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Jun. 30 2010 - 6:01 pm | 167 views | 1 recommendation | 2 comments

Bank of America: Chicago’s Biggest Forecloser

Photo courtesy of National People's Action

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.”


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  1. collapse expand

    One of the biggest factors in foreclosure in the suburbs is the increase in property taxes.
    The states lack of fiscal responsibility and the feds cutting off $ to the states to fund 2 failed wars has caused property taxes to explode. The banks can and do force an escrow account (even if your able to pay your way). They force you into insolvency or at least foreclosure and then bankruptcy. And prior to many preconceived notions you can’t write off your debts, in fact it’s harder to pay under so-call ‘protection’.

    In March of 09 the president promised to changed the laws and help (not thru the crap programs set up by TARP funds) to overhaul the laws and allow bankruptcy judges to alter repayment plans NOT lower the $ owed or lower the principle of the mortgage.
    He, without pushing for it – It was during his ‘Let congress do it’s job phase’ – turned the program over to vp Biden. The same man who, as a senator from a state with few if any usury laws and while his son reportedly made millions as a bank lobbyists, wrote all the bankruptcy laws he was now in charge of over turning.

    In other words, he has done NOTHING to help working class, middle American’s keep their homes. The house via HR1106 passed a sweeping changed but when it reached the dinosaurs in the senate it failed.

    The local a-hem, community programs working with fed money have also failed primarily because they can’t address issues the banks are allowed to force upon homeowners so they too show no hope of success.

    I’ve written, emailed, phoned everyone in the government. Yes Everyone who voted for and against this plan and only received 2 responses. The first can from the WH, thanking me for supporting HCR, not addressing anything I asked. The 2nd came from Durbin’s office, again thanking me for HCR support but adding….’the reason the bill HR1106 failed it *the banks don’t like it*’

    So there you have it. Blunt but honest.

    I’ve learned the hard way to expect nothing from this new administration, especially when those who claim to be helping are the one’s who wrote the rules on how to keep you in your place.

  2. collapse expand

    But they (BOA) offer illegals an account without a S.S. #, go figure.

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    I'm a journalist living in Chicago writing about poverty and public housing. I don't come from the streets - I grew up on a farm. But I'm passionate about urban issues and getting to know people who are completely different from me. I'm quirky, funny and friendly.

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