May 7th, 2011 6:50 AM by Lehel S.
Bank of America plans to triple the number of its assistance offices for homeowners in trouble on their mortgages, including adding seven of the new outreach centers in California.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank has been clobbered by losses on high-risk home loans inherited when it acquired Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008. It planned to announce its latest effort to deal with that problem at 6 a.m. PDT Thursday.
BofA already has 12 such centers nationally, including Southern California outreach offices in Brea and Glendale.
The bank said that over the next two or three months it would open 28 more, including one to serve South Los Angeles and the South Bay, one for the west San Fernando Valley and east Ventura County, one in the Antelope Valley, one in the Inland Empire, and others in San Diego, Bakersfield and Modesto. The exact addresses weren't available.
Four years after loan modifications sometimes began making financial sense to home lenders as an alternative to foreclosure, BofA remains unable to reach one in four delinquent borrowers, spokesman Rick Simon said.
"One of the most difficult challenges we face is encouraging homeowners who are behind on their payments to respond to our invitations to work with them," Rebecca Mairone, the executive heading efforts to engage troubled borrowers, said in the news release.
"We have made a commitment to double our outreach staff this year, provide our customers with more ways to contact us and in locations that are as convenient and comfortable for them as possible."