Bank of America has completed about 56,400 permanent mortgage modifications under the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and has now completed a total of more than 600,000 modifications through all available programs since January 2008. "We were able to convert close to 24,000 Bank of America customers from trial to permanent modifications in the past month, completing the process for more homeowners than in any previous month," said Jack Schakett, credit loss mitigation strategies executive for Bank of America Home Loans. "We continue to evaluate homeowners' eligibility and activate trial modifications while focusing on completing as many permanent modifications as possible for those who have successfully completed their trial payment period. At the same time, however, we are beginning to see a decrease in the number of active trial modifications, which we have anticipated."
In part, this reflects successful conversions to completed modifications and implementation of new government requirements for documentation of financial information before a borrower can enter the trial modification period, which will slow the inflow of new trial modifications. In addition, as required by government guidelines, Bank of America is notifying customers who did not meet eligibility requirements for HAMP or who did not meet the requirements of their trial period plan that they are not eligible to complete a permanent HAMP modification. The bank is in the process of mailing letters to thousands of these customers.
"We are letting customers know that we may explore other homeownership retention options, depending on individual circumstances and investor guidelines," Schakett noted.
Bank of America has completed nearly 550,000 modifications outside of HAMP since January 2008, more than 59,000 of them in the first four months of this year. All told, through HAMP and non-HAMP solutions, Bank of America has completed more than 605,000 modifications since January 2008, including 115,000 this year.
The first offers under the new second lien modification program (2MP) were mailed on April 1, within days of the U.S. Department of the Treasury issuing the program guidelines. Bank of America was the first servicer to sign an agreement to participate in 2MP in January, giving it a head start toward early implementation.
Bank of America became operational in the Home Affordable Foreclosure Avoidance (HAFA) program in April. The program provides a streamlined, cooperative and encouraging approach to move homeowners who have been found to be ineligible for a HAMP modification into the short sale or deed-in-lieu process.
Bank of America continues to lead the industry in refinancing loans through the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) with more than 200,000 mortgages refinanced. More than 110,000 of these mortgages have loan balances exceeding 80 percent of the property value and otherwise may be difficult to refinance in today's tight credit markets.
In the first quarter of this year, Bank of America loaned $70 billion to 320,000 customers to purchase a home or refinance their existing first mortgage.
Implementation of recently announced enhancements to Bank of America's National Homeownership Retention Programs will begin soon. The innovative earned principal forgiveness approach, announced in March, targets types of loans that have demonstrated the highest risk of default by using principal reduction as the first step toward reaching an affordable payment through modification. Bank of America is completing plans to align this program with features of a similar earned principal forgiveness plan recently announced by the Department of Treasury as part of HAMP, ahead of broader implementation of the government program in the coming months.
For more information, visit www.bankofamerica.com.