Bank of America this week restarted foreclosure proceedings. The bank amongst others like JP Morgan Chase and Citi Group, voluntarily stopped foreclosure proceeding back in October, after it was questioned whether or not unjust handling of foreclosures proceedings were taking place.
Bank of America gave attorneys the go ahead to proceed in foreclosing on 16,000 homes this month. According to the company about 1/3 of these are vacant or non-owner occupied and they will start with those homes first. Most homes are located in the states of Florida, Michigan, Texas, California and Georgia.
Bank of America says that they have reviewed their foreclosure process and as a result have made some changes. They have added new affidavit forms in some instances and have increased training to their employees who work in the foreclosure process.
The review shows the basis for our foreclosure decisions has been accurate,” Barbara Desoer, president of Bank of America Home Loans, said in a statement. “We have identified areas of our process that can be improved, and while we make these improvements, it’s important that we move ahead with efforts to reduce the number of abandoned properties across the country. These properties can drag down home values in neighborhoods and slow the eventual recovery of the housing market.”
Bank of America also stated that the bank will again stall foreclosures between the dates of December 20th and January 2nd for owner occupied homes in light of the Holidays.
Prior to this week’s announcement Bank of America had already started to resubmit affidavits of 102,000 foreclosure cases in the 23 states that require a judge to sign off on foreclosures.
Currently 14% of all home loans that the bank owns are not current. As a result of more homeowners struggling to make their loan payments, earlier this month Bank of America also announced that they were moving more employees, 2,500 of them, to their in house department responsible for homeowner retention initiatives. This brings their total employee count in this unit to 29,000. These employees work with homeowners who are distressed. Employees in this unit have increased by three times in just the last 3 years.