In August 2014, Bank of America agreed in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and six states to provide $7 billion in consumer relief. Bank of America recently reported that it has competed this obligation two years ahead of schedule.
Independent Monitor Eric D. Green’s eighth and final performance review included an additional $37.8 million of credit for consumer relief in Q3 2016, along with 163.6 million of credit earned by Bank of America for reaching certain incentive milestones built into the settlement. This put Bank of America over the finish line with a total of $7,005,373,353 of credit earned.
“We can't turn back the clock or pretend that the financial crisis didn't wreak havoc on millions of American homeowners, but it appears that the Bank's consumer relief did further the settlement agreement's principle goal of helping struggling homeowners remain in their homes and communities still reeling from the effects of multiple foreclosures and abandoned homes," said Green.
The implementation of the settlement was successful in directing most of the consumer relief to those who needed it the most. The majority of consumer relief came in the form of mortgage loan modifications, 53 percent of which were in areas identified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of Distressed Census Tracts, or Hardest Hit Areas.
The settlement agreement also provided for resources to be directed to local organizations and legal assistance programs to help stabilize neighborhoods and provide foreclosure-prevention assistance and other housing-counseling activities.
Areas such as Atlanta and Las Vegas were hit especially hard in the mortgage crisis, and 35 percent of homes in these areas were “underwater”. Eric D. Green found that the $128 million worth of loan modifications in Atlanta and $97 million in Las Vegas “provided substantial assistance to communities that were still hurting.”
"We have been detailed, diligent, and exacting in ensuring that the Bank only received credit strictly for which it was entitled,” said Green. “My professionals and I have determined that Bank of America's submissions and calculations for its consumer-relief credit are correct, and that the Bank has complied with all the terms of the Settlement Agreement."
Read the Monitor's full report here.