The nearly $17 billion settlement with the Bank of America is expected to strengthen the Obama administrations Federal housing program. Of the amount, $1 billion resolves claims arising from allegations of fraud involving certain Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured single-family mortgage loans and a failure to perform under its servicing contract with the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).
Under the terms of the settlement, Bank of America will pay $800 million to resolve the claims relating to FHA and $200 million to Ginnie Mae. The remaining nearly $16 billion of the total settlement amount resolves fraud claims involving the pooling of residential mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, and other claims by the United States, along with the States of California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and includes $7 billion in consumer relief with a focus on borrowers that were in the hardest-hit areas during the housing crisis.
"The settlement with Bank of America is another important step in the Obama Administration's efforts to provide relief to American homeowners who were hurt during the housing crisis, said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro.
He continued, "This global settlement will strengthen the FHA fund and Ginnie Mae, and it will provide $7 billion in consumer relief with a focus on helping borrowers in areas that were the hardest hit during the crisis. HUD will continue working with the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and other partners to take appropriate action to hold financial institutions accountable for their misconduct and provide consumers with the relief they need to stay in their homes. HUD remains committed to solidifying the housing recovery and creating more opportunities for Americans to succeed."
This settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force's RMBS Working Group.
Working with the Department of Justice, HUD's Office of General Counsel, Office of Housing, and Office of the Inspector General worked extensively on the fraud investigation involving FHA-insured single-family mortgage loans that were underwritten by Bank of America during the period from May 1, 2009, to April 1, 2011. HUD also provided assistance with respect to a breach of contract claim involving Bank of America's role as one of two master subservicers for Ginnie Mae's portfolio of defaulted single-family mortgages.
The $7 billion in consumer relief will focus on areas that were hardest hit during the housing crisis. Consumer relief will take various forms including loan modification for distressed borrowers, including FHA-insured borrowers, and new loans to credit worthy borrowers struggling to get a loan in hardest hit areas, borrowers who lost homes to foreclosure or short sales, and moderate income first-time homebuyers.
Bank of America will also make donations to community development funds, legal aid organizations, and housing counseling agencies to assist individuals with foreclosure prevention and to support community reinvestment and neighborhood stabilization. They will also provide financing for affordable rental housing with a focus on family housing in high-cost areas. An independent monitor will be appointed to ensure compliance with the terms of the agreement.
Home buyers who are looking to take advantage of the Feds housing program, as well as realtors can take advantage of video technologies to look and sell properties that are suited for their budget. Virtual tours have made it possible for investors to inspect the properties they want to purchase without having to leave their home or office.
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Agents from Keller Williams, Era Real Estate, Century 21, and Prudential Select Properties trust Realbiz Media's virtual tour platforms.
Over 350,000 agents have signed up for an account on Nestbuilder.com. 24,000 videos are published every day on Nestbuilder Agent and RealBiz Media's Microvideo App platform, the company said in a statement.
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