The online hacker group Anonymous has released internal e-mails from a former employee of a former Bank of America Corp. unit, allegedly showing how the unit tried to hide foreclosure information.
The documents include images of e-mails between employees of Balboa Insurance, a provider of force-placed insurance that B of A sold recently to QBE Group of Australia. Bank of America inherited Balboa from its 2008 takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp.
In the e-mails, employees discuss removing loan numbers from an insurance tracking system.
In one e-mail, a Balboa employee wrote that it "cannot remove the [Document Tracking Numbers] from" the tracking system but "can remove loan numbers, so the documents will not show as matched to those loans."
A B of A spokesman said by e-mail Monday morning that the company is "aware that a former Balboa Insurance Group employee is trying to generate interest in non-foreclosure related clerical and administrative documents that he stole from the company."
"We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue," the spokesman wrote.
The emails are apparently unrelated to the trove of internal B of A files that WikiLeaks has claimed to possess.
"If anyone can get me a copy of … the hard drive that Julian Assagne reportedly has," the former Balboa employee wrote to Anonymous, "I could find all the dirt on that hard drive within a week."
The e-mails appear to deal with an unspecified error relating to several dozen GMAC loan files being processed by a Balboa office. In correspondence from late last year, one employee tells colleagues that the company can't erase loan certain document images from the Rembrandt Loan processing software that it uses. What can be done, another says, is to remove data linking the data to loan files, a process a senior employee approves.
According to an e-mail by the purported whistleblower, Jason Vaughn, stripping this information will leave a "huge red flag for auditors." Vaughn goes on to ask, "what am I missing? This just doesn't seem right to me."
The published e-mails, even with an attempted explication, do not appear to give a clear sense of the original data's nature or import. But Vaughn's correspondence with the person who released it makes clear that he regarded it as a "smoking gun." He also complains of alleged police and legal harassment and imputes that Bank of America would stop at nothing to silence its critics.
"I would rather spend a long boring life in court than end up disappearing and having my loved ones believe that I was a coward who went crazy and committed suicide," he writes.