Bank of America Accessible Mortgage Information Agreement

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The settlement agreement posted here details Bank of America’s commitment to improving the accessibility and usability of mortgage documents for customers who are blind. The agreement was reached in Structured Negotiation; no lawsuit was needed or filed. The Law Office of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian, of the Oakland civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian and Ho represented Bank of America mortgage holder Jessie Lorenz in the negotiation. This agreement reflects Bank of America’s ongoing commitment to its blind customers, begun more than fifteen years ago when the bank assumed a leadership role in rolling out Talking ATMs and making its online banking platform accessible. Visit the Bank of America Accessibility topic on this website for links to press releases and settlement agreements demonstrating the bank’s accessibility commitment.

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SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

This Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) is entered into by and between the following parties: Jessie Lorenz (“Claimant”) and Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank of America”), collectively referred to as the “Parties,” for the purposes and on the terms specified herein and operates in conjunction with the Confidential Addendum to this Agreement.

RECITALS

This Agreement is based on the following facts:

A.
Jessie Lorenz is an individual who is visually impaired, who currently has a mortgage with Bank of America, and who uses www.bankofamerica.com to conduct financial transactions. Lorenz is an individual with a disability within the meaning of Section 3(2) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, 12102(2) (“ADA”), the Title III regulations implementing the ADA contained in 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.101, et seq. (“ADA Regulations”), and the laws of California.
B.
Bank of America is a national bank engaged in various financial services activities, including, but not limited to loan origination, loan modification, and loan servicing.
C.
Bank of America has been, and continues to be, an industry leader in providing accessible services to Persons with Visual Impairments. Bank of America was an early provider of Talking ATMs and the first financial institution in the United States (in 2000) to sign an agreement to make its website accessible to Persons with Visual Impairments and to provide print documents in Alternative Formats.
D.
Although most aspects of www.bankofamerica.com and Bank of America documents are accessible to and usable by Persons with Visual Impairments, a dispute has arisen between Claimant and Bank of America concerning the accessibility to Persons with Visual Impairments of Mortgage Information that Bank of America provides to borrowers and potential borrowers both online and in standard print format (“the Dispute”).
E.
In March 2013, Claimant notified Bank of America about the Dispute and offered to engage in Structured Negotiations, in lieu of litigation, to resolve the Dispute. Bank of America agreed to participate in Structured Negotiations and the Parties have engaged in good faith negotiations and shared relevant information regarding the Dispute. The Parties now enter into this Agreement in order to resolve the Dispute and to avoid the burden, expense, and risk of potential litigation. By entering into this Agreement, Bank of America does not admit, and specifically denies, that it is subject to or has violated or failed to comply with any provisions of the ADA, any applicable laws of any state relating to accessibility for persons with disabilities, any regulations or guidelines promulgated pursuant to those statutes, or any other applicable laws, regulations, or legal requirements. Neither this Agreement, nor any of its terms or provisions, nor any of the negotiations connected with it, shall be construed as an admission or concession by Bank of America of any such violation or failure to comply with any applicable law, or that the ADA or any other state law relating to accessibility applies to Bank of America. This Agreement and its terms and provisions, including all Exhibits, shall not be offered or received as evidence for any purpose whatsoever against Bank of America in any action or proceeding, other than a proceeding to enforce the terms of this Agreement and the Confidential Addendum executed herewith.

1. Definitions.

1.1.
Access Standard means the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.0 Level AA promulgated by the Web Accessibility Initiative (“WAI”) of the World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”).
1.2.
Audio Format means a live or synthesized voice recording on a compact disc (“CD”) or audio file (e.g., an mp3 file) that has the following features: (i) the document being read is identified by name at the beginning of the audio file; (ii) a table of contents is provided at the beginning of the audio file; (iii) when the document is divided into chapters, each chapter is in a separate track so the user can go directly to the desired information; (iv) whether live or digital, audio information is clearly enunciated and presented completely and in a manner that enables the listener to effectively obtain the information; (v) the end of the publication is identified; (vi) Audio CDs are delivered in a CD Case with the name of the document provided in either Braille or Large Print formats depending on the member’s request; and (vii) all Audio CDs are playable both in a computer and in a CD player.
1.3.
Bank of America Application for Mobile Device or Bank of America Mobile Application means downloadable software owned and operated by Bank of America that allows Bank of America customers and others to perform certain banking functions and obtain certain banking information from iOS mobile devices.
1.4.
Bank of America Borrower’s Portal, or Borrower’s Portal means that portion of the Bank of America Web Site that is available only to Bank of America customers with Bank of America mortgages who are in imminent default or default and initiated the loan modification process with Bank of America and are assigned a Customer Relationship Manager, and contains Bank of America Mortgage Information. Upon final closure of the loan modification process by either the customer or Bank of America (i.e., the loan modification is permanent or the customer receives a denial letter and he/she has exhausted the appeal process), the Borrower’s Portal will no longer be available to the customer. In the event Bank of America replaces the Borrower’s Portal with an alternate system during the Duration of the Agreement, Bank of America shall inform Claimant’s counsel within one hundred and twenty (120) days prior to the implementation date of such new system.
1.5.
Bank of America Loan Modification Documents, or Loan Modification Documents means only those Bank of America branded customer facing loan modification documents provided to Bank of America customers in the normal course of business and made available to the customer on the Borrower’s Portal. Loan Modification Documents do not include: (1) customer provided documents or information; or (2) Bank of America sales or marketing information.
1.6.
Bank of America Loan Origination Documents, or Loan Origination Documents means only those Bank of America branded customer facing mortgage documents for Bank of America first lien and piggyback residential mortgage loans provided to Bank of America customers in the normal course of business that are located on Bank of America’s iOriginate loan origination platform or iFulfill loan fulfillment platform. Loan Origination Documents do not include: (1) customer provided documents or information; or (2) Bank of America sales or marketing information.
1.7.
Bank of America Loan Servicing Information, or Loan Servicing Information means Bank of America generated statutorily or contractually required communications related to Bank of America’s direct servicing of a first lien residential mortgage. Loan Servicing Information does not include: (1) customer provided documents or information; or (2) Bank of America sales or marketing information or other communications not required by law or agreement between the parties and not included in the definition of Loan Modification, Loan Origination Documents, or Additional Mortgage Information.
1.8.
Bank of America Mortgage Information or Mortgage Information means collectively, the Loan Modification Documents, Loan Origination Documents, and Loan Servicing Information set forth in Sections 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7. Mortgage Information shall only include information and documents prepared by or on behalf of Bank of America. Mortgage Information does not include: (1) customer provided documents or information; (2) Bank of America sales or marketing information; or (3) stand alone home equity line or loans.
1.9.
Bank of America Reader Service means customer service staff members who are able to read Bank of America Mortgage Information to Customers with a Visual Impairment effectively, accurately, and impartially, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.
1.10.
Bank of America Web Site or www.bankofamerica.com means the website owned and operated by Bank of America and all the pages of that website available to the public or to Bank of America customers.
1.11.
Braille means information in braille format that meets standards established by the Braille Authority of North America.
1.12.
Claimant’s Counsel means Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, the Law Office of Lainey Feingold, and the attorneys practicing law therein.
1.13.
Customer or Customers with Visual Impairment(s) means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits him or her in the major life activity of seeing, applies for a Bank of America mortgage loan or has an existing Bank of America mortgage loan, and has made a reasonable request to Bank of America to receive documents in a format other than regular print.
1.14.
Effective Date means March 21, 2016.
1.15.
Implementation Dates means those dates set forth in Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 when certain Mortgage Information shall be made available to Customers with Visual Impairments by Bank of America in a format that satisfies the Access Standard.
1.16.
Large Print means information in large print format that satisfies the Guidelines established by the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International.
1.17.
Reasonable Efforts means with respect to a given obligation, the efforts that a reasonable entity in Bank of America’s position would use to perform that obligation. In no event shall an obligation to use Reasonable Efforts under this Agreement require Bank of America to: (a) take any actions that would cause Bank of America to incur an Undue Burden as defined in 28 C.F.R. 36.104, or (b) fundamentally alter the nature of the good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation being offered by Bank of America.
1.18.
Secure Delivery Method means a method of delivering electronic documents to Bank of America customers that satisfies Bank of America and federal agency security protocols.

2. Duration of Agreement.

The terms of this Agreement shall remain in effect until June 30, 2018.

3. Bank of America Obligations Regarding Mortgage Information.

3.1.
Loan Modification Documents. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that all Loan Modification Documents will be available to Customers with Visual Impairments in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. Bank of America will roll out these Loan Modification Documents in two stages, as follows.

3.1.1.
Rollout One. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that no later than the Effective Date, thirty five percent (35%) of Bank of America’s Loan Modification Documents will be available in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. Rollout One shall include those Loan Modification Documents required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and critical letters for borrower activity on his/her loan modification. Within two weeks of the Effective Date, Bank of America will confirm to Claimant’s Counsel in writing that it has met its obligation set forth in this Section.
3.1.2.
Rollout Two. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that no later than December 31, 2016, the remaining sixty five (65%) percent of Bank of America’s Loan Modification Documents that were not included in Rollout One will be available in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. On or before January 15, 2017, Bank of America will confirm to Claimant’s Counsel in writing that it has met its obligation set forth in this Section.
3.1.3.
As of the Effective Date, Loan Modification Documents are not available on the Bank of America Web Site or on any Bank of America Application for Mobile Devices. If, during the Duration of this Agreement, such documents are made available at those locations, they will be provided in a format that satisfies the Access Standard.
3.2.
Loan Origination Documents. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that all Loan Origination Documents will be available to Customers with Visual Impairments in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. Bank of America will roll out accessible Loan Origination Documents in two stages, as follows.

3.2.1.
Rollout One. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that no later than December 31, 2016, forty percent (40%) of Bank of America Loan Origination Documents will be available in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. These Loan Origination Documents will be available on either the Bank of America Web Site or through an alternate delivery mechanism that satisfies the Access Standard. On January 15, 2017, Bank of America will confirm to Claimant’s Counsel in writing that it has met its obligation set forth in this Section.
3.2.2.
Rollout Two. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that no later than December 31, 2017, one hundred percent (100%) of Bank of America Loan Origination Documents will be available in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. These Loan Origination Documents will be available on the Bank of America Web Site or through an alternate delivery mechanism that satisfies the Access Standard. On January 15, 2018, Bank of America will confirm in writing that it has met its obligation set forth in this Section.
3.2.3.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Claimant recognizes that Bank of America is in the process of converting its current mortgage fulfillment platform to another fulfillment platform (“iFulfill Platform”) and issues arising during the conversion may delay providing Bank of America Loan Origination Documents in an Accessible Format. Therefore, the Implementation Dates set forth in Section 3.2 are subject to the successful deployment of the iFulfill Platform. If Bank of America’s implementation of the iFulfill Platform is delayed, and this delay impacts the ability of Bank of America to comply with the obligations set forth in Section 3.2, Bank of America shall notify Claimant’s Counsel and the Parties will work together to create a mutually agreed upon revised implementation plan for Section 3.2. Any disagreement about the revised implementation plan will be handled as a dispute pursuant to Section 6 of this Agreement.
3.3. Loan Servicing Information.
3.3.1.
As of the Effective Date, certain Bank of America Loan Servicing Information is available on the Bank of America Web Site. Throughout the Duration of this Agreement, Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that the Loan Servicing Information located on the Bank of America Web Site satisfies the Access Standard.
3.3.2.
Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that no later than December 31, 2017, one hundred percent (100%) of Bank of America Loan Servicing Information will be available in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. The Loan Servicing Information will be available on the Bank of America Web Site or through an alternate delivery mechanism that satisfies the Access Standard.
3.4.
Update to Claimant’s Counsel. Within two weeks following each applicable Implementation Date, Bank of America will inform Claimant’s Counsel of the particular documents available on the Bank of America Web Site, Borrower’s Portal or through an alternate delivery mechanism (if applicable), that comply with the Access Standard.
3.5. Phase Two Plan.
3.5.1.
Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date, Bank of America will develop a plan (“Phase Two Plan”), for ensuring that any Mortgage Information related to the following areas: Short Sale, Deed-in-Lieu, and Foreclosure (“Additional Mortgage Information”) is available to Customers with Visual Impairments in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. The Phase Two Plan will include interim measures for making Additional Mortgage Information available to Customers with Visual Impairments during any period those documents are not available in a format that meets the Access Standard. Interim measures will, at a minimum, include the Bank of America Reader Service, Braille, Large Print and/or Audio Format. If a Secure Delivery Method is available, interim measures will include electronic formats that satisfy the Access Standard.
3.5.2.
Bank of America will provide Claimant’s Counsel with a copy of the Phase Two Plan no later than two weeks following the development of the Phase Two Plan. The Parties will meet by telephone to discuss the Plan no later than thirty (30) days following the development of the Phase Two Plan. Any disagreement about the Phase Two Plan will be handled as a dispute pursuant to Section 6 of this Agreement.
3.6. Borrower’s Portal.
3.6.1.
Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to ensure that the Borrower’s Portal satisfies the Access Standard by the Effective Date.
3.6.2.
Bank of America will enlist a cross section of Persons with Visual Impairments, including at a minimum individuals who use (i) JAWS and Windows-Eyes screen readers, (ii) a refreshable Braille display, and (iii) screen magnification software, to evaluate the Borrower’s Portal for ease of use and accessibility barriers. Bank of America will use Reasonable Efforts to complete the evaluation in a timely manner. Bank of American will consider in good faith the feedback provided during the evaluation. Within thirty (30) days of the evaluation, Bank of America will notify Claimant’s Counsel of (i) the feedback received and (ii) plans to implement any suggested improvements.
3.7. Accessibility Information Page.
3.7.1.
Bank of America will update the Accessibility Information page on the Borrower’s Portal and the Bank of America Website within sixty (60) days of each Implementation Date set forth above. The page(s) will include, as applicable to the particular Implementation: (i) information regarding Bank of America’s efforts to meet the Access Standard; (ii) information regarding the accessibility of Mortgage Information as provided for in this Agreement; (iii) information regarding use of the Borrower’s Portal or alternate electronic delivery method by Customers with Visual Impairments, including usability tips; (iv) information regarding the Notification Plan set forth in Section 3.11, below; and (v) a web-based (or e-mail), and telephone-based method for Customers with Visual Impairments to contact Bank of America regarding accessibility concerns related to Mortgage Information.
3.7.2.
Bank of America will provide Claimant’s Counsel with a draft of the Accessibility Information page prior to its being finalized. Claimant’s Counsel will provide feedback within fifteen (15) days of receipt, and Bank of America will consider the feedback in good faith. The Accessibility Information Page will, at a minimum, be available from a link on the footer of the home page of the Borrower’s Portal and all pages where the footer appears. It will also be listed as a resource on Bank of America’s Accessible Services Page on the Bank of America Web Site, available as of the Effective Date at https://www.bankofamerica.com/accessiblebanking/access-services.go.
3.8.
Mobile Applications. Any Mortgage Information available on a Bank of America Mobile Application (as defined in Section 1.3) during the Duration of the Agreement will comply with the Access Standard. During the second semi-annual meeting in 2016, as provided for in Section 5, the Parties will discuss any accessibility concerns regarding any Bank of America mobile applications for non-iOS devices.
3.9.
Fillable Forms. As of the Effective Date, Bank of America does not provide any customers with the opportunity to fill out forms on the Bank of America Web Site or Borrower’s Portal involving Mortgage Information. If, during the Duration of this Agreement, Bank of America provides fillable forms as part of any Mortgage Information, it will ensure that the forms can be electronically signed, electronically submitted, and saved upon completion in HTML-based, or other universally accessible, non-proprietary formats that satisfy the Access Standard.
3.10. Braille, Large Print and Audio Formats.
3.10.1.
Bank of America will provide Mortgage Information in Braille, Large Print, or Audio Formats as appropriate, on a one time basis, for particular, identified documents for an individual Customer with a Visual Impairment in the following instances: (i) the formats required by this Agreement are not yet available; or (ii) the Customer with a Visual Impairment has communicated to Bank of America that the Bank of America Reader Service and other formats required by this Agreement are not effective. When Mortgage Information is available in a format that satisfies the Access Standard and a Secure Delivery Method that satisfies the Access Standard is available, such documents will be provided upon reasonable request in a format that satisfies the Access Standard. To satisfy the terms of this Section, Bank of America will train staff as set forth in Section 4.
3.10.2.
Monthly Mortgage Statements. By no later than December 31, 2016, Bank of America will use reasonable efforts to provide monthly mortgage statements in Braille, Large Print, or Audio Formats to a Customer with a Visual Impairment in the following instances: (i) the formats required by this Agreement are not yet available; or (ii) the Customer with a Visual Impairment has communicated to Bank of America that the Bank of America Reader Service and other formats required by this Agreement are not effective. The Customer with a Visual Impairment can request to receive the monthly mortgage statement in Braille, Large Print, or Audio Formats on a recurring basis, if applicable.
3.11. Notifications.
3.11.1.
In the third quarter of 2016, Bank of America will develop a plan (hereafter referred to as the “Notification Plan”) to allow Customers with Visual Impairments to request, and thereafter receive Bank of America notifications regarding Mortgage Information that Bank of America typically sends to customers in print format in an additional notification format. Acceptable notification formats under this Section are ones that effectively communicate the Mortgage Information in the notification to the individual Customer with a Visual Impairment. These notification formats may include email and email attachments that satisfy the Access Standard or telephone notifications from the Bank of America Reader Service.
3.11.2.
In addition, the Notification Plan will provide a mechanism for Bank of America to identify the accounts of Customers with Visual Impairments who make a request under Section 3.11.1 to Bank of America. The mechanism will enable Bank of America to provide notifications in accordance with Section 3.11.1. Bank of America will provide Claimant’s Counsel with a copy of the Notification Plan no later than September 30, 2016. The Parties will meet by telephone to discuss the plan and its implementation dates within fourteen (14) days thereafter. Any disagreement about the plan will be handled as a dispute pursuant to Section 6 of this Agreement.
3.12.
Mark as Signature. Bank of America will continue to allow Customers with Visual Impairments to use a mark as a signature when signing Mortgage Information. Such a mark may include the thumbprint of a Customer with a Visual Impairment.
3.13.
Mortgage Information Accessibility Coordinator. Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date, Bank of America will designate an employee as the Mortgage Information Accessibility Coordinator who will be responsible for coordinating compliance with the requirements of this Agreement. The Bank will provide Claimant’s Counsel with contact information for the Coordinator, and the Coordinator will attend the meetings described in Section 5 herein.

4. Training.

4.1.
Within ninety (90) days of the Effective Date, and thirty (30) days prior to each subsequent Implementation Date, Bank of America will update its training materials for appropriate Bank of America staff so that the materials contain information that will ensure compliance with the terms of this Agreement.  Such training will include, as applicable to the particular Implementation, information about the initiative to improve accessibility of Bank of America Mortgage Information, basic information about how Customers with Visual Impairments can access Mortgage Information, the Notification Plan, and the appropriate channels within the Bank to provide feedback regarding the accessibility of Bank of America Mortgage Information.
4.2.
Bank of America will train mortgage loan officers and other appropriate staff to offer, upon request by Customers with Visual Impairments, electronic documents that meet the Access Standard (when available in accordance with this Agreement) and the Bank of America Reader Service. If the customer needs a different format, mortgage loan officers and other appropriate staff will be trained to refer the request to the Bank of America ADA escalation team. The ADA escalation team will be trained to offer Braille, Large Print and Audio Formats in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.

5. Meetings Regarding Accessibility of the Bank of America Mortgage Information.

Semi-annually throughout the Duration of this Agreement, the Parties shall meet by telephone to discuss any issues regarding the accessibility of Bank of America Mortgage Information to Persons with Visual Impairments, including, but not limited to, the accessibility of standalone home equity lines or loans. Ten (10) days before the scheduled meetings, each Party will notify the other Party of the topics for discussion.

6. Procedures in the Event of Disputes.

6.1.
Notice of Non-Compliance. If at any time during the Duration of this Agreement a Party has a good faith, reasonable belief that the other Party has not materially complied with any provision of this Agreement, that Party shall provide the other Party with notice of non-compliance containing the following information:

6.1.1.
the alleged act of non-compliance;
6.1.2.
a reference to the specific provision(s) of the Agreement that are involved;
6.1.3.
a statement of the remedial action sought by the initiating Party; and
6.1.4.
a brief statement of the specific facts, circumstances and legal argument supporting the position of the initiating Party.
6.2.
Meet and Confer. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of such notice provided pursuant to Section 6.1, Claimant and Bank of America shall informally meet and confer and attempt to resolve the issues raised in the Notice.
6.3.
Submission to Binding Arbitration. If the matters raised in the Notice provided pursuant to Section 6.1 are not resolved within thirty (30) days of the initial meet and confer required by Section 6.2, either Party may submit the unresolved matters to binding arbitration as set forth herein.
6.4.
Arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the JAMS Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures and the Expedited Procedures referenced therein (collectively the “JAMS Rules”). The Parties shall, acting reasonably and in good faith, mutually agree upon an arbitrator. Any arbitration awards, rulings and opinions shall be deemed confidential and shall not be shared with any third parties unless otherwise agreed by the Parties hereto or unless otherwise required by law.
6.5.
Law Governing Interpretation and Application of Agreement. The terms of this Agreement, and the provisions thereof, shall be interpreted and applied pursuant to the ADA, or where the ADA does not provide guidance, pursuant to the laws of the California.

7. Notice or Communication to Parties.

Any notice or communication required or permitted to be given to the Parties hereunder shall be given in writing by email and United States mail, addressed as follows:

To Claimant:

Linda M. Dardarian
c/o Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho
300 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94612
ldardarian@gbdhlegal.com

Lainey Feingold
Law Office of Lainey Feingold
LF@LFLegal.com

To Bank of America:

Erica Sale Murphy
c/o Bank of America, N.A.
901 Main Street
Dallas, Texas 75202-3714
erica.sale@bankofamerica.com

8. Publicity Regarding This Agreement and Its Terms.

The Parties will negotiate a joint press release to be issued on or about sixty (60) days following the Effective Date. The press release will be posted on Claimant’s Counsel’s website(s) at www.lflegal.com and gbdhlegal.com. If the Parties cannot agree on a joint press release, either Party may send their own press release, provided that (i) the content is consistent with this Agreement; and (ii) a copy of the release is provided to all Parties and their counsel at least twenty-four (24) hours before it is sent to the press. All public statements made about this Agreement shall be consistent with the terms of this Agreement and shall reflect the collaborative method in which the Parties resolved the Dispute. Nothing in any such release shall indicate that Bank of America or its affiliates is in violation of, or admitted to a violation of, the ADA or any other law or regulation.

9. Modification in Writing.

No modification of this Agreement by the Parties shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by authorized representatives of all the parties hereto.

10. Agreement Binding on Assigns and Successors; No Third Party Beneficiaries.

10.1
Assigns and Successors. This Agreement shall bind any assigns and successors of Bank of America. Bank of America shall use Reasonable Efforts to notify Claimant’s Counsel in writing within thirty (30) days of the existence, name, address and telephone number of any assigns or successors of Bank of America.
10.2
No Third Party Beneficiaries. The Settlement Agreement is for the benefit of the Parties hereto only and no other person or entity shall be entitled to rely hereon, receive any benefit here from, or enforce against either party any provision hereof. The Parties specifically intend that there be no third party beneficiaries to this Agreement.

11. Force Majeure.

The performance of Bank of America under this Agreement shall be excused during the period and to the extent that such performance is rendered impossible, impracticable or unduly burdensome due to acts of God, strikes or lockouts, unavailability of parts, equipment or materials through normal supply sources. If Bank of America seeks to invoke this Section, it shall notify Claimant’s Counsel in writing as soon as reasonably possible, specifying the particular action that could not be performed and the specific reason for the non- performance. Claimant’s Counsel and Bank of America will thereafter meet and confer regarding an alternative schedule for completion of the action that could not be performed, or an alternative action. Any dispute regarding the applicability of this Section, or any future action to be taken, that remains after the meet and confer session will be handled as a dispute pursuant to Section 6 of this Agreement.

12. Integrated Agreement.

This Agreement and the Confidential Addendum executed concurrently herewith constitute the entire Agreement relating to the subject matters addressed therein.

13. Rules of Construction.

Each Party and their legal counsel have reviewed and participated in the drafting of this Agreement; and any rule of construction to the effect that ambiguities are construed against the drafting Party shall not apply in the interpretation or construction of this Agreement. Section titles used herein are intended for reference purposes only and are not to be construed as part of the Agreement. The Recitals are integral to the construction and interpretation of this Agreement and are therefore incorporated into this Agreement in their entirety.

14. Multiple Originals/Execution in Counterparts.

Each Party and Claimant’s Counsel shall sign one copy of this document and each such copy shall be considered an original. This document may be executed in counterparts, and facsimile and PDF signatures shall be accepted as original.

PARTIES:

  • JESSIE LORENZ
  • BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.
    By: Carrie A. Ehinger

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

  • GOLDSTEIN, BORGEN, DARDARIAN & HO
    By: Linda M. Dardarian
  • LAW OFFICE OF LAINEY FEINGOLD
    By: Lainey Feingold

Simplified Summary

This is a settlement agreement between Bank of America and a blind customer.  The agreement is about documents that the bank gives to people who have mortgages with Bank of America.  The bank has agreed to make its online mortgage documents accessible.  It will also provide other formats when needed. Bank of America has been a champion of accessibility for blind customers for many years. This agreement was reached in Structured Negotiation.  No lawsuit was needed. Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian are the lawyers who worked with the bank on this effort. [Back to the settlement agreement]