Bank of America Responds to Consumer Desire for Increased Transparency in Home...

Bank of America Responds to Consumer Desire for Increased Transparency in Home Loan Process with Tools that Clarify Mortgage Terms and Foster Informed Homeownership

Company Launches Bank of America Home Loans Brand, Reinforces Responsible Lending Practices


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CALABASAS, Calif., April 27 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Bank of America today introduced its Bank of America Home Loans brand at locations nationwide and unveiled new tools through which homebuyers and homeowners will find greater clarity in the home finance process. The Clarity Commitment(TM), a single, one-page loan summary clearly presents to borrowers their interest rate, terms and other details of the loan in plain language. The Bank of America Home Loan Guide is an interactive Web site that arms customers with the personalized information to prepare for homeownership and make informed home buying and refinance decisions.

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“We met with thousands of customers and created tools that reflect the transparency they want in the home-buying process,” said Barbara Desoer, president, Bank of America Home Loans. “Doing the right thing for our customers is the foundation of our brand promise to always be a responsible lender and help create successful homeowners, and these tools exemplify that promise.”

New Tools to Help Customers Make Informed Decisions

The Clarity Commitment is a simple one-page summary in straightforward language designed to make it easier for customers to understand terms of their loan. The summary includes information regarding interest rate, monthly payment, payment terms, and an explanation of closing costs and other loan information. Provided both at application and at closing, the Clarity Commitment document is available on most new purchase and refinance transactions, including traditional and government-backed loans.

In addition, the company introduced the Bank of America Home Loan Guide as part of the new Bank of America Home Loans Web site (bankofamerica.com/homeloans). The unique interactive guide is designed to provide prospective homebuyers and existing homeowners looking to refinance with a personalized simulation of the home loan process. It helps consumers understand the criteria that drive lenders’ decisions, steps they can take to be more successful in the search for the appropriate home loan, and how a home loan fits into their budget and total financial picture. By explaining key data inputs, highlighting “rules of thumb” and tips with each step, and providing context around the results, the easy-to-use guide gives consumers relevant, personalized information that helps them understand their options and make informed decisions.

“Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions an individual makes, and we take seriously our responsibility to educate customers and arm them with the information they need to make smart decisions,” said Desoer. “Especially in this environment, it’s important that consumers understand the true, comprehensive costs of homeownership so they can buy a home and enjoy it with confidence.”

Bank of America Home Loans also introduced Flat Fee Mortgage Plus through the 6,100 Bank of America banking centers. A new mortgage product, Flat Fee Mortgage Plus has no application fee and one single closing fee that represents the lender and other fees required for third-party services. The product features a close-on-time guarantee and best value guarantee. Flat Fee Mortgage Plus will be available through additional channels in the future.

Introducing Bank of America Home Loans

The Bank of America Home Loans brand represents the combined operations of Bank of America’s mortgage and home equity business and Countrywide Home Loans, which Bank of America acquired on July 1, 2008. The Countrywide brand has been retired.

Countrywide customers already have access to Bank of America’s 6,100 banking centers, a coast-to-coast network of Bank of America Home Loans retail locations, and one of the nation’s largest ATM networks. As the new brand becomes more visible through rebranded locations, account statements, marketing materials and advertising, customers should continue to use current methods for managing their accounts and contacting customer service until the full systems conversion later this year.

The company originates and services one out of every five mortgages in the country, representing a servicing portfolio of almost 14 million loans. During the first quarter of 2009, Bank of America funded $85 billion in first mortgages, helping more than 382,000 Americans purchase a home or refinance. More than $16 billion of those mortgages were for 102,000 low- and moderate-income borrowers.

“Bank of America Home Loans has the scale, capacity and capability to respond to the significant customer demand we’ve seen recently,” Desoer added. “We are actively lending in this economic environment and continue to be open for business to new and existing customers.”

Other businesses gained through the Countrywide acquisition will retain their brands, including Balboa Insurance Services, one of the leading providers of lender-placed property insurance, and LandSafe, a supplier of pre- and post-closing services.

Reaffirming a Commitment to Stabilize and Strengthen Communities

Bank of America has committed to offer modifications for as many as 630,000 customers to help them stay in their homes. In the first quarter, the company completed loan modifications for 119,000 borrowers. Bank of America has more than 6,400 home retention associates dedicated to this effort.

The company also previously announced a $35 million neighborhood preservation and foreclosure prevention package focusing on grants and low-cost loans to help local and national nonprofit organizations engaged in foreclosure prevention, and to purchase vacant single-family homes for neighborhood preservation.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 55 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 6,100 retail banking offices, more than 18,500 ATMs and award-winning online banking with nearly 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to more than 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

www.bankofamerica.com

SOURCE Bank of America

Bank of America Responds to Consumer Desire for Increased Transparency in Home Loan Process with Tools that Clarify Mortgage Terms and Foster Informed Homeownership