Bank of America halts foreclosures nationwide

Bank of America is halting foreclosures across the country until it can show its process complies with the law, the bank announced today.

The move comes after the Charlotte-based bank and two others stopped some foreclosure-related actions in about half the country after concerns that employees and outside lawyers signed documents without verifying information. This week, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper asked 14 lenders including Bank of America to suspend foreclosures in the state until they could validate their process.

He gave the bank until today to do so.

“Bank of America has extended our review of foreclosure documents to all 50 states,” the bank said in a statement today. “We will stop foreclosure sales until our assessment has been satisfactorily completed. Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for foreclosure decisions is accurate. ... Providing solutions for distressed homeowners remains our primary focus.”

Bank of America is the first financial institution to stop all foreclosure actions. The bank last week postponed foreclosures in 23 states, including South Carolina but not North Carolina, as it examined whether it rushed the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without reading the documents. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Ally Financial also postponed proceedings last week.

The foreclosure process varies from state to state. At issue are instances in which employees have said they have signed affidavits without verifying the information they contain. In other cases, questions have been raised about the notarization of the documents.