Bank of America to Triple the Number of Mortgage Outreach Centers
Partly in response to public criticism and to comply with consent orders signed last month, Bank of America, the largest mortgage service in the nation, will triple its number of outreach centers. The bank will open 28 new locations, bringing the previous number of 12 outreach centers up to 40. Seven locations will open in the state of California alone. Three centers will open in Detroit.
The purpose of these outreach centers is to assist homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Part of the orders the bank consented to last month required it to provide single points of contact for borrowers behind on their payments and trying to get loan modifications. Counselors fluent in Spanish and other languages will also be provided for any non-English speaking homeowners.
However, some advocates have claimed that the new outreach centers will not be enough to help troubled homeowners. Even Rebecca Mairone, an outreach executive of Bank of America, told the New York Times that many borrowers still won’t be approved for loan modifications. The centers will help them apply for loan modifications and assist with alternatives like short sales.
The announcement is the latest in the bank’s efforts to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. The bank has seen an increase in troubled borrowers since its acquisition of several high-risk home loans in its takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008. In 2009, the bank doubled its number of employees to 28,000 in an effort to provide additional help to homeowners.