Secretary Jackson promotes FHASecure in Jacksonville

Homeowners facing foreclosure, or worried about a big hike in payment when their "teaser rates" expire, should look at refinancing with a Federal Housing Administration loan," said the nation's top housing official, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, during a February 1, 2008, visit to Bank of America's Government Lending Fulfillment Center located in Jacksonville, Florida.

Secretary Jackson touted the FHASecure loan program, which HUD rolled out in the fall, allowing for the first time, the ability for homeowners to refinance if they are already delinquent on mortgage payments, provided they meet criteria such as having a solid credit history. Jackson said FHASecure loans have enabled 75,000 homeowners to refinance their home loans, including 3,000 in Florida.

[Photo 1: U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and HUD Secretary Alfonso Jackson]
U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and HUD Secretary Alfonso Jackson

Accompanied by U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, Secretary Jackson spoke at Bank of America's Southside campus in a building where 300 employees specialize in government lending. "We have to improve the lines of communication so homeowners will not be surprised," Jackson told several hundred Bank of America employees. An Open Press event was held as part of Secretary Jackson and U.S. Senator Martinez' visit where, in addition to addressing employees, they toured the Center, met with Bank of America Consumer Real Estate executives, and recognized the significant growth of Bank of America's FHA business over the last two years.

Bank of America opened its first government lending fulfillment operations center in Jacksonville in June 2006, and will open a similar Center this year in Dallas, Texas. In 2007, Bank of America did about $2 billion worth of FHA and VA loans, double its amount in 2006.

[Photo 2: Bank of America President Floyd Robinson and HUD Secretary Jackson]
Bank of America President Floyd Robinson and HUD Secretary Jackson

"The foreclosure crisis is having a serious economic and social impact on communities across the United States," said Floyd Robinson, Bank of America Consumer Real Estate and Insurance Services Group President. "Bank of America strongly supports initiatives to prevent foreclosures and we want homeowners facing foreclosure to take the urgently required first step and reach out to their servicer, or housing counselor, and get started on a recovery plan by looking at each homeowner's situation individually - making sure that we stop the clock on foreclosure long enough to complete the loan modification process in those cases where it's possible to do so."

"The dislocation in the subprime market has sparked renewed enthusiasm for FHA and VA loan products across the nation," said Allen Jones, Bank of America's Government Lending executive. "Government loan programs provide many borrowers with benefits over other programs since the loans are insured by FHA or guaranteed by the VA. More than 80 percent of government loans are provided to first-time homebuyers," Jones said. "With recent successful efforts to simplify the government loan process, we expect continued growth as more home buyers recognize the value and security of FHA and VA loans."

Secretary Jackson said FHASecure loans have given tens of thousands of homeowners a stable landing place with a fixed-rate mortgage and added that too many financially stressed homeowners mistakenly think foreclosure is inevitable, but they can find a way to keep their home if they call their lenders or talk to HUD-certified housing counselors.

Content Archived: July 11, 2011