Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bank of America modified more mortgages

The nation's largest bank quadrupled the number of borrowers it has placed in long-term mortgage modifications.

Bank of America said today it has completed more than 12,700 so-called "permanent modifications" through January, up from 3,200 as of December. Another 13,700 are pending, which the bank says means documents have been sent for customers' signatures.

The Charlotte bank had been criticized following November results from the Department of Treasury showing it had only 98 permanent modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). That's the centerpiece of federal foreclosure prevention efforts.

The bank released its most recent results today. Treasury's full HAMP update is due soon.

The bank's modifications represent a tiny portion of the more than 1 million borrowers Treasury estimated were eligible as of December. Bank of America has disputed the eligibility estimate, which is based on delinquencies without regard for whether they meet other HAMP guidelines.
In addition to the permanent modifications, Bank of America had about 200,000 borrowers in trial plans as of December. Combined, those results represented 19 percent of the estimated eligible homeowners, well below the level of such large competitors as Wells Fargo and Chase. The bank has said it modified hundreds of thousands of mortgages outside the HAMP program.

Overall, critics say lenders and mortgage servicers aren't doing enough to reduce mortgage payments and stem the nation's foreclosure crisis.

Bank of America is the nation's largest servicer, handling one in five mortgages nationwide, according to Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. The bank ranked second in mortgages issued last year, accounting for 22 percent. Wells Fargo led with 24 percent, Cecala said.

Read the full Bank of America release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bank-of-america-completes-12700-permanent-hamp-modifications-another-13700-approved-and-pending-homeowners-signatures-84467482.html