Miami Mortgage Modification: Bank of America Begins Reducing Balances

Our Miami mortgage modification lawyers want to inform you about reductions in mortgage payments being extended to certain underwater homeowners whose loans were held by Bank of America and the now-defunct Countrywide Financial. moneyseries.jpg

A Miami mortgage modification can mean the difference between keeping your home and spiraling further into debt, and possibly being forced into a Miami foreclosure situation.

Bank of America has started sending out letters to customers, letting them know they plan to forgive part of their principal balance on their mortgages.

Back in 2008, BofA purchased Countrywide for about $4 million. Back then, Countrywide was financing some 20 percent of all the mortgages in the country – more than any other single lender. The problem was that the majority of those mortgages were toxic.

So now, BofA is reaching out to more than 200,000 individuals who may qualify for assistance. Some of those could see savings of up to $150,000 or a 30 percent reduction.

All of this stems from the $25 billion settlement that BofA and four other major financial institutions made with attorneys general from 49 states, following evidence of widespread fraud and abuse within the mortgage system – the same abuse that ultimately led to the housing bubble burst and the economy tanking.

Our Miami mortgage modification attorneys believe this is a baby step in terms of making it right, but it is a step forward nonetheless.

It’s important to note that not everyone who had a Countrywide or Bank of America mortgage is going to qualify. Here’s what the guidelines are:

  • The homeowner must owe more on the property than it is currently worth;
  • The homeowner must have been at least two months behind on payments as of this past Jan. 31st;
  • The homeowner has to have a contractual monthly payment for interest, hazard insurance, principal, property taxes and any other home association fees that total a value of more than 25 percent of their total household income;
  • The homeowner has to have a loan that is owned and serviced by BofA or another investor that has given BofA the authority to delegate such modifications.

That last part means that homeowners whose loans were backed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the FHA/VA aren’t going to be eligible.

When the process started in March, the bank started just with homeowners who were already in the process of applying for a mortgage modification. Within that program, there have been roughly 5,000 individuals who have been offered modifications, which amounts to about $700 million in principal payments that have been forgiven.

Keep in mind that a number of scams are currently being run by individuals claiming to be BofA. They request a great deal of personal information, which they then use to commit identity theft.

The best way to see if you might qualify is to either call BofA at 1-877-488-7814. Additionally, even if you don’t qualify, our Miami mortgage modification attorneys may be able to help you uncover other options.

If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.

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