Thursday, March 23, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

BofA May Be Liable for Furtive Interest Charges

GALVESTON, Texas (CN) - A federal judge refused to toss a couple's claims that Bank of America bilked them for additional interest on their mortgage and snuck another 13 years onto the maturity date of their loan.

To amass more interest on Long Nguyen and Lan Huynh's mortgage, Bank of America allegedly withdrew money from the couple's account up to five days late. This occurred even though the bank was supposed to withdraw funds on a set date under the PayPlan automatic payment plan, according to the complaint.

"When a payment was actually applied later than agreed, more of that payment went towards interest rather than principal than if the payment had been applied earlier," the couple says.

Without their knowledge or consent, the bank also allegedly extended the maturity date for the loan, jumping from 2016 to 2029.

The couple filed a federal class action against Bank of America, alleging breach of contract, declaratory judgment, and violations of the Truth in Lending Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt refused to dismiss the case last week.

"The court points to the defendant's admission that the defendant committed error(s) in its calculation of the interest due on the plaintiffs' note obligations," Hoyt wrote. "Whether this conduct was simple error or a scheme to increase the defendant's revenue is yet to be determined."

"The defendant simply seeks to have Twombly and its progeny accomplish what was never intended - a pretrial of the facts of a plaintiff's case via the defendant's defenses to those facts," Hoyt added, citing the Supreme Court's holding in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, which requires that a plaintiff muster plausible evidence of his claims before the trial process begins.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.