Bank of America has so many abandoned and vacant properties collected in foreclosure that have little to no value in and around Chicago that the company is going to just give them away -- in hopes of cleaning up areas of neighborhood blight.
Working in a new collaboration process with the city of Chicago to address the problem of vacant and abandoned properties that have grown in number since the Great Recession and housing bubble burst in 2008-2009, Bank of America will donate as many of 150 vacant and abandoned properties in and around the Chicago area to a non-profit community investment organization to figure out what to do with them.
Unfortunately, Bank of America said in a statement, many homeowners faced with unemployment, underemployment and other economic hardships have transitioned to alternative housing situations, and in many cases, have walked away from their homes, leaving behind vacant and deteriorating properties that can cause neighborhood blight.
Bank of America's plans in Chicago include:
--Register properties with the city when the mortgage is delinquent and the property has been identified as vacant and abandoned.
--Identify up to 150 properties that will be sent to a newly-established courts process to speed up the foreclosure process so the properties can be returned to stable, productive use.
--Donate funds to Chicago's costs in demolishing deteriorating properties on the donated properties list.
--Donate foreclosed and vacant condominiums to the nonprofit Community Investment Corp. for upgrade, preservation and stabilization efforts to yield affordable housing for others in need.
Bank of America has held mortgage modification outreach events in Chicago and now has a full-time customer assistance center in the city. The bank is attempting to provide convenient opportunities for customers who are having difficulty making their mortgage and other credit account payments to receive face-to-face counseling.