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Tag Archives: Bank of America

Paperwork Missteps to Prolong Foreclosure Crisis in Certain States

Three major mortgage lenders have halted foreclosures in states where the process is handled through the court system after suspicions surfaced that employees did not follow legal procedures in preparing the required documentation. These paperwork problems are widely expected to draw out the already devastating foreclosure crisis in the affected areas. We've dug a little deeper to provide a list of the states where judicial foreclosures are the standard and that are most likely impacted by the foreclosure suspensions announced.

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Bank of America Suspends Foreclosures in 23 States

The nation's largest bank has halted foreclosures in certain states after evidence was disclosed that it too had ill-famed ""robo-signers"" rubber-stamping approvals of foreclosure cases without verifying their validity. Bank of America has placed foreclosure actions in 23 judicial states on hold while it determines if the paperwork was processed correctly and affidavits by staff members were indeed legitimate. BofA is the third major mortgage lender in two weeks to call for a foreclosure freeze.

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OCC Orders Largest Servicers to Review Foreclosure Processes

One of the nation's foremost banking regulators has issued a directive to large mortgage servicers, ordering them to reassess their procedures for foreclosing on defaulted borrowers. John Walsh, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) told lawmakers that he contacted seven institutions his agency supervises, after several large lenders announced a halt on foreclosures in states where filings might contain erroneous paperwork and preparers may have broken the law in their haste to process large volumes of cases.

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Largest Servicers Get Low Scores in HAMP Audits

The Treasury Department has instructed three of the nation's largest mortgage servicers to make changes to the way they solicit distressed borrowers for the government's loan modification program and evaluate applicants for eligibility. In Treasury's latest report card on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America were called out by name as receiving sub-par grades in complying with the program's guidelines.

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Bank of America Mortgage Modifications Increase to 680,000

Bank of America reports that it has provided mortgage modification assistance to more than 680,000 homeowners since January 2008, 79,859 of which have been completed through the administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). According to the company, it leads the industry in HAMP modifications. BofA officials say HAMP results have slowed in recent months due to the implementation of a full documentation requirement prior to initiating a trial mod plan.

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REOs the Topic du Jour in Washington

Neighborhoods across the country are riddled with empty bank-owned homes and unoccupied foreclosures that erode neighboring property values and open the door for blight and criminal activity. The nation's glut of vacant REOs took center stage in Washington Wednesday. HUD announced a new nationwide REO ""First Look"" program, in partnership with the nation's largest mortgage lenders, and it was the first of a two-day Federal Reserve summit to examine the community impacts of foreclosed and vacant properties.

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Fitch Upgrades BofA but Voices Concern over Mortgage Portfolio

Fitch Ratings has upgraded the individual and preferred stock ratings of Bank of America. But the agency says the upgrades are tempered by the bank's high level of nonperforming loans and the likelihood of large volumes of mortgage repurchase requests from the GSEs and other secondary market investors, largely because of the loans the bank inherited from its Countrywide acquisition. Fitch also expressed concern about BofA's exposure to home equity loans, especially those with loan-to-value ratios above 100 percent.

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Four Major Banks Could Be Hit with $180B in GSE Loan Buybacks: Fitch

About 50 percent of the loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac come from the nation's four largest banks - Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citi. Lately, the GSEs have become more aggressive in forcing originators to buy back bad loans. Based on Fannie and Freddie's current ""distressed"" numbers (a combined $354 billion in delinquent mortgages and REOs), Fitch Ratings estimates that the big four could be on the hook to repurchase as much as $180 billion in nonperforming assets.

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BofA Leads Industry in Completing Home Affordable Modifications

The number of permanent Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) mortgage restructurings completed by Bank of America through July has reached more than 76,000, a number that BofA says continues to lead the industry. In addition, nearly 100,000 Bank of America customers have received non-HAMP modifications this year, including many that did not qualify under the federal program. BofA also reported that it completed 25,000 short sale transactions during the second quarter of this year.

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Bear Stearns Portfolio Puts New York Fed in Foreclosure Quandary

The U.S. Federal Reserve is in the same boat as the banks now, dealing with a mortgage portfolio that's riddled with deficiencies and delinquencies. The central bank's New York branch has been saddled with a heap of souring loans from the assets it picked up to support the 2008 bailout of Bear Stearns. And now, as more and more of these loans - both residential and commercial - fall into default, the New York Fed is faced with a dilemma: to foreclose or not to foreclose.

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