A top Bank of America executive said the bank “deeply regrets” its failure to properly handle some foreclosures.
Barbara Desoer, who runs the mortgage business at the nation’s biggest lender, told the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday that BofA’s efforts to deal with delinquent borrowers have failed to meet expectations. The bank’s moves “have not met all of the needs nor have they been executed well in some cases,” she said.
The same might be said of Desoer’s attempt to come clean, if that’s what this was. She conceded that 14% of BofA borrowers are either late on payments or in foreclosure – though she took a page out of the public relations handbook in how she presented that fact.
“The majority – 86% – of our customers are current and making their mortgage payments on time every month,” she said.
Desoer made the comments as bankers were called before the committee to explain their actions in the foreclosure fiasco, which in the past two months has unearthed thousands of instances in which bank employees failed to abide by applicable laws in enforcing foreclosure actions.
Government watchdogs are now questioning whether the banks’ failures to handle homeownership documents could lead to another financial crisis.
Desoer expressed some contrition for BofA’s failures in that regard, which have been extensively documented.
But as good as it is to hear BofA say it regrets its failures, ProPublica suggests the bank is still not completely leveling with us.
While Desoer notes that BofA has completed 700,000 loan modifications since the housing crisis erupted in 2008, she claims it has been hampered in those efforts by restrictions enforced by bondholders:
But ProPublica writes that banks have been blaming investors since the foreclosure crisis set in – in spite of the lack of evidence that investors are really the ones preventing modifications from happening.
So Bank of America is starting to come to grips with its problems on the foreclosure front, after months of waffling. But it still has a ways to go.