Mortgages Blog

Finance Blogs » Mortgages Blog » BofA to give away houses

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
Love Works
July 09, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Well I think helping home owners out is great...I just want to know if Bank of America has a home in Cedar City, Ut.. They want to donate to me...I'm 60 and don't and will not ever be able to finance a home..So BofA what do you think....

July 09, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I agree with Craig. It sounds like a deal was reached to get Democratic votes for the next election. While the rest of us have HONOR and pay our obligations. EVERYBODY wants something for free.


July 09, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Hey Flippin does that mean we will be receiving reposessed cars from GM and phones from Verizon.This is the deal they worked out with Obama. GE was bailed out and they bought 50,000 volts from another bailed out co. GM Yeah there is nothing going on with BofA

jim martin
July 09, 2011 at 7:26 am

Donating these properties to a "non profit" agency and then turning it over to others, won't work. Keep the property with current owners, giving them a break. Then,just maybe, BoA could finally start paying some interest on other peoples monies in the bank! Rest assured, the CEOs and other big shots will get their share of monies, before giving breaks or interest to others. jim in florida

July 08, 2011 at 9:45 pm

My 71 year old father lost his house because he had to chose between radiation for his prostate cancer or paying his mortgage. We filled out the papers with BOA several times for a deferment while he underwent treatment and then they told him de didnt qualify and was going to be foreclosed on. I changed banks and will never use BOFA for anything ever again. My dad now lives with us which is putting a strain on my family and now we may lose our house. I think BofA should give the houses to people that they caused to be homeless in the first place. How does one person choose between trying to keep the only house you have ever owned for over 35 years or treat yourself for cancer? Thats a decision no one should ever have to make.

Rudy Gonzales
July 08, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Giving away house that they should not have the right to give away! These banks stole these homes with their predatory lending and derivative instruments in a greedy land/house grab! Struggling home owners have has little help from mega-mortgage companies or banks even with the federal government trying to help with different programs. These attempted programs would help only a small segment of the home buyers in trouble. All this began in the Clinton administration when Brooksley Born warned of "Derivatives" backed by home mortgages! Trouble is these programs have been held up with non-funding from the GOP/TEA party! This new effort comes two years late and only after the banking industry's predatory mortgage acts were fully disclosed. The housing debacle, which started in the Bush administration, has been the rotten core on which many of today's troubles are centered. The failure of Wall Street was also centered on these "Derivatives" and Bush and company were slow to curb or quell the greedy on Wall Street. The government's programs to help homeowners were "not enough" and President Obama's leadership points to another attempt to fix the previous administration's problem. The GOP/TEA party-ers have been changing the landscape beneath President Obama's feet over and over on this issue in collusion with the mega-banks and mortgage houses to effect their control on the economy. You allowed them to be voted into office - Only you can vote them out!

July 08, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I totally agree with many of the comments that allow the Homeowner stays in his/her house. First, the Lenders/Banks must adjust, reduce the Principles and lower the Rates to properly aligned or synched up with the current Economic situation. Doing so working together with the Homeowner, the Banks can continue to receive money for a longer time than trying to suck in all the Homeowners income for the mortgage and what about his other financial obligations? I know that all citizens need a home and they need to be given that opportunity to own one by lowering the rates and mortgage payments.

July 08, 2011 at 5:07 pm

So does this mean that if I decide to quit paying my mortgage the bank will simply give me my house.

July 08, 2011 at 10:01 am

HEY BoA- How about giving ME the home I pay you for every month before I go into foreclosure? Or modifying the loan to current market value to clear the 25% negative equity I have and reduce my payment?

Christopher mason
July 07, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Bank of america should give home owners back their homes who was paying thousands of dollars on a mortgage that was fit to put them out any way. Plus the major lawsuits that they have against them they should just give it back to the homeowners especially the ones who have children