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President’s Corner Homeowners underwater may get some breathing room

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Diane Gallagher

Posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Wow, here is a breakthrough from Bank of America. A report came from Washington stated that Bank of America said last Friday, it would reduce the amount owed by underwater homeowners by about $100,000.  

This would affect as many as 200,000 homeowners.

Bank of America spokesman Richard Simon stated, “as part of a $1-billion side deal to the $25-billion foreclosure settlement.”

You ask who is eligible?  Homeowners who are underwater are eligible if they have a loan serviced by Bank of America and were at least 60 days delinquent on their mortgages as of January 31st.

Only loans owned by Bank of America or private investors are eligible, and those include mortgages originated by Countrywide Financial Corp. The Calabasas based subprime lender who was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

Richard Simon also said, “Loans owned or backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration or the Veterans Administration are not eligible, for this program.”  Even though 200,000 homeowners will be eligible, not all will participate in the program.

The bank will begin reaching out to homeowners next month. It has three years to complete the principal reductions, but the settlement offers incentives for them to be completed within a year of the settlement’s completion, so, Simon anticipated the process would move “fairly quickly.”

Bank of America mortgage customers can call 877-488-7814 to see if they’re eligible and for more information.

Now about our market!  Our market is still very low.  In the Lodi area there are only 117 single family homes that are short ssales, foreclosures (REO) and of course, your regular seller.  So remember, when you’re with your Realtor there might not be a lot to choose from.  You must be consistent in looking and do not give up with your Realtor.  They are doing the best they can with the inventory out there and with the criteria you have given them. So, good luck house hunting. See you next week!

Diane Gallagher is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors. She can be reached at