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BofA to expand outreach for struggling homeowners

Bank of America said it plans to expand its outreach programs to help struggling homeowners in 2011.

To lead the effort, the Charlotte company said it has named Rebecca Mairone as national mortgage outreach executive. Her duties will include managing and growing the number of customer-assistance centers, overseeing outreach events, building stronger relationships with nonprofit housing groups, leading specialized mortgage-modification programs and serving as liaison with key external stakeholders, including the Department of Treasury, which oversees the Making Home Affordable Program.

Bank of America also said it will increase its customer-assistance centers, community-based events and collaboration with nonprofit housing counselors. The bank will also double the number of outreach staff.

“Providing customers with face-to-face counseling and on-site decision-making is a key element in continually improving the process for customers experiencing financial hardship,” Terry Laughlin, executive vice president, said in a statement. “Rebecca’s deep knowledge of default servicing and modification programs makes her a natural choice to lead this effort.”

The bank said it opened customer-service centers in February in  Seattle and Chicago and plans to open four near Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla., in the next two months.

Bank of America said it has completed more than 800,000 loan modifications since the beginning of the housing crisis.

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