded saying no foreclosure date was scheduled, according to Romaine Scott III, Murphy's lawyer.
The SCRA protects active duty service members and their families from foreclosure, eviction and other actions that might result from not being able to meet financial obligations while serving their country.
According to a report from the Government Accountability Office released this month, financial institutions have illegally foreclosed on more than 300 active duty military members in recent years. The report also found financial institutions failed to properly reduce interest rates for at least 15,000 borrowers.
Murphy began serving in Afghanistan in September 2010. After receiving the orders, Murphy confirmed with a BofA staffer that he would be protected under the SCRA until September 2012, the lawsuit states.
His lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for all of his claims. Murphy served as the director of media outreach for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force during his time abroad.
BofA would not comment on the case, beyond noting that Murphy's home is not in foreclosure. "We cannot comment on the litigation but can confirm that Mr. Morgan’s mortgage is currently not in foreclosure," a BofA spokesperson said in a statement. "We work hard to ensure our military customers receive additional support that caters to their unique needs. When we find mistakes, we address them."
Last month, the Department of Justice announced an agreement with Capital One requiring the bank to pay $12 million to service members to settle claims that it violated the SCRA.