BofA Helps 100,000 Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure

In its first 10 months, Bank of America's proprietary National Homeownership Retention Program (NHRP) provided mortgage relief to roughly 100,000 homeowners with certain Countrywide subprime and option adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), the company announced Monday.

In October 2008, three months after acquiring Countrywide Financial Corp., Bank of America announced it had reached agreement with state attorneys general on the NHRP, a program to provide loan modifications to Countrywide customers with loan products that Bank of America discontinued upon acquiring the company. Nearly 400,000 homeowners across the country were identified as potentially eligible for modifications under the NHRP guidelines.

According to the most recent NHRP progress report, between Dec. 1, 2008, when the bank initiated its outreach to potentially eligible borrowers, and Sept. 30, 2009, modification offers were made to 143,271 homeowners. During that same time frame, 80,875 customers received mortgage relief under NHRP guidelines, representing potential aggregate principal and interest savings of $1.6 billion.

The report states that more than 19,500 other NHRP-eligible borrowers entered trial modifications under the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) from the time the program was inaugurated through the end of the third quarter.

In the six weeks following the close of the reporting period, more than 35,000 additional NHRP-eligible homeowners entered the HAMP trial period, according to Jack Schakett, an executive with the company's loss mitigation department.

The NHRP agreement also provides relocation assistance and foreclosure relief programs in 41 participating states and the District of Columbia.

The third-quarter progress report shows that Bank of America has provided more than $40 million in relocation assistance to customers and tenants in eligible properties that have gone to foreclosure, under terms of the agreement.

The bank has allocated up to $150 million to participating states to provide foreclosure prevention programs and financial relief for eligible borrowers who went into default shortly after taking out a qualifying loan and lost their homes.

Letters have been sent to borrowers who are eligible for a relief payment, and a third-party administrator will begin issuing checks in the first quarter of 2010.

SOURCE: Bank of America


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