Bank Of America Details Community Development, Foreclosure Relief Goals

Bank of America has unveiled several initiatives intended to reduce the impact and number of foreclosures on communities, as well as new goals in corporate philanthropy and community development and investment.

The company adds that it will locate the combined national consumer mortgage headquarters in Calabasas, Calif., and operate its consumer mortgage business under the Bank of America brand once it completes its purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp.

The combined company expects to modify or workout at least $40 billion in troubled mortgage loans in the next two years and estimates these efforts will keep at least 265,000 customers in their homes.

In addition to foreclosure prevention efforts, the combined company will continue Bank of America's policy of permitting tenants to continue living in properties subject to foreclosure for 60 days after the completion of foreclosure proceedings. If the tenant voluntarily leaves the property within 30 days of the completion of foreclosure proceedings, they will receive a $2,000 cash-for-keys payment to help defray moving expenses.

Additionally, beginning in 2009, Bank of America will pursue a new goal to lend and invest $1.5 trillion for community development over the next 10 years. The goal, the largest in U.S. history, replaces existing community development goals of both Bank of America and Countrywide, the firm notes. Areas of focus will include affordable housing, economic development and consumer and small-business lending.

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