Customer Privacy Violations at Bank of America/Balboa Insurance

SEE ALSO 10-lies-we-live-by-and-should-stop-believing-if-we-want-this-to-stop

Does your bank allow their employees to take pictures while displaying your private and personal information? If you do business with Bank of America, Balboa Insurance, or any of their corporate clients, the answer is a resounding YES!

The below is one of many photographs posted to Facebook by Bank of America and Balboa Insurance associates taken while they are processing your claims and loans. Information on the computer monitor includes a customer’s full loan details, property address, loan number, social security number, etc.

Surely a bank this large would take better security measures with your private and personal information. If you’d like to see for yourself, visit any of Bank of America’s 3 insurance tracking centers (located in Ft Worth, TX, Chandler, AZ, and Moon Township, PA). The information is normally processed on the first floor, and the windows are always open (and not tinted in any way). You can sit across the street and photograph any private mortgage or auto information you want as long as you have a camera with a zoom.

I’ve worked for University of Phoenix, Verizon Wireless, MCI (post-Worldcom), American Express, Best Buy, etc, and never have I witnessed such blatant violations of customer privacy regulations.

Bank of America: A Peak Behind The Curtain of Corruption, Part 1

For the last 7 years, I worked in the Insurance/Mortgage industry for a company called Balboa Insurance. Many of you do not know who Balboa Insurance Group (soon to be rebranded as QBE First by Australian Reinsurance Company QBE according to internal communication sent to all Balboa associates) is, but if you’ve ever had a loan for an automobile, farm equipment, mobile home, or residential or commercial property, we knew you. In fact, we probably charged you money…a lot of money…for insurance you didn’t even need.

Balboa Insurance Group, and it’s largest competitor, the market leader Assurant, is in the business of insurance tracking and Force Placed Insurance (aka Lender Placed Insurance, FOH, LPI, etc). What this means is that when you sign your name on the dotted line for your loan, the lienholder has certain insurance requirements that must be met for the life of the lien. Your lender (including, amongst others, GMAC, Aurora Loan Services [a subsidiary of Lehman Bros Holdings], IndyMac Federal Bank [a subsidiary of OneWest Bank], Saxon, HSBC, PennyMac [a collection agency started by former Countrywide Home Loans executive Stan Kurland after CHL and Balboa were sold to BAC], Downey Savings and Loans, Financial Freedom, Select Portfolio Services, Wells Fargo/Wachovia, and the now former owners of Balboa Insurance themselves…Bank of America) then outsources the tracking of your loan with them to a company like Balboa Insurance.
Balboa makes some money by charging these companies to track your insurance (the payment of which is factored into your loan). If you do not meet the minimum insurance requirements set by your lienholder, Balboa Insurance places a force placed insurance policy on your loan. You are sent a letter telling you that you do not have insurance, and your escrow account is then adjusted for the inflated premium of a full coverage policy placed by Balboa’s insurance tracking group, run by Steven Ramsthel, Sr Vice President of Loan Tracking Operations & Customer Care at Balboa Insurance Group, as seen on his LinkedIn profile

3 Responses

  1. Having once worked in a Fortune 500 bank, call center as a Director in IT, I seriously doubt that they even have controls in place that would prevent employees from downloading information about clients/customers onto a thumb drive and walking out of the building –quite possibly selling the data.

  2. Privacy Violation?
    It appears to me after perusing info at FannieMae’s website that when a loan is entered on the MERS’
    computer system, your social security number is included. As far as I can tell, this means thousands of people have access to it. Reminder:
    social security numbers are no longer used on
    deeds of trust which get recorded where they belong – at the county recorder’s office.

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