Bank of America Home Loans has begun reaching out to customers who may be eligible for forgiveness of a portion of the principal balance on their mortgage under terms of a recent settlement among five major banks, 49 state attorneys general, and the federal government.
The first letters in a targeted outreach to more than 200,000 potential candidates for this assistance are arriving in homes this week; most of the letters will be mailed by the third quarter of this year. The bank estimates average monthly savings of 30 percent on mortgage payments of customers who qualify for this program.
Bank of America began making principal reduction offers under the program guidelines in March, initially concentrating on homeowners who were already in the modification review process. So far under this early initiative, about 5,000 trial modification offers have been mailed, providing a potential total of more than $700 million in forgiven principal. Homeowners are required to make at least three timely payments before the modification can become permanent.
The wave of mailings beginning this week will reach a broader base of customers who may be eligible for this principal reduction program. The letters provide each homeowner with a description of the program and an invitation to provide financial information to begin the review process.
To be eligible for this program, a homeowner must meet certain criteria, including:
- Owes more on the mortgage than the property is worth today.
- Was at least 60 days behind on payments on January 31, 2012.
- Has a contractual monthly payment for principal, interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, and any applicable homeowner association fees totaling more than 25 percent of gross household income.
- Has a loan that is owned and serviced by Bank of America, or serviced for another investor that has given the bank delegated authority to do such modifications.
For further information on the settlement programs, Bank of America Home Loans customers may call (877) 488-7814.
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