Bank of America has resumed foreclosure sales, starting with vacant and non-owner-occupied properties. In October, the bank announced a voluntary freeze on foreclosure sales while it conducted a review of its foreclosure processes.
‘The review shows the basis for our foreclosure decisions has been accurate,’ says Barbara Desoer, president of Bank of America Home Loans. ‘We have identified areas of our process that can be improved, and while we make these improvements, it's important that we move ahead with efforts to reduce the number of abandoned properties across the country.’
Bank of America previously reported that at the point of foreclosure sale, one-third of the properties it services are vacant.
As part of its procedural improvements, the bank says it is enhancing its pre-foreclosure referral and sale checkpoints and introducing new affidavit forms, where required. The bank says it is also enhancing its associate training and implementing a new code of conduct and improvements in management review and training for external foreclosure counsel.
"We are taking a deliberate and phased approach to restarting foreclosure sales," Desoer adds. "We continue to be committed to ensuring that no property is taken to foreclosure sale until our Bank of America customer is given an opportunity to be evaluated for a modification or, if ineligible for a modification, a short sale or deed-in-lieu solution. Foreclosure is the option of last resort."
Bank of America, which restarted its process for submitting affidavits of indebtedness in the judicial foreclosure states on Oct. 25, has given foreclosure attorneys approval to proceed with approximately 16,000 foreclosure cases this month.
The company reports that it is bolstering its loss mitigation staff and procedures. Borrowers who have started the modification process are now provided a single point of contact, and the bank is doubling its outreach staff next year. Bank of America will redeploy an additional 2,500 associates from other areas of its Home Loan business to support home-retention initiatives.
SOURCE: Bank of America