In 2008, Melissa and Eric Brodsky worked with Countrywide Financial on a loan modification for their Farmington Hills home.
Now, Countrywide no longer exists, and neither does the loan modification. For the past three years, the Brodskys have fought with Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in 2008, to keep the house. And Melissa Brodsky, an active and avid user of social media, has taken that battle to the Internet.
What galls her is that when Bank of America took over the loan, it seemed like everything would work out.
"They said we won't honor the agreement, but if you qualified for Countrywide's loan modification, you'll qualify for our program," she said. "Then they turned us down – four times."
"If (Bank of America is) ruining our credit, who's going to give us a lease?"
Through her @rockdrool Twitter account, Melissa contacted a Bank of America representative, who asked her to send her phone number through a direct message, and it would be passed on to someone who could help. That only led to another rejection.
"Then, all of a sudden, a few weeks ago, we started getting these notices from attorneys," she said. "They found our name in the Legal News."
That's how the Brodskys found out Bank of America had started foreclosure proceedings. The family's five children know what's happening and are afraid of losing their home.
"They're all a little on edge," Melissa said, adding it will be difficult for her large family to find other housing. "If (Bank of America is) ruining our credit, who's going to give us a lease?"
Social media posts reach a wide audience
Angry and frustrated, she has continued blogging and posting with a Twitter hashtag, #BOArally. Her posts have been shared hundreds of times, and she estimates as many as a million people have seen them through popular bloggers like MochaMomma.com, who has her own Bank of America tale to share.
Bank of America took notice, Melissa said, "and the next thing I know, we're on the desk of the advocate for the (bank) president."
The Brodskys have begun the process of filling out paperwork again, and they've been told the bank can't make any promises at this point. But no matter what comes, this experience has changed Melissa. She has collected more than 260 signatures on a petition at Change.org and opened up her blog ( rockanddrool.com) to others who have foreclosure stories to tell.
"I want to start a non-profit, and I have a ton of bloggers who would get involved," she said. "If everyone donated $1, we could help so many people. What if someone just needs $5,000 to get their mortgage paid or cover moving costs, or put a downpayment on a lease? I don't want people living in their cars because of the banks."
Bank of America's response
Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch contacted Bank of America and received the following response via e-mail from spokesperson Jumana Bauwens:
"The modification agreement in 2008 was contingent on qualification. Based on their income, they did not qualify. We are still working with the Brodskys in hopes of modifying their mortgage and hope to have some new information to provide them next week."