Lately, Bank of America seems to mean one thing: foreclosure. And it recently donated land to municipalities after bulldozing the homes that the land once held. You guessed it: These are the same homes that BOA acquired by foreclosing on the mortgages–homes previously owned by people who experienced the dark side (is there a bright side?) of the current recession. The Bank announced in a burst of enthusiastic civic mindedness that it is donating the cleared land to the “local government authorities.” I’m guessing that we can expect to see an abundance of swing sets, climbing bars and sliding boards where our families and neighbors once lived.
BOA believes that removing these homes from the market will have a favorable impact on the real estate market. It’s a matter of supply and demand. Reduce the number of homes on the market and the demand for the remaining homes goes up. They sell faster and at a higher price.
Does anyone actually believe that the Bank is concerned with increasing the value of your home? Not while you still own it, at least. But banks are not in the home owing–or selling–business. Quite simply, Bank of America wants to get the foreclosed homes and the land off its inventory.
The irony is that, rather than attempting to create the illusion of benevolence, Bank of America could have shown real concern for the homeowners it displaced by simply restructuring the loans instead of foreclosing. This would have saved Bank of America money–lenders lose big in foreclosure–and would have also helped homeowners. I wonder if lenders will ever wake up to this economic reality. Short sales, mortgage modifications, and refinancing should be far more common–and far easier. Foreclosure alternatives benefit both home owners and lenders.