The Wall Street Journal reports that Bank of America will be restarting over 16,000 foreclosure cases across the United States. However, it could take many weeks before it is known whether or not the new documents the bank has submitted will be approved by local judges. This announcement does not conflict with the bank’s previous declaration to observe its regular holiday foreclosure freezing policy. The freeze does not affect the loans the bank services that are held by investors who have chosen not to participate in the voluntary freeze, or for homes that have already been vacated.
The bank instructed its foreclosure lawyers to ready new affidavits for approximately 7,800 cases where it is required to obtain court approval before foreclosing on a home. Currently the bank has over 102,000 homes that are essentially frozen by the bank because of recent documentation and “robo-signing” concerns. Bank of America lawyers were also asked to lift the hold on over 8,000 foreclosure sales out of 30,000 that have been delayed in states where court approval is not required.
Previously, Bank of America had stated they would resubmit affidavits for foreclosures that were pending starting on October 25 for foreclosure sales to resume in early November. However, their efforts struck several roadblocks, including hiring new law offices to handle foreclosure paperwork. Only a handful of cases were re-filed. A spokesperson for the bank stated they were taking a deliberate approach to the situation.
Other U.S. banks are reviving their foreclosure processes following internal reviews. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. announced that it has begun re-filing affidavits for foreclosures on a state-by-state basis. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo & Co. stated the bank has readied over 46,000 supplemental affidavits in foreclosure cases where it is required to obtain court approval and 94 percent have been given to outside counsel to be submitted to the courts. Thus far, the bank alleges it hasn’t discovered any cases where a foreclosure should not have occurred.
The 16,000 foreclosure cases that Bank of America is reopening involve properties that are vacant or homes that were rented to other occupants. Both present less of a risk for a legal challenge. The majority of these cases are in California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, and Texas. A spokesperson for the bank says it will take them approximately six days to review and then approve each newly readied affidavit. However, it may take some courts many weeks for a hearing to be scheduled. Regarding the remaining affidavits that need to be replaced, Bank of America expects to file them early in 2011.
The unethical behavior by banks and mortgage companies have affected all Americans who are struggling financially or who are currently going through foreclosure. If you have questions about the foreclosure process or bankruptcy in New Jersey, contact the Law Offices of Robert Manchel. Our New Jersey foreclosure lawyers can help you determine the best course of legal action for your specific situation. Call us today at 866-503-5655.