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Information on the Department of Justice Settlement

Settlement offers new foreclosure prevention programs to eligible customers

August 21, 2014

Bank of America has agreed to settlement with federal and state officials

The U.S. Department of Justice and Bank of America, along with participating states, reached an agreement to resolve claims related to certain mortgage practices. The claims relate primarily to conduct that occurred at Countrywide and Merrill Lynch prior to Bank of America’s acquisition of those entities.

Under the agreement, we are implementing new foreclosure prevention programs to qualified customers. It is important to note that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are not participating in the new programs provided under this settlement.

At Bank of America, we are committed to making government and proprietary home loan assistance solutions available as quickly as possible. Once these new programs are ready, we will proactively reach out to eligible customers.

We anticipate that we will be ready to offer these programs in the fourth quarter of 2014. Please check here for details and updates on these new foreclosure prevention programs, including eligibility requirements and information on how to take advantage of these solutions.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing a financial hardship and are struggling to make your mortgage payments, please contact us right away at 1.877.488.7814 to update us on your current financial situation. While customers whose loans are owned or insured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are not eligible for relief through these new programs, help may already be available. The sooner we understand your situation, the sooner we can explore all of the options that may be available to you.

Read the press release

Frequently Asked Questions

Bank of America has reached a comprehensive agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and others that primarily addresses actions and practices of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch before they were acquired by Bank of America. Some customers with Bank of America mortgages who are struggling to make their home loan payments may qualify for relief through special limited programs offered under this agreement.

If you need assistance with your Bank of America home loan payments, please contact us at 1.877.488.7814 as soon as possible. In the fourth quarter of 2014, we will evaluate who may be qualified under the programs and will proactively reach out to all customers who may be eligible. However, if you need more immediate assistance, we may be able to assist you now.

As part of that settlement, we have agreed to offer new programs to eligible customers, including:

  • Mortgage modifications, principal forgiveness and forbearance
  • Forgiveness of forbearance on previous first lien modifications
  • Home equity lien extinguishments or principal forgiveness

The settlement was announced on August 21, 2014, and was effective immediately. We anticipate that we will begin offering the new programs in the fourth quarter when we will proactively reach out to eligible customers.

In the fourth quarter, we will be prepared to more fully evaluate who is eligible under the programs. We will be proactively reaching out to eligible customers.

Eligibility will vary depending on several factors, including the mortgage investor. For example, loans owned and securitized by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are not part of this settlement. However, customers whose loans are owned or insured by one of those entities may be eligible for payment relief through other programs. Customers who have a loan owned by Bank of America or a loan held by a mortgage investor that has delegated authority to Bank of America may be eligible for a modification under the settlement programs.

To find out if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, simply call the toll-free numbers below or use their online lookup tools.

Fannie Mae:

1.800.7FANNIE (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup Opens a new window

Freddie Mac:

1.800.FREDDIE (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage Opens a new window

Qualifying loans that were previously serviced by Bank of America and now are serviced by another company may be eligible for assistance under this agreement. If you are currently experiencing a financial hardship and are struggling to make your home loan payments, please contact your current servicer to understand which programs may be available to you.

Please call us at 1.877.488.7814 if you need assistance. We will ask you for some basic information and explain your options. If you qualify for assistance, we will collect documents needed and provide assistance if you are eligible.

If you are currently experiencing a financial hardship and are struggling to make your mortgage payments, help may be available. Please call us at 1.877.488.7814 to update us on your situation.

It is our practice not to proceed with foreclosure until every option allowed by the mortgage investor to qualify customers for a modification of other solution has been exhausted. You should not ignore any foreclosure notices since normal processing of your loan will continue and may include foreclosure, subject to applicable law. If you have any questions about your options, please contact us for assistance.

We suggest that you contact the IRS or your tax consultant to determine if you would have any tax liability. You might also refer to the IRS website.

Bank of America follows standard industry practice and requirements when reporting your mortgage loan information to the credit reporting agencies. For any loan modifications, including those that involve a principal reduction, there most likely will be an impact on your credit rating. After modifying your mortgage loan, we will continue to report the contractual payment status of the loan along with a special comment stating that the loan has been modified.

Learn more about the potential impact on your credit.

If you qualify and receive a principal reduction and rate reduction, both will become permanent at the completion of any required trial payment period.

We already offer programs to assist unemployed borrowers. These programs are available now.

We have a number of programs available to assist borrowers in various situations. If you are underwater but current on your payments, you may be eligible for the government’s Home Affordable Refinance, for example.