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BofA Pledges Foreclosure Help for Chicago

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In the waning days of his 22 years as Chicago’s mayor, Richard M. Daley announced a new partnership with Bank of America by which the bank will donate hundreds of foreclosed residential units to local government agencies, pay to demolish abandoned buildings, and improve its process for informing the city about new foreclosures.

“As we continue to face the worst recession in 70 years, addressing the foreclosure problem is essential,” Daley said in a press release. “Bank of America is working with the city to help protect residents and communities from the dangers posed by vacant properties.”

[Related article: Delays in Foreclosure Process Cause Actions to Hit 40-Month Low]

The bank will donate a number of foreclosed and vacant condominiums to the nonprofit Community Investment Corporation, which will rehab the units and turn them into rentals. The bank did not disclose how much money it plans to donate toward demolition efforts, or how many vacant buildings it hopes to take down.

On the paperwork side, BofA says it will do a better job notifying the city when properties become abandoned. It also will send up to 150 vacant properties to a Cook County special court established to move properties through the foreclosure process more quickly, deciding questions of ownership so the properties can more easily be resold. Currently it takes the average home 18 months to go through the foreclosure process.

“Bank of America is committed to a comprehensive neighborhood stabilization approach to help support our customers and the communities we serve and live in,” Tim Maloney, president of the bank’s operations in Illinois, said in a press release.

[Related article: Mortgage Debt Continues to Tumble on Various Factors]

Image: Gravitywave, via Flickr

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