Mortgage

Bank of America, Wells Fargo agree to foreclosure changes

The national mortgage foreclosure settlement has 304 different standards that banks and servicers have had to agree to, including the nation's largest five servicers.

The settlement monitors announced this week that they're making some changes. So far, only two banks — Wells Fargo (WFC) and Bank of America (BAC) — had agreed to the changes, according to the Chicago Tribune:

Under the new procedures announced Tuesday night, all five banks will give homeowners 60 days, instead of 30, to submit additional documents that might help them secure a loan modification before the home goes into foreclosure or moves toward a foreclosure-related sale. The banks also have promised to do a better job of overseeing employees who work with borrowers.

Two servicers, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, also agreed to adopt other policies, such as being more specific about what missing information they need from homeowners. Currently, if a borrower sends in a document but forgets to sign it, the servicer may send a letter saying the document is missing, rather than just telling the homeowner that they forgot to sign it.

Those two companies also agreed to escalate loan modification applications when a customer is being asked repeatedly for more documents. And they will use an online portal to submit documents and create a direct contact for the housing counseling agencies working with struggling homeowners.

The changes come as Illinois AG Lisa Madigan's office noted that 60 percent of files reviewed by her office did not notify borrowers within a required 5 days of any missing documents for loan modification review, the paper said.

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