Anonymous hackers release Bank of America emails

Emails obtained by someone claiming to be former bank employee appear to show improper sub-prime lending practices

The hacker group Anonymous has released a cache of emails obtained from someone said to be a former Bank of America employee.

The group alleges that the emails, dating from November 2010, detail improper lending practices at the bank, an allegation the bank denies. The leak comes as consumer groups have accused major US lenders of foreclosing on many homes without having proper documentation in place.

The emails detail correspondence between employees of Balboa Insurance, a Bank of America insurance unit, in which they appear to be discussing the removal of details from documents in loan files.

The bank acquired Balboa when it bought Countrywide Financial in 2008. Countrywide was the US's largest seller of sub-prime home loans. Last month Bank of America announced plans to sell Balboa.

The emails detail one loan related to GMAC, one of the largest mortgage lenders in the US.

"The following GMAC DTN's need to have the images removed from Tracksource/Rembrandt," an operations team manager at Balboa wrote. DTN refers to document tracking number, and Tracksource/Rembrandt is an insurance tracking system.

In reply, the Balboa employee wrote: "I have spoken to my developer and she stated that we cannot remove the DTNs from Rembrandt, but she can remove the loan numbers, so the documents will not show as matched to those loans."

According to the emails, approval was given to remove the loan numbers from the documents.

Anonymous also released correspondence between the group and the former employee in which the ex-worker described the bank as a "cult" and said the company was now intent on destroying his career. "I'm well known throughout Bank of America. They saw to that when they showed everyone my picture and labelled me as a terrorist," the former employee said in one email.

A representative of Anonymous told Reuters that the documents related to the issue of whether Bank of America has improperly foreclosed on homes. The bank was not immediately available for comment but a spokesman told Reuters that the documents had been stolen by a former Balboa employee, and were not tied to foreclosures. "We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue," the spokesman said.

Anonymous has close ties to WikiLeaks, whose founder Julian Assange said last November that he planned a major leak about a bank, leading to speculation that Bank of America was the target.

Last month Bank of America agreed to sell Balboa to QBE of Australia for $700m and liabilities of $1.2bn.

Contributor

Dominic Rushe in New York

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Bank of America profits fall 77%

Credit crunch sees quarterly profits plunge after weak trading on Wall Street and in retail banking

Andrew Clark in New York

21, Apr, 2008 @11:17 PM

Article image
Bank of America pays £5.3bn to settle sub-prime mortgage claims
Bank of America agrees to a payment that wipes out all its profits since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. Its shares rose, but further settlements are likely

Dominic Rushe

29, Jun, 2011 @4:20 PM

Article image
Bank of America writes off $5bn on Countrywide Financial
Bank of America said the decline in the mortgage market would lead to a further $2bn hit to fourth-quarter results

Dominic Rushe in New York

03, Jan, 2011 @7:54 PM

Results at Bank of America give analysts cause for optimism

Wall Street cheered by second-largest US bank's profits hope worst of credit crunch is over

Andrew Clark

21, Jul, 2008 @11:01 PM

Article image
Bank of America remains hamstrung by housing market woes
America's largest bank reports 37.5% decline in first-quarter earnings but says 'the economy is healing'

Dominic Rushe in New York

15, Apr, 2011 @12:24 PM

Article image
Bank of America profits from surging financial markets
Traders at Bank of America rake in billions to turn loss into $2.8bn profit

Andrew Clark New York

16, Apr, 2010 @4:04 PM

Article image
Bank of America shares rally after analyst support

JP Morgan says BoA share fluctuations are irrational while bank attacks Henry Blodget for 'unwarranted claims'

Dominic Rushe New York

24, Aug, 2011 @7:45 PM

Article image
Bad debts push Bank of America to $1bn loss
North Carolina-based bank offered a blunt reminder that finance on the US high street is lagging behind a revival in prosperity on Wall Street

Andrew Clark in New York

16, Oct, 2009 @2:16 PM

Bank of America boss is preparing for showdown with shareholders to hold on to his job

Bank of America boss is preparing for showdown with shareholders to hold on to his job

Andrew Clark in New York

27, Apr, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Bank of America pays $33m to settle Merrill case

BoA accepts penalty after SEC files charges over 'misleading' disclosures to shareholders

Andrew Clark New York

03, Aug, 2009 @8:09 PM