Bank of America, America’s biggest bank and by some estimates America’s biggest mortgage basket case, is kicking its foreclosure apparatus back into gear, The Wall Street Journal reports. On Monday, the bank got 16,000 foreclosure proceedings back underway, according to The Journal.
The bank instructed its foreclosure attorneys this week to prepare new affidavits in 7,800 cases where court approval is required to foreclose on a home, out of a total of 102,000 frozen by the bank amid documentation concerns. In states where no court approval is required, attorneys were asked to lift the hold on 8,000 delayed foreclosure sales out of 30,000.
Readers can be forgiven for thinking that Bank of America (BAC) had already done this, since in mid-October the bank said it had a good handle on its foreclosure situation and would begin refiling affidavits. But it’s been fits and starts for BofA:
Bank of America officials previously said they would resubmit affidavits on pending foreclosures starting Oct. 25, with foreclosure sales resuming in November. But those efforts hit several snags, including the hiring of new law firms to handle new foreclosure paperwork, as the bank refiled just a “handful” of cases as part of an initial pilot test of the process. “We are taking a deliberate and phased approach,” said bank spokesman Dan Frahm.
As insurance against additional blowback on these 16,000 foreclosure proceedings, BofA is going after the low-hanging fruit: empty and rented houses. That’s probably smart, considering the bank’s track record with occupied homes.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor