Enabling financial health

Supporting homeownership

How we support homeownership

Today, as the economy and housing market strengthen, our experts are working with clients to identify the right home finance solution at the right time for each individual or family. By offering responsible financing options, we are committed to helping reset and solidify the industry’s approach to sustainable home ownership. In 2016, we extended $61 billion in first mortgage credit, which was an increase from $55 billion in 2015. Through our direct-to-consumer channel, we connect our clients with home finance solutions and deepen relationships with creditworthy individuals while extending credit responsibly. In 2016, the mortgage market increased by 18 percent ($2.0 trillion versus $1.7 trillion in 2015) as refinances and home purchases rose. Consistent with expectations of the overall market, the number of first mortgages to low- and moderate income (LMI) clients declined because of fewer originations through the government sponsored Making Home Affordable Refinance (HARP) program, which had been frequently used by LMI clients in previous years.

As part of our stakeholder engagement with leading community organizations and our clients, we have taken steps to modify our mortgage lending practices. These include aligning with the NAACP’s Responsible Lending Principles, creating simple and transparent financial documents, and increasing levels of staff support for homeowners.

To strike a better balance between the safety and soundness of our products and the needs of consumers, we also made credit requirement changes to some of our products. These changes were based on our understanding that some home loan clients, particularly low- and moderate-income individuals, are more susceptible to economic downturns. Our revisions also reflect an anticipation of proposed regulatory standards.

Responsible home lending

Buying a home is still the biggest investment most people will ever make. We recognize our role is to provide responsible loan products, transparent resources to help customers understand how these work, and expertise to provide one-on-one guidance through the process for their personal situation. We use our resources to help strengthen the U.S. housing market through education, information, and access to credit. We offer a variety of tools designed to inform and prepare homebuyers and homeowners, including our Down Payment Resource Center, Better Money Habits, community education events, and partnerships with nearly 500 national and regional housing nonprofit organizations. These resources support our commitment to delivering all of our capabilities, product and services, and expertise to make our clients’ financial lives better.

Home finance education

Education is one of our top priorities. We foster partnerships and continuously create opportunities for sharing information with real estate professionals so that together we are providing the tools and resources to help clients make more informed homeownership choices. We offer a comprehensive array of education tools and resources to help consumers achieve financial literacy, establish or rehabilitate their credit, prepare for homeownership and find solutions to sustain homeownership. For example, we created a guide to help low- and moderate-income and multicultural customers manage credit appropriately and provided more information on our Home Loans website outlining our financial education initiatives for homebuyers and homeowners.

We are committed to helping people own a home. Here are a few of our offerings:

  • Bank of America Down Payment Resource Center: This online tool helps first-time homebuyers search for down payment and other cost-saving programs we participate in that can be used in combination with a low down payment mortgage to make buying a home more affordable.
  • Learn about Home Loans: This online resource helps homebuyers understand the steps involved in purchasing or refinancing a home. We also have many educational articles available to help explain the mortgage process each step along the way, so homebuyers can make decisions with confidence.
  • Connect to Own®: We partner with hundreds of nonprofit organizations to offer Connect to Own®, an alliance for homeownership, which delivers pre-purchase homebuyer education and training for first-time homebuyers.
  • Financial education: Throughout the year, Bank of America sponsors financial education workshops in local markets to help consumers make more informed financial decisions. Clients can learn about budgeting, preparing for homeownership, understanding and managing credit and more. If you aren’t able to attend one of our workshops in person, we have financial education videos and webinars available for you to watch at a time that’s convenient for you. Additionally, we offer education resources, tools and advice to refine and improve financial plans and portfolio performance.

Assisting mortgage clients

We’ve helped more than more than 2.1 million mortgage customers stay in their homes through loan modifications, or avoid foreclosure through short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosures. This includes more than 1.6 million modifications and extinguishments through all available programs and more than 510,000 short sales and deeds-in-lieu completed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure since January 2008.

Learn more about homeowner programs at Bank of America Home Loan Assistance

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Homeownership and the U.S. military

Bank of America is committed to connecting our service members and veterans to the things they need to transition back into civilian life. That includes funding for charitable organizations, offering banking services and financial education for military families, recruiting and hiring veterans, and donating homes to returning service members and military families. With more than 2,000 homes donated, we exceeded our three-year goal to make 1,000 properties available through military veteran-support organizations and other nonprofit, community-based groups that provide housing to military veterans and their families, including Military Warriors Support Foundation and USA Homeownership. We employ thousands of veterans and spouses. Building on that, since 2014 we have hired 6,000+ service members toward hitting our goal of hiring an additional 10,000 veterans, guard, and reservists over the next several years.

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