Is a deed in lieu of foreclosure right for me?
A deed in lieu of foreclosure, or deed in lieu, can help you avoid a public sale or auction and may also help you start rebuilding credit sooner than if you go through foreclosure.
You may be eligible for a deed in lieu if one or more of the following apply:
You're experiencing a financial hardship such as reduced income, medical expenses or a divorce
You're unable to afford your current mortgage payment
You're unable to modify your current mortgage to make it affordable
You tried for at least 90 to 120 days to sell your property at fair market value with the help of a licensed real estate agent, but were unsuccessful
Depending on your loan type, you may qualify for up to $3,000 for relocation expenses and up to $8,500 to help you settle other debts. A deed in lieu effectively ends your home loan, and in some cases means you're not required to pay any remaining amount owed on your loan (also known as the deficiency).
If you're not eligible for a deed in lieu, and have already explored all options to stay in your house, then normal processing of your loan will continue and may include foreclosure, subject to applicable law. If you have questions about your options, please contact us for assistance.
How do I get started with a deed in lieu?
Now that I’m in the deed in lieu process, what happens next?
I'm interested in a deed in lieu.
First, we'll verify that there are no other options available that would allow you to keep the property.
Next, if you decide that a deed in lieu is the right option for you, we'll connect you with a specialist who'll work with you throughout the process.
To proceed with a deed in lieu, you'll need to provide:
- The property's address
- Your loan number
- Information on any foreclosure notices or dates you've received
- Information on any subordinate liens on the property, if applicable
- Information on a loan modification, if you were considered for one
- A hardship letter explaining your current financial difficulty
Depending on your circumstances, additional documentation may be required. If so, we'll contact you to let you know what information is needed.
If you're not eligible and have already explored all options to stay in your house, then normal processing of your loan will continue and may include foreclosure, subject to applicable law. If you have questions about your options, please contact us for assistance.
I’ve submitted all my documents.
After all required documents are received, we'll:
- Verify your information
- Order an appraisal of the property's interior to determine the current market value
- Compare the property's value to the balance on your first mortgage
- Perform a title search
The property must be free of any liens, such as a home equity loan or line of credit, when the title is transferred to us.
If you have a Bank of America home equity loan or line of credit, we'll take care of getting approvals for your deed in lieu request.
If you have a home equity loan or line of credit with another lender, you'll need to ask that lender to send us a Second Lien Release form, indicating their approval for you to pursue a deed in lieu. This process generally takes up to 90 calendar days, so to avoid delays, contact lien holders right away.
I've been approved for a deed in lieu.
If your deed in lieu request is approved, we'll send you:
- A letter outlining the terms and conditions
- Documents that you will need to sign and return
Once we've received those documents, we'll prepare one final set of papers, called release documents. They will detail your decision to sign the property over to us.
You must send us signed, notarized release documents within 14 calendar days.
You'll then have up to 30 calendar days to relocate, depending on the law in your area.
Depending on your loan type and circumstances, you may be eligible for up to:
- $3,000 for relocation expenses
- $8,500 to help you settle other debts such as your home equity loan or line of credit
Your specialist will let you know if you qualify.
If you've already explored all options to stay in your house, then normal processing of your loan will continue and may include foreclosure, subject to applicable law. If you have questions about your options, please contact us for assistance.
Home Loan Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
No. You can work directly with us to process your request.
No. A deed in lieu must be processed with the lender that holds your mortgage or the company to which you make your monthly payments.
If you have a second lien on your house (also known as a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit), you need the lender’s approval to proceed with a deed in lieu. In order to be approved for a deed in lieu, the title to the property must be clear. If your second lien is with Bank of America, we will complete your Second Lien Release form and work to get approval for your deed in lieu request. If your second lien is with another lender, you will need to contact them and request a Second Lien Release form. The lender needs to provide this form, sign it to indicate that they approve of the offer, and send it to you.
The length of time depends on your loan and circumstances. It generally takes around 90 days from the date we receive your financial documents. Once approved, you will be given 14 to 30 calendar days to relocate.
If you've already explored all options to keep the property, normal processing of your loan will continue and may include foreclosure, subject to applicable law. If you have questions about your options, please contact us for assistance.
Although a deed in lieu may have a negative effect on your credit, by completing this transaction you’ll avoid a public sale and can begin rebuilding your credit sooner.
While we work with you to complete a deed in lieu, we'll continue to report the status of your account to the major credit reporting agencies. If a deed in lieu transaction is completed on your property, we’ll report your loan status as a deed received in lieu of foreclosure on a defaulted mortgage and resolved by acceptance of a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Learn more about the potential effect of a deed in lieu on your credit.
If you were denied home loan assistance, such as a request for a loan modification, short sale or deed in lieu you may be able to dispute the decision. You can file an escalated case with us if you have reason to believe any of the following are true:
- You met all the criteria for home loan assistance but were not properly evaluated for assistance or were improperly denied assistance. This may include:
- You did not receive adequate notice from us about your foreclosure alternatives
- You were not given appropriate time to respond to communications from us during your loan review process
- Your loan was referred to foreclosure prematurely, or we did not suspend foreclosure activities when we were required to do so
You can also file an escalated case if either of these two specific concerns apply to your loan:
- You have a reasonable belief that your mortgage loan is being serviced in a fraudulent manner
- You have retained a lawyer to help you resolve a mortgage dispute with Bank of America
If you have reason to believe that any of the above apply in connection with your loan review and affected your eligibility for home loan assistance, you may file an escalated case with us to review your concerns.
Please note that inquiries about a pending request for home loan assistance or general questions about the servicing of your mortgage do not meet the requirements for an escalated case. For general servicing questions, please call 1.800.669.6607 (Monday-Friday, 7am-7pm local time).
To file an escalated case, you or any third party representing you, such as a housing counselor or attorney, should send us a brief letter describing the specific reasons you believe one of the above scenarios applies to your loan or to your application for home loan assistance. If you are represented by an attorney, please have your lawyer submit this request on your behalf.
Escalated case requests must be sent by mail to the following address:
- Bank of America Corporate Center
Attn: BAC Escalated Case Unit
P.O. Box 940508
Simi Valley, CA 93094-0508
Please note that if a third party, such as an advisor or a nonprofit advocate, contacts us to submit an escalated case on your behalf, we must have your written authorization before we can communicate with them about you or your loan. Without your written authorization, we will not be able to discuss your home loan with them. We can provide you with an authorization form upon request.
What to expect after submitting your request
Within three business days after receipt:
- If your submission meets the requirements for an escalated case, within three business days of the receipt of your request, we will send you a written acknowledgement that we have received your request. This acknowledgement will also include the estimated date by which your escalated case should be resolved, along with a toll-free number for the Escalated Case Unit.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt:
- In most cases, within 15 calendar days of receiving your request, we will mail you a written response describing the proposed resolution of your request and any next steps to be followed by you or by us. If your matter cannot be resolved within 15 calendar days, we will notify you of the delay and give you a new estimated resolution date. This new estimated resolution date, in most cases, will be no longer than 30 calendar days from the date we received your original escalated case.
Checking the status of your escalated case
Your written confirmation will include a toll-free number you can call for information about your escalated case.