Bank of America has increased its industry-leading total of completed Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modifications to more than 76,300 through July. In addition, nearly 100,000 Bank of America customers have received modifications outside of the government program this year, including many on second looks at loans that did not qualify for modification under the federal government's program.
"When a customer is found to be ineligible for HAMP or falls out of a trial modification, we consider an alternative home retention program, and if no viable solution is available, a dignified exit from homeownership," said Rebecca Mairone, default servicing executive for Bank of America Home Loans. "HAMP guidelines are quite specific with regard to the debt-to-income ratio, owner-occupancy, trial payment performance and other requirements. But in many cases, we may be able to provide these customers with other homeownership retention solutions, subject to the mortgage investor's guidance and approval."
Since January 2008, Bank of America has completed more than 665,000 mortgage modifications through all programs, including about 590,000 using proprietary solutions.
Reflecting conversions to permanent modifications, cancellation of non-qualifying modifications and a slower influx of homeowners entering the trial period, HAMP active trial modifications continue to decline to fewer than 85,000 at the end of July. The slower pace of new trial modifications follows the bank's transition from accepting verbal financial information for trial modifications to requiring full documentation and underwriting prior to making trial modification offers. This transition, begun in April to conform to updated direction from Treasury, lengthens the time it takes for a trial modification to be started and eliminates a larger number of homeowners from consideration prior to entering a trial plan.
While home retention remains the first goal, Bank of America continues to enhance programs that provide customers with a dignified exit from homeownership when all retention options have been exhausted, using streamlined, cooperative short sales or deeds-in-lieu with possible assistance with relocation costs. The bank completed 25,000 short sales in the second quarter and has been fully operational in the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Avoidance (HAFA) program since April.
Bank of America continues to show industry leadership in other facets of the government's Making Home Affordable program, as well.
In April, the bank became the first major servicer to begin consideration of home equity loan modifications under the Home Affordable second lien program (2MP), well ahead of the specified government implementation date. In July, underwriting was completed on the first permanent 2MP modifications and they are being mailed to the homeowners this week.
Since the inception of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in April 2009, the bank has helped refinance more than 135,000 customers with LTVs greater than 80 percent, who otherwise might have had difficulty finding financing in today's tightened credit market.
For more information, visit www.bankofamerica.com.