BofA gets low marks in Treasury reports
NEW YORK: Bank of America (BofA) routinely takes longer than its peers to answer phone calls from borrowers with distressed home loans and loses the highest percentage of calls, too, six months of Treasury Department reports show.
BofA's answering time has averaged 40 seconds or more each month since May, when Treasury began collecting callcenter data from the eight largest servicers in its mortgage modification program. BofA, (BAC) the largest U.S. bank and the largest mortgage servicer, had the slowest answering speed in four of the six months. BofA lost the highest percentage of calls in five of the six months, including October when its abandoned call rate was more than 3%, the reports show. BofA suffered another blow Dec. 17 when the Arizona and Nevada attorneys general filed separate lawsuits accusing it of misleading borrowers seeking loan modifications. The Arizona complaint characterized BofA as ranking "last in virtually every homeowner experience metric" tracked in Treasury's reports.
The reports also show that BofA has one of the lowest rates among 17 large servicers in the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) for converting trial loan modifications to permanent ones.
BofA says that helping customers stay in their homes is a "top priority," that it's done 746,000 loan modifications since January 2008 and that it's working to improve its conversion rate. Since HAMP's start last year, BofA says, the bank leads the industry with 93,500 permanent modifications started. BofA says its automated answering system is better designed to identify callers' needs and transfer them to the right people than competitors' systems. -PB News