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BofA to give away houses

By Marcie Geffner ·
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

Have too many foreclosed properties?

Why not give them away?

That's what Bank of America plans to do with as many as 150 vacant and abandoned properties in and around Chicago through a new "collaboration" with the city that's intended to address the problem of abandoned properties.

"Unfortunately," BofA said in a statement, "many homeowners faced with unemployment, underemployment and other economic hardships have transitioned to alternative housing situations, and in many cases, have walked away from their homes, leaving behind vacant and deteriorating properties that can cause neighborhood blight."

As part of the new effort, BofA plans to:

  • Register properties with the city when the mortgage is delinquent and the property has been identified as vacant and abandoned.
  • Identify up to 150 properties that will be referred to a new Cook County vacant and abandoned building court call in an effort to speed up the foreclosure process and return the properties to stable, productive use. The foreclosure timeline for vacant and abandoned properties in the area currently averages 18 months, the bank said.
  • Contribute funds toward the city's costs of demolishing deteriorating buildings on the donated properties.
  • Donate foreclosed and vacant condominiums to the nonprofit Community Investment Corp. as part of an initiative to upgrade, preserve and stabilize management of affordable rental housing.

BofA also recently held a mortgage modification outreach event and opened a new full-time customer assistance center in Chicago.

These and other initiatives "provide convenient opportunities for customers who are having difficulty making their mortgage and other credit account payments to receive face-to-face counseling, on-site processing and underwriting of mortgage modification requests and other assistance," the bank explained.

Bank of America presently has 12 full-time customer assistance centers. Twenty-eight more are scheduled to open in the next few months. Seven will be located in California. Others will be in Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Antonio, St. Louis and other major cities.

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July 07, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I do not understand Bank of America they did not wanted to help me keep my house, and I was working now they are giving houses away????????????????????? maybe they should get in touch with all the people like me that we work so hard to stay in our homes and give them back to us.

Bill & Brenda
July 07, 2011 at 6:48 pm

My wife and I would like a free house, I am a 100% Disabled Veteran, do you think you can help us.

Left Coast Lady
July 07, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Bank of America willfully and mailiciously stole these properties through illegal foreslocures, ruining the lives of the families who previously lived in these homes. BofA has done this all over the country with tactics of granting bad mortgages, raising rates, charging illegal and outrageous fees and penalties and and then threatening homeowners who fall behind in their payments. The 'giving away' of properties is yet another con game and PR blitz by BofA to try to improve their image as they continue to face criticism for their greed and criminal actions. This company should be sued and disbanded and properties returned to their rightful owners.

Claire Brown
July 07, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Why not sell lottery tickets - a $1 apiece. Even if they get a
dollar, it's more than they have now. Maybe the people who win them will be people who need a house and will live there.
1. You have to live in the house for 5 years.
2. You cannot sell the house for 5 years.
AND donate the money to a worthy charity chosen by registered Churches.

July 07, 2011 at 1:42 pm

This is the most dispicable thing I have heard in my entire life. Bernie Madoff is a saint compared to BOA. My daughter has tried for two years to work something out with BOA on her Mortgage. All she wanted was for BOA to add five to the end of her mortgage and reduce her monthly payments accordingly,and after a rwo year run around they said NO. These people need to be prosecuted and the Banking Industry investigated. They are all scum and I wish them the worst in life.

July 07, 2011 at 9:58 am

I like your idea flippin especially making forclosure illegal!
We the people are held accountable in a system with little accountability.

July 07, 2011 at 5:33 am

I AGREE, Give the HOME to the current home owner who gave BOA 10's of Thousands of dollars already to live there. Besides, BOA bought these homes from i.e. Countrywide for Penny's on the Dollar AND recieved a BailOUT which the Current Homeowner will be paying on for generations to come. The House belongs to the Homeowner. Make Foreclosure ILLEGAL.

July 06, 2011 at 9:59 pm

BOA don't even know who owns most of the houses!!!!

July 06, 2011 at 9:58 pm

That would make to much sense to help the owner of these houses stay in them. They would rather give them to the city to give them to the people? Any one waiting for the business comunity to help solve our ecomony problems can just at how it has worked in the last 2 1/2 year. NOT!!!!!

July 06, 2011 at 7:16 pm

So if Bank of America gives away 150 homes in Chicago, does this mean we'll see another 5-10,000 democratic votes come next election from "Crook" County? I mean, we've already got thousands of dead folks voting time after time in IL, now they'll have a house over their heads in which to register thousands more!