December 11 2010 (Brian Moore)
Charlotte-based Bank of America has announced that it has restarted the sale of foreclosed homes that had been temporarily frozen in October as it reviewed its foreclosure processes.
Initially, the resumption will begin with vacant and non-owner occupied properties. About a third of the banks properties that it services are vacant by the time a foreclosure sale occurs.
The bank also announced, along with JPMorgan, that it would be suspending foreclosure sales and evictions of properties in which they own the loan or have the investor’s authorization from December 20 to January 2. This follows in the foot path of the previously announced policy of mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Bank of America had previously resubmitted affidavits in 102,000 foreclosure cases in the 23 states where judges sign off on foreclosures. Based on the judge’s rulings, those sales are now proceeding.
The bank had previously announced that an internal review found the basis for its foreclosure decisions was accurate, however, the bank found that it could still make improvements in its foreclosure process including increasing employee training and using new affidavit forms.
Barbara Desoer, president of Bank of America’s mortgage unit, said in a statement, “While we make these improvements, it’s important that we move ahead with efforts to reduce the number of abandoned properties across the country. These properties can drag down home values in neighborhoods and slow the eventual recovery of the housing market.”
In the other 26 states that do not require a judge’s decision, the review of foreclosure procedures is near completion according to bank spokesperson Dan Frahm.
The bank also recently shifted 2,500 employees from its Home Loan business to support homeownership retention initiatives. Bank of America will now 29,000 employees working with distressed homeowners.
Tags: distressed mortgages, foreclosed homes, foreclosure process, suspending foreclosure sales, bank properties, housing recovery