Bank of America taps nonprofits to boost foreclosure reviews
[Update 1: Adds complete number of nonprofits]
Bank of America (BAC) initiated work with housing nonprofits to reach homeowners whose loan file may be eligible for review under federal consent orders with the nation's biggest mortgage servicers.
A total of 11 counseling agencies and 200 local nonprofits received $3 million in grants from BofA. The larger agencies received roughly $250,000 each.
"We're working with nonprofits to expand local outreach and help guide eligible customers to the review process," said Noelle Bell, a spokeswoman for the bank.
BofA funded a toll-free hotline (877-339-6322) established by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Its counselors will also meet with borrowers to help them fill out their forms and determine if they can request for review without receiving one. Review forms must be postmarked by July 31.
BofA is also working with NID-Housing Counseling Agency and its network of national housing counselors to identify potentially harmed borrowers as well.
The more than 400 agents nationwide will help borrowers at outreach events planned throughout the spring and work with real estate agents and social organizations to spread word.
To settle alleged foreclosure abuses, the top 14 mortgage servicers, including BofA, hired independent consultants to conduct a review of up to 4.3 million foreclosures for potential problems and remediation. The actions had to have taken place between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.
According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just 121,000 requests for review were received as of March, but the consultants have identified potentially eligible borrowers and mailed forms.
"I'm confident we will have a significant impact to help homeowners become aware of their options. We applaud Bank of America's continued effort to be proactive in this area, and we're honored to partner with them," said NID Executive Director Jacqueline Carlisle.