Bank of America: Chicago’s Biggest Forecloser
It’s no secret that foreclosure is a problem in Chicago. Most every street is dotted with at least one or two boarded up homes or buildings, victims of a housing crisis that’s hit every corner of the city.
But who owns those foreclosed homes? National People’s Action set out to find out and just released a report with the results. Bank of America, they say, owns one of every five new foreclosure filings in the city.
Not surprising, really, since they’re also the largest bank in the United States. But with the millions of foreclosed homes they now own, they might just be America’s largest landlord. Some might even say America’s largest slumlord, considering the damage foreclosures inflict on their surrounding communities.
NPA alleges that Bank of America isn’t doing enough to mitigate the foreclosure crisis. The group says over 1 million of the foreclosures that Bank of America owns could be modified through the government’s much maligned Home Affordable Modification Program, but only 5.8 percent of those homeowners have been offered a loan modification.
HAMP may have failed because there wasn’t any accountability for banks (which is almost laughable, considering that’s the root of most of our problems these days) and the new federal program is supposed to be better.
But it’s clear – this foreclosure crisis isn’t going to go away anytime soon. We need banks, community members, city officials, and those affected on their feet, ready to stabilize communities and hold each other accountable.
Until then, we’ll be seeing more boarded up windows, or as NPA put it, “Another Foreclosure Brought to You By Bank of America.”