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BofA to give away houses

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
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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699 Comments
zaius
July 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

They are abandoning ghetto property. I do not blame them. The liability is greater than the return ever will be.

Kala
July 11, 2011 at 7:32 am

If you BORROW money from a bank to buy a home, it doesn't mean you own the home. You have to pay off the LOAN before you own it!
Blaming the bank because YOU didn't hold up your end of the agreement is nonsense. Like my Dad used to tell me," the world doesn't owe you a living"and it doesn't owe you a house either.

tom s.
July 11, 2011 at 6:34 am

So the banks get bailed out, clamp down on loaning money, get to raise rates and charge more fees than ever and you wonder where the problem is?
The same people who caused this problem got rewarded and not one of them went to jail, (especially the countrywide board)and they have no insentive to start loaning again since they lost nothing!
A good reason not to reward bad behavior aka bailout crooks!

Herb Reed
July 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm

THIS IS BECAUSE OF ALL THE LAWSUITS, NOW THEY ARE TRYING TO LOOK GOOD, GET REAL ITS GOOD BUSINESS GIVE AWAY 150 FORECLOSED PROPERTYS, THEN FORECLOSE ON THOUSANDS WHAT A JOKE PEOPLE FALL FOR THIS?????

Barbara
July 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm

This is someone's idea of a joke. Bank of America won't give away a pen at a loan desk. They are way too big and completely inefficient. They won't email information or documents to a borrower for "security reasons" although said borrower has all the identification and information necessary to a/ log into the B of A site, b/ log into the personal loan account in question, and c./ all the passwords and information required to log into her personal email account to retrieve the information or documents. They will, however, send it to the mailbox at your home, where it could be taken by anyone at any time because we ALL know the mailboxes on our houses are SO much more secure than email.

Jake
July 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm

yes, they say we give them away and then write off the entire mortgage as a loss off the billions they made on the US Legal Taxpayers backs. Hell of a write off.....when your hands are tied and you cannot and will not pay the taxes or up keep, write them off 100% and get a bigger break....now don't ever believe BOA is generous....NOT.....look at the bigger picture.....what is in it for them....

Gregory
July 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Truly amazing, after BoA greased its palms with all the bad deals to help these people loose their homes in the first place, now they want to give them away to make it seem they are the good guys. I closed my account with them when this mess first started. SHAME ON YOU BOA!!!!

Banks Suck
July 10, 2011 at 11:01 am

SOLUTION: lower the principal of ALL mortgages made prior to 8/2007 by 20% and revert the interest rates to their original rates at time of closing!!!

it's the ONLY FAIR thing to do for those who are STILL PLAYING BY THE RULES!

INVESTORS NEED TO PLAY ALONG OR BOFA WILL INCITE A MORTGAGE REVOLT WITH THEIR *BENEVOLENCE* !

Banks Suck
July 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

It's simple business math and nothing else, people.

The only reason why BOFA is 'giving' homes away is to ABANDON them.

Now they don't have to pay taxes and maintenance.

nothing to do with benevolence.

All banks suck, each in their own special way.

Nancy
July 09, 2011 at 8:07 pm

This is outrageous!!!! Why hasn't the bank worked with the displaced owners of the properties and lowered their payments so that they could stay there.....Balloon payment in 40 years or at time of sale.

Why is there not a Class Action Suit against all the banks, which are making money through insurance coverages in foreclosing on these properties, so that their rights are protected. These former homeowners have put thousands in mortgage payments into these properties and the banks with a little creativity could have kept almost everyone in their homes...Attempting to deal with the Banks is not in the best interest of individuals but as a class action, what a difference that would make!

No, GREED took them over and not only have they made money off insurance they are now going to have a tax write off while the former owners will probably get taxed for their loses for walking away!!

If I was one of those who has gone through this hell or am going through it...I would be outraged on how carefree B of A is handling this....This is not being done out of the goodness of their hearts but because their is a lucrative payback for them.

Funny how President Obama's chief advisors in all of this mess are former highly paid banking and Wall Street Exec's.