Monday, October 12, 2009

Mortgage Modifications and BofA

by Calculated Risk on 10/12/2009 02:10:00 PM

Renae Merle at the WaPo writes about Bank of America's struggles to ramp-up their mortgage modification department: Racing the Clock to Avoid Foreclosures

The following section probably requires more explanation:

The company was also slow out of the box because it initially took a more conservative approach than some other banks, requiring that borrowers document their income and complete other paperwork before granting preliminary approval for a modification. In August, Bank of America softened the requirement and began authorizing some modifications without getting all the documents first.
Read mort_fin notes:
"What the article doesn't make clear is that what was changed was the timing of the income documentation, not the level. It used to be the case that bofa required full documentation of income before they would even run the numbers to tell a borrower that they qualified. Now they will give an answer over the phone and start a trial mod, giving the borrower a month or 2 to provide the docs. No docs, no permanent mod. A borrower who can't document their claims gets a month or two of reduced payments before getting kicked out."
This is why it will be important to watch the number of permanent modifications over the next few months. The Treasury announced last week that 500,000 modifications have been started, but the Obama plan had produced only 1,711 permanent loan modifications as of Sept. 1. That number should increase sharply soon.