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BofA Servicer Rating in Jeopardy

Moody's places rating on review for downgrade

Oct. 4, 2010

By staff

Bank of America Corp. has become the third mortgage servicer to face a downgrade over its handling of foreclosure affidavits.

Moody's Investors Service said Monday that it placed the servicer quality rating of Bank of America, N.A., on review for a possible downgrade.

The warning impact's the company's primary rating of SQ1 for prime mortgages. It also affects the SQ1- rating for subprime loans, second lines and government-insured residential loans as well as the SQ1- rating as a special servicer.

Moody's rates mortgage servicers on a scale that tops out at SQ1+ for the very best servicers and descends to SQ5- for the lowest-rated servicers.

Irregularities in
BofA's foreclosure process help prompt the warning from the New York-based ratings agency.

On Friday, the company said it suspended foreclosures in 23 states. The servicer could face delayed
foreclosures and longer REO timelines because of the problems, according to the news release. It could also face legal challenges to previously completed foreclosures in addition to reputational risk.

Moody's warned last week that it could lower the servicer ratings of Chase Home Finance, while it warned about GMAC Mortgage LLC's rating the prior week.

Moody's also cited deterioration
in BofA's collections, loss mitigation and timeline performance metrics. Low modification activity and a high level of re-defaults on securitized loans serviced by the company were additional contributing factors.

"The impact of the possible servicing irregularities on the validity of
previous foreclosures and on Bank of America's servicing operations remains uncertain," the statement said.

Moody's said that mortgage servicing is handled through Bank of America, N.A., and BAC Home Loans Servicing LP.

As of June 30, the servicing portfolio stood at $1.706 trillion, based on earnings data.

Bank of America profile

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