Bank of America plans jobless benefit

April 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 18 (UPI) -- Bank of America wants to give customers collecting unemployment benefits a break on mortgage payments, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank says.

Under a proposed plan, the bank would give mortgage customers collecting unemployment benefits up to nine months with no mortgage payment, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported. Customers in the program would have to agree to sign over the house to the bank if they haven't found a job within those nine months.

The bank would give customers in the program at least $2,000 .

One glitch -- the program needs federal approval, and the bank doesn't know when that would happen.

"It's an innovative way for Bank of America to demonstrate its working with its customers," Mark Williams, a former Federal Reserve bank examiner, told the Observer. "Regulators should view this as a positive step as well."

The newspaper said the $75 billion federal mortgage-aid program has struggled to meet President Barack Obama's goal to help millions. From February 2009, when it was announced, through March, only 230,000 families had gotten final mortgage modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program.

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