Bank of America Thaws Foreclosure Freeze

If you’re an under-the-gun homeowner with a Bank of America mortgage and you’ve been keeping your fingers crossed that the bank’s temporary suspension of foreclosures would continue indefinitely, you can uncross them. The bank announced today that it would resume foreclosures this month.

CNN reports that Bank of America has examined its processes, and is ready to get back into the foreclosure business.

“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,” said Barbara Desoer, president of Bank of America Home Loans, in a statement. “The properties can drag home values in neighborhoods and slow the eventual recovery of the housing market.”

Bank of America expects to foreclose on 16,000 homes this month. But BofA will observe a “holiday suspension” between December 20th and January 2nd, so if you’re not kicked out by then, you’ll get a few extra days before you have to pack up and go.

Bank of America to resume foreclosures – Dec. 10, 2010 []


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  1. TheSkaAssassin - College Man says:

    wow, this close to Christmas?

    • Abradax says:

      What does the proximity to Christmas have to do with a business executing a contract?

      • ldub says:

        and are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?!

      • tjustman says:

        Perhaps we should suspend interest payments during the holiday period. But what if the borrower or lender don’t celebrate the holiday? And how long should the holiday last? What if the person is Pagan and celebrates a different holiday? What if NOT foreclosing offends the Chinese or Japanese, who probably own the note? Being nice is HARD.

      • coren says:

        It doesn’t, but if they’re going to take time off at the 20th, why start up for what, 8 days? Less due to weekends, too. Five days. They’re going to do 5 days of foreclosures. What’s the point in that?

  2. TheRedSeven says:

    Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a foreclosure notice!

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      The free rent these folks have been getting the past 2-3 months is worth more than any Christmas present that I’ve ever gotten, so there’s that.

      • Kate says:

        Unless they are one of the not so few that had reduced payments but BofA ignored their own bargain and decided to foreclose anyway.

    • FireJayPa says:

      Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like freeloading for months on end.

  3. Coles_Law says:

    The foreclosure notices will be lowered down the chimney on Christmas eve, in spirit of the holidays.

  4. EverCynicalTHX says:

    I’m nor sure what people were expecting, mortgage free homes forever?

  5. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I think a 12 day reprieve for the holidays is plenty. It’s sad that people have to be foreclosed on, but I am imagining that these people are aware that they haven’t been paying their payments for months and have some sort of back up plan. A foreclosure should come as no surprise to anyone.

    • dadelus says:

      Unless they’re one of the lucky people that will get a surprise foreclosure from BoA.

      • Myotheralt says:

        Those, of course, being houses that are paid off or otherwise completely unrelated to BofA.

        • catnapped says:

          Sucks to be them, but they too should’ve planned better. Maybe move the house, or hide it, or burn it down, or, something…..

          Bank Of America owns ALL, people…do not resist or you will face the consequences!

    • coldfire409 says:

      Unless they are renters and have been paying their mortgage on time every month. With the “rocket docket” in Florida there have been times that a person gets a foreclosure notice on the first and are evicted on the 30th. There needs to be provisions for those who are renting.

  6. NightSteel says:

    “We’ve looked at our stacks and stacks of pending foreclosures, sighed and shaken our heads at the daunting task of completing all of them, and with this detailed analysis, have determined that none of them could possibly have any problems.”

  7. oldwiz65 says:

    They will probably send out a huge bunch of them on Dec 20 so as to get them going through the Holidays. If they are lucky they will have people tossed out of their homes on Christmas eve.

    • madanthony says:

      The time between a first notice of foreclosure and the house going on the block is measured in months, not days. I doubt anyone will be kicked out of their homes by Easter, let alone Christmas.

  8. Timbojones says:

    I’m confused by this: “it’s important that we move ahead with efforts to reduce the number of abandoned properties across the country”

    Isn’t foreclosing one of the best ways to shift the status of a property from ‘occupied’ to ‘abandoned’? How do foreclosures help reduce the number of abandoned properties?

    Now, if she’d said ‘abandoned mortgages’ I would understand how foreclosures help reduce that number. But then I don’t understand how property values could be explicitly affected by people who stop making mortgage payments. Implicitly, I suppose the destitute generally have a difficult time keeping the yard tidy…

    If getting abandoned properties back onto the market is the intention of these sweeping foreclosures, then perhaps one of the important due diligence steps ought to be ‘send someone out to check if anyone is living in the property.’ This would also help BoA avoid committing their ongoing evil acts foreclosing on the wrong properties.

    • selkie says:

      A common pattern down here was for flippers to put down deposits on 5-10 preconstruction single family homes or condo units, assume they were going to get a 25% return rate, and when it looked like they were going to get more than a 25% haircut instead, they just walked away, leaving behind many a property that would indeed be described as abandoned.

      It would be interesting to see what percentage of foreclosure in Florida had not had their most recent owner file for homestead exemption (ie. certify it was their primary residence). I suspect that the number is quite high.

    • mac-phisto says:

      property inspections are done during the foreclosure process & often previous to the actual foreclosure action.

      it’s possible that BoA has identified a number of vacant properties on their list of pending foreclosures & decided that acting on those properties as soon as possible would be wise. vacant properties usually mean no utilities, which can be a problem in the colder areas of the country if steps haven’t been taken to winterize the home. it would also mean they aren’t ripping families out of their homes during the holidays.

      do we dare assume a bank is so benevolent?

  9. coffeeculture says:

    Yup, I have a friend going through the process with BofA and they were foreclosed on back in September. BofA then went on FC hiatus and then in the 3rd week of November, they started getting notices and the “cash for keys” offer. They’ll be out by tomorrow with about $6,000.

    Not bad…zero down payment initially, took out a $100k 2nd mortgage to pay off cars & other debt, saved 1yr of mortgage through non-payment ($3000 x 12) + $6,000 move out settlement = effectively $142,000 in the bank for them.

    It was a strategic default. They’ll be back in the housing market in 3-4 years paying cash. Must be nice, I’d trade a chunk of my credit score for that.

    • gman863 says:

      Hearing stories like this I’m beginning to doubt if worrying about your credit score is worth it.

      Since I paid 20% down on my house and did about $10,000 in improvements over the past few years, this trick wouldn’t work for me. If, however, I had taken the mortgage company’s offer of a NINJA (No Income, No Job or Assetts) loan on a newer house (no improvements needed) with only closing costs down, pulling this stunt would have let me live free for a year plus get paid to move out. As for where I would move, my subdivision is overflowing with “for rent” signs on homes purchased out of forclosure by investors.

      Ditto for credit cards. I have friends who were maxed out. One spouse was laid off at the same time Citi and Chase went on an interest rate jacking spree. They simply quit paying on the cards. One year later, they have settled over $40,000 in credit card debt for $12,000. Even if you assume $10,000 of the initial debt was late fees and interest, they still ended up getting $18,000 in credit card purchases free.

      The final kicker is the very same banks who were ready to sue them months ago are back to mailing them “pre-approved” credit card offers.

  10. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Wow, talk about the Grinch who stole Christmas! I can just see it now: bailiff at the door, wearing a Santa hat, locksmith behind him, in the waking hours of Christmas morning (like I believe the “we won’t foreclose between Dec 20 and Jan 2”) singing carols as you open the door:

    We wish us a Merry Christmas
    We wish us a Merry Christmas
    We wish us a Merry Christmas
    Now, get out of here!

    You didn’t pay us
    Away with your kin
    We wish us a Merry Christmas
    You’re homeless this year.

    Now bring us the bailiff’s notice
    Now bring us the bailiff’s notice
    Now bring us the bailiff’s notice
    And away with you, dear.

  11. human_shield says:

    16,000 homes will be foreclosed, 15,199 of which they are pretty sure they hold the mortgage for, 756 that have the wrong address but whatevs, and 45 that they screwed up but are going to foreclose anyway and hope the homeowner doesn’t know any good lawyers.

  12. TasteyCat says:

    Good. Pay your bills. Christmas Shmistmas.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      No cat box for you TasteyCat. Just pee on yourself.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Do the words “Be a fucking human” mean anything to you at all?

      • TasteyCat says:

        People have received free mortgages for 19 months on average by the time it gets to this stage. I know I sure haven’t been living for free for that long. What’s your suggestion, just give them a free house? The holidays are completely irrelevant to whether they have been deadbeats for a year and a half. If they didn’t want their holidays ruined, they should have thought of that at some point earlier in the year. Or in 2009.

        • coren says:

          If the holidays are irrelevant, then why is the bank stopping for two weeks for the holidays? If they’re resuming foreclosing, they’ve got about five business days before end of year…that seems like asking for bad publicity to me.

          • FireJayPa says:

            The holidays are only relevant because a ton of people in the offices take vacation time during that period. It’s easier to take a nice two week break and then come back fully refreshed and recharged ready to kick out deadbeats.

      • ryder02191 says:

        Do the words “pay the mortgage you agreed to pay” mean anything to you? I wish I lived in your world, where I can own things without paying for them, and where personal responsibility doesn’t exit.

  13. Razor512 says:

    Happy holidays *sends a gift wrapped foreclosure notice on December 19 and USPS will have delivered it by December 24th or the 25th.

  14. PunditGuy says:

    Since it’s apparently gauche to foreclose this close to a holiday, when would you George Baileys think would be a good time to foreclose?

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      January 9th. That is …

      After New Year’s Day …
      After first week of New Year’s resolution is shot…
      After the Epiphany (Western anyway) on January 6th
      After January 8th, Elvis’ birthday…

      So January 9th. Richard Nixon’s birthday. I think it’s OK then.

  15. tjustman says:

    A huge percentage of those in the foreclosure process haven’t paid their mortgage for over a year. I think that’s a decent comp, if not a Christmas present, courtesy of the taxpayer.

    • Caggeyder says:

      How many of those bought a house they could genuinely afford but are being foreclosed on because they lost their job or had a huge medical expense? It is unfair to lump the people who have had nothing but struggles this year into the people who actually had it coming.

    • MrBeetle says:

      If you have a huge medical expense, you pay the mortgage but let the medical go into collections. Only an idiot would do it the other way (unless it was strategic).

      Bankruptcy will let you keep your house, and discharge the medical.

      • KyBash says:

        Unless you need to keep going to the doctor.

        My sister got caught up in that — even with insurance, she very quickly blew through her savings and everything she could borrow, and when she’d run up another $15K, the doctor, clinic, and hospital all flatly told her that if she didn’t come up with more money, they wouldn’t treat her any more.

        She had the choice of giving them every penny of her trust fund income (and not pay her mortgage and utility bills) or go to a fifth-rate ‘teaching hospital’ and semi-qualified doctors she (or, more likely her estate) could later stiff.

  16. ElizabethD says:

    BOA, humbug!

  17. whyt says:

    Wish my loan servicer would observe some kind of holiday break. Our foreclosure sale is December 23. Christmas is sad.

  18. whyt says:

    Wish my loan servicer would observe some kind of holiday break. Our foreclosure sale is December 23. Christmas is sad.

  19. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    So…will they be foreclosing on properties they actually own, or on any property they feel like taking?

  20. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    -1 picture reuse

  21. Mecharine says:

    There is no way that they completed their organization change. Corporations as large as BoA require at least a year to complete fundamental structure change. Mark my words, they are still doing the same things they have done before.

  22. quirkyrachel says:

    Does this apply to short sales, too? I’m trying to buy one where the mortgage is with BoA. It’s been pending for almost 2 months.