Bank of America to Lay Off 202 in Norfolk, Va.










Bank of America plans to lay off 202 employees in a loan servicing unit in Norfolk, Va., by March 29 because of the continuing decline in the number of delinquent mortgages, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Notice of the Bank of America layoff appeared on the Virginia Workforce Network’s online listing of planned layoffs or closures.

In 2011, Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered Bank of America created a division specializing in assisting mortgage customers who were at risk of foreclosure or defaulting on their home loans, spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens said in an emailed statement. The number of delinquent mortgage loans has since dropped to “one-seventh of their peak levels.”

“Now, we are in the process of returning to normal staffing levels,” Bauwens continued.

Affected employees may apply for other open positions, she said. While Bauwens declined to say how many mortgage-servicing employees were left in Norfolk, she said Bank of America’s legacy asset servicing division companywide had 15,800 employees as of the fourth quarter. That’s down from 42,000 workers in that division at its peak in 2012, according to an Associated Press report.

Bank of America says it will continue to provide help to customers at risk of foreclosure, and is maintaining staff to help administer consumer relief in the form of loan modifications or new loans for borrowers with good credit as part of the company’s $7 billion civil settlement with the Department of Justice.

That settlement announced in August also included nearly $10 billion in fines connected with mortgage fraud practices by Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch before Bank of America acquired them. According to the Department of Justice, Bank of America also conceded that it originated risky mortgages and misrepresented the quality of loans to investors in residential mortgage-backed securities.

2015 The Virginian-Pilot. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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