Bank of America Finalizes 12,700 Mortgage Reductions

Bank of AmericaBank of America said it has provided permanent mortgage relief to 12,700 borrowers facing possible foreclosure as of January, up from 3,200 reported the previous month under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
The nation’s largest mortgage lender, which had faced some criticism late last year for its conversion rate, reported today that it has another 13,700 permanent modifications that “are pending, meaning final modified loan terms have been approved and documents have been sent for the customers’ signatures.”
That’s a total of 26,400 borrowers that have successfully moved out of the trial phase.
“In the past month, our concerted customer outreach initiative has driven a substantial increase in the rate of conversions from trial to permanent modifications, as we anticipated in our recent reports of HAMP progress,” said Jack Schakett, credit loss mitigation strategies executive for Bank of America Home Loans.
As the top lender, BofA was under pressure to increase its rate of overall placements in the program that reduces mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars – first in a trial phase, followed by permanent status. Through December, its rate was below the overall rate of 25 percent for HAMP. And it was far from the servicers with the top placement rates: CitiMortgage; Saxon Mortgage Services; GMAC Mortgage; and JPMorgan Chase.
The U.S. Treasury’s HAMP update for January is expected this week.
“Bank of America is the industry leader in placing homeowners into HAMP trial modifications and expects to become the leader in completed modifications under the program,” the lender said in today’s statement.
BofA emphasized that it has taken “extraordinary measures” to reach customers facing crucial deadlines.
“This initiative entails mail, telephone and door-to-door outreach — averaging more than a dozen contacts per customer — aimed at encouraging and helping eligible homeowners meet their documentation requirements and avoid falling out of the program,” BofA said.

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