Partnering with the city of Chicago to address abandoned properties

Apr 20, 2011

Mayor Richard M. Daley and Illinois Market President Tim Maloney announced that Bank of America is working in partnership with the City of Chicago to lessen the impact of vacant properties on the city’s neighborhoods. New initiatives include donating vacant foreclosed properties to the city and to nonprofits for reuse, redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization.

In Chicago and elsewhere, many homeowners faced with economic hardship have walked away from their homes, leaving behind vacant and deteriorating properties. To address the growing issue of neighborhood blight, the bank is collaborating with the City of Chicago on several measures.

Now when a mortgage is delinquent and the property is identified as vacant and abandoned, Bank of America will register the property with the city. It will also identify up to 150 such properties in default and refer them to a newly created Cook County court call, intended to move vacant and abandoned properties through the foreclosure process and return them to productive use. The bank will contribute to the costs of demolishing deteriorating buildings on the donated properties to relieve the financial burden to the city. And it will donate foreclosed and vacant condominiums to the nonprofit Community Investment Corporation (CIC) to convert them to affordable rental housing.

This vacant and abandoned building foreclosure pilot program is at the heart of Bank of America's revitalization efforts in collaboration with the City of Chicago. Bank of America will file foreclosure actions on eligible properties in a new Cook County vacant and abandoned building court call. The idea is that this expedited foreclosure process will significantly reduce the foreclosure time frame—currently an average of 18 months—for vacant and abandoned properties.

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley said, "In addition to helping support social efforts, Bank of America is working with the city to help protect residents and communities from the dangers posed by vacant properties. As we continue to face the worst recession in 70 years, addressing the foreclosure problem is essential. This vacant and abandoned building initiative is a perfect example of public-private partnerships that have moved Chicago forward."

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