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Home Loans Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Get the answers you need to common questions about your home loan


Get the answers you need to common questions about mortgages and refinancing

Client Assistance Program – Home Loan Payment Assistance
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How can Bank of America help with my home loan payment?

We’re here to do everything we can to support your home loan needs at this time. Bank of America is offering additional assistance to our clients through our enhanced Client Assistance Program, which can provide payment deferrals or payment forbearances (also known as a payment postponement).

We stand ready to support you. Information regarding our Client Assistance Program and other options can be found at Home Loan Assistance.

Getting or refinancing a mortgage
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How long does the home loan mortgage process take?

Every home loan situation is different, so it’s hard to estimate how long your specific home mortgage process will take. Some of the factors that affect the timeline include the type and terms of the home loan you’re requesting, the types of documentation required in order to secure the loan and the amount of time it takes to provide your lender with those documents.

Your Bank of America lending specialist will work closely with you to help you meet your timetable so that deadlines are met and your rate lock(s) are honored.

Do I need to get a home appraisal in order to get a home loan?

Yes. We will schedule the appraisal as part of reviewing your home loan application and you will receive a copy of the appraisal at closing.

Learn more about the home appraisal process

When refinancing my mortgage, can I get extra money at closing so I can pay off other debt?

Yes. Assuming you have sufficient equity, a cash-out refinance enables you to pay off your existing mortgage(s) and may also allow you to take out some of your home equity in a lump-sum cash payment at closing.

Learn more about a cash-out refinance option

Home loan interest rates
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How does my credit rating affect my home loan interest rate?

The way you’ve handled your finances in the past can help predict how you may do so in the future, so lenders will consider your credit rating when you apply for a mortgage or other loan. A higher credit score may help you qualify for a better mortgage interest rate, and some lenders may lower their down payment requirement for a new home loan if you have a high credit score.

See how credit affects your interest rate

Which financial index does Bank of America use to determine adjustable rates?

Every adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) uses a financial rate index (such as the LIBOR index or the U.S. Prime Rate) to determine the loan rate. Lenders have no control over financial rate indexes, and you can track the performance of each index in The Wall Street Journal. The rate you pay is set at each adjustment period by adding your margin (which remains the same from period to period) to the rate of the index.

Bank of America ARM rates are determined using the LIBOR index, which tracks the rate international banks charge each other for large loans in the London interbank market. Even though the LIBOR index adjusts frequently, Bank of America adjustable-rate mortgages only adjust annually after the initial fixed-rate period expires.

Making mortgage payments
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Can I pay my mortgage online?

Yes. There are several ways to pay your mortgage online.

You can enroll in Payplan using a checking or savings account of your choice. Payplan will adjust your monthly payment amount to reflect any updates due to an escrow and/or interest rate change. There is no charge for this service. Please note that PayPlan may not be available for FHA and VA loans. To enroll in PayPlan online, follow these easy steps:

  1. Enroll in Online Banking for online access or, if you’ve already enrolled, sign in to Online Banking.
  2. On the Accounts Overview page, select Mortgage.
  3. On the Account Details page, select Enroll in PayPlan and follow the instructions.

If you have an eligible Bank of America account, you can make your mortgage payment using the Bill Pay tab or Transfers tab (there’s no additional charge). You can use each of these tools to schedule automatic recurring payments or make a one-time payment. These options may not adjust if your payments increase or decrease due to escrow and/or interest rate changes.

MortgagePay on the Web is another online option for one-time mortgage payments. It can be used with eligible Bank of America accounts at no charge, as well as with checking or savings accounts from other financial institutions at no charge or with a fee, depending on when the payment is made relative to your grace period. To pay your mortgage account online using MortgagePay on the Web, follow these easy steps:

  1. Enroll in Online Banking for online access or, if you’ve already enrolled, sign in to Online Banking.
  2. On the Accounts Overview page, select Mortgage.
  3. On the Account Details page, select Pay Now and follow the instructions.

For further assistance with online payments, you can schedule an appointment (at a financial center or by phone) or contact us.

In addition to the electronic payment options noted here, we offer additional no-cost and low-cost options for making your mortgage payment. To learn more please call 800.669.6607 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST).

Can I make additional payments to the principal balance of my loan?

Yes. When you make your regular monthly mortgage payment, you can include an additional amount to be applied directly to your principal. If you’re paying by check, please indicate by writing the amount of the extra principal payment on your Mortgage Account Statement coupon where designated.

When making your payment via Mortgage Pay by Web, you can elect to include additional principal along with your payment. Additional principal payments will only be applied after the current month's full payment has posted to your account.

What happens if I'm unable to make my mortgage payment?

If you’re unable to make your payment for any reason, please contact us at 800.451.6362 (Mon-Thurs 8am-9pm EST, Fri 8am-5pm EST).

When will I receive my year-end statement of interest paid on my mortgage for tax purposes?

Year-end interest-paid statements (IRS Form 1098) are mailed out by the end of January. Contact us at 800.669.6607 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST) if you don’t receive it by February 15. You may also be able to access a copy of your IRS Form 1098 by going to the Account Details tab for your mortgage account in Online Banking.

Paying off your mortgage
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Can I pay off my mortgage early?

Yes. Please contact our Loan Servicing Department at 800.669.6607 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST). Remember to have your loan number handy.

What is a mortgage payoff statement?

A payoff statement itemizes the amounts required to fully satisfy all obligations secured by the loan that is the subject of the payoff request. This written statement is prepared in response to a request by a client or an authorized third party.

Will I be charged a fee for a payoff statement?

There is no charge to have a payoff statement mailed to you or an authorized third party. A fee may apply if you would like the payoff statement faxed.

You may also request an online quote at no charge by selecting Mortgages, Loans and Lines of Credit from the Help & Support menu, then selecting the Request a payoff link and following the instructions provided.

How can I pay off the mortgage of a deceased client?

Please contact customer service at 800.669.6607 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST) for assistance.

Why did Bank of America return my payoff funds?

There may have been an issue with your payoff. Please contact customer service at 800.669.6607 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST) for further details.

When should I expect my overage check?

If there is an overpayment, your refund check will be sent within 20 business days. This ensures funds received are sufficient to fully satisfy the payoff.

Home loan assistance programs
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What types of affordable housing assistance programs are available to me?

Our lending officers can tell you about affordable housing assistance programs in which Bank of America participates. When combined with an eligible loan, these assistance programs can help qualified homebuyers achieve successful homeownership. To find out how Bank of America can assist you with affordable housing assistance programs, make an appointment to speak with a lending officer.

Learn more about affordable housing assistance programs

I'm a veteran. Is there a special home loan program available to me?

Yes. VA loans provide up to 100% financing, providing qualified veterans the opportunity to purchase a home. To find out how Bank of America can assist you with a VA loan, make an appointment to speak with a lending officer.

My request for home loan assistance was denied. Can I dispute that decision?

If you were denied home loan assistance (such as a request for a loan modification, short sale or deed in lieu), you may be able to dispute the decision. You can file an escalated case with us if you have reason to believe you met all the criteria for home loan assistance but were not properly evaluated for assistance or were improperly denied assistance. This may include:

  • You did not receive adequate notice from us about your foreclosure alternatives
  • You were not given appropriate time to respond to communications from us during your loan review process
  • Your loan was referred to foreclosure prematurely or we did not suspend foreclosure activities when we were required to do so

You can also file an escalated case if either of these specific concerns apply to your loan:

  • You have a reasonable belief that your mortgage loan is being serviced in a fraudulent manner
  • You have retained a lawyer to help you resolve a mortgage dispute with Bank of America

Please note that inquiries about a pending request for home loan assistance or general questions about the servicing of your mortgage do not meet the requirements for an escalated case. For general servicing questions, please call 800.669.6607 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST).

To file an escalated case, you (or any third party representing you, such as a housing counselor or attorney) should send us a brief letter describing the specific reasons you believe one of the scenarios described here applies to your loan or to your application for home loan assistance.

Escalated case requests must be sent by mail to the following address:
     Bank of America Corporate Center
     Attn: BAC Escalated Case Unit
     P.O. Box 940508
     Simi Valley, CA 93094-0508

Please note that if a third party contacts us to submit an escalated case on your behalf, we must have your written authorization before we can communicate with them about you or your loan. Without your written authorization, we will not be able to discuss your home loan with them. We can provide you with an authorization form upon request.

What to expect after submitting your request

  • Within 3 business days after receipt: If your submission meets the requirements for an escalated case, we will send you a written acknowledgement that we’ve received your request. This acknowledgement will include a toll-free number you can call for information about your case and will also include the estimated date by which your case should be resolved, along with a toll-free number for the Escalated Case Unit.
  • Within 15 calendar days after receipt: In most cases, we will mail you a written response describing the proposed resolution of your request and any next steps to be followed by you or by us. If your matter cannot be resolved within 15 calendar days, we will notify you of the delay and give you a new estimated resolution date. In most cases, this new estimated resolution date will be no longer than 30 calendar days from the date we received your original escalated case.

Requesting a Mortgage Lien Release
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What is a mortgage lien release?

A mortgage lien release (in some states/territories this document may be called a reconveyance deed) is a document sent by your mortgage company to your local county recorder's office after your mortgage loan is paid off. The lien release states that lien holder is releasing its rights to the property. The county recorder's office will record the lien release. Timeframes vary by county and can take up to six months for recording.

How do I request a lien release from Bank of America when one is not available in county records?

Please allow 90 days after the mortgage loan has been paid off before contacting the applicable county recorder’s office to obtain a copy. If a copy is not available with the county recorder’s office after 90 days, please call the Bank of America Customer Service team at 1-800-669-6607 to submit a lien release request.

What information is required in order to submit a lien release request if a mortgage loan serviced by Bank of America has been paid off and there is no lien release of record in the county recorder's office?

When contacting customer service, please have the loan number available for the lien in question. If you do not have a loan number, please be prepared to provide the below information to customer service with your request.

  • Full Name of all borrowers on the security instrument
  • Property address
  • Loan amount and year of lien
  • Documentation (one of the following documents)
  • Copy of recorded security instrument
  • Current title report
  • DMV title report (mobile homes only)

Please note that inaccurate or incomplete information may delay processing of your lien release request.

How long does it take for Bank of America to process a lien release request and submit the request to the county?

Please allow Bank of America 15 business days to process the lien release request and submit the request to the county.

What if I have an expedited request for a lien release?

If you need to request an expedited lien release, please call the Bank of America Customer Service team at 1-800-669-6607 and advise the customer service representative. Also, please be prepared to provide the upcoming closing date.

Get answers to common questions about home equity lines of credit.

Client Assistance Program – Home Loan Payment Assistance
Show all answers
How can Bank of America help with my home equity line of credit or home equity loan payment?

We’re here to do everything we can to support your home loan needs at this time. Bank of America is offering additional assistance to our clients through our enhanced Client Assistance Program, which can provide payment deferrals or payment forbearances (also known as a payment postponement).

We stand ready to support you. Information regarding our Client Assistance Program and other options can be found at Home Loan Assistance.

Using your home equity line of credit
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What sort of information about my home equity account can I access online?

When you sign up for Online Banking and access your home equity line of credit account, you will be able to do things like:

  • Check your account balance and available credit line
  • Confirm your next payment amount and due date
  • Make a payment
  • Transfer funds to your Bank of America checking or savings account
  • Pay bills directly from your home equity line of credit with the Bill Pay option
How can I access funds from my Bank of America Home Equity Line of Credit?

There are several ways to access your funds:

  • Use Online Banking or Mobile Banking
  • Use a home equity line of credit check or a Visa Access card
  • Visit a financial center
  • Call 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST)
How do I make a payment to my home equity line of credit?

There are several ways you can make a payment:

  • Transfer funds using Online Banking
  • Set up automatic payments online or at any financial center
  • Use Bill Pay to make monthly payments
  • Call us at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST)
What happens if I am unable to make my payment?

If you are unable to make your payment for any reason, please contact us at 800.451.6362 (Mon-Thurs 8am-9pm EST, Fri 8am-5pm EST).

What is the draw period and what happens at end of draw?

Depending on the terms, the draw period (or borrow period) typically is the 10-year borrowing period during which you can access funds using your home equity line of credit. After that, the repayment period begins and you will no longer be able to access additional funds. Your minimum monthly payments will include a principal and interest amount necessary to fully pay off your home equity line of credit by the end of the repayment period.

Servicing your home equity line of credit
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How do I reorder checks for my home equity line of credit?

You can request more checks by visiting a financial center or by calling us at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-9 p.m. local time). Online check ordering is not currently available for home equity lines of credit.

Where can I get year-end tax information?

Bank of America will mail you a 1098 form if the interest you paid on your home equity account during the year is $600 or more. If you paid less than $600, please review your regular statements or sign in to Online Banking, select your home equity account and select the Account Details page. You will see one of these display types:

  • Type A: A Summary tab and a Services tab
  • Type B: A Summary tab, a Statement tab and a Services tab

If you see Type A: Look for the Interest Information section at the bottom of the account display on the Summary tab. You’ll see the amount of interest paid for last year.

If you see Type B: Select the Statements tab and look for the Year-end statements section. Select the link to your 1098 tax form.

If you need additional assistance, please call us at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST).

How can I obtain a copy of my home equity statement?

Some home equity accounts allow you to print copies of your statements from within Online Banking. If yours does not, you can request a copy of your home equity line of credit statement by signing in to Online Banking, going to the Help & Support menu, selecting Contact us, choosing a topic and then selecting Send a message. You can also order copies of your statements by visiting a financial center or by calling us at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST).

Fixed-Rate Loan Option
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What if I would like a fixed interest rate on all or part of my home equity line of credit?

Depending on your home equity agreement, you may convert all or just a portion of the outstanding variable-rate balance (minimum: $5,000) to a Fixed-Rate Loan Option. There are no conversion fees to switch to a Fixed-Rate Loan Option.

Learn more about a Fixed-Rate Loan Option

How do I lock in a Fixed-Rate Loan Option?

You can schedule an appointment to speak with a specialist at a financial center or call us at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST).

Can I switch from a Fixed-Rate Loan Option to a variable rate on my home equity account to reduce my interest rate or payment?

Yes, you can schedule an appointment to speak with a specialist at a financial center or call us at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST).

Paying down or paying off your home equity line of credit
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What is the difference between a paydown and a payoff?

A paydown brings the account balance to zero and the HELOC remains open for further draws, if it is still within the draw period.

A payoff brings the account balance to zero, requires payment of any outstanding fees or amounts required to fully satisfy all obligations, closes the HELOC, and releases the lien.

What happens when I pay my home equity line of credit balance down to zero?

When you pay your HELOC balance down to zero and your account is still in its draw period, the account will remain open. If your HELOC is in the repayment period (meaning you no longer have access to the funds), your account will be closed once the final balance is received.

What is a payoff statement?

A payoff statement itemizes the amounts required to fully satisfy all obligations secured by the loan that is the subject of the payoff request. This written statement is prepared in response to a request by a client or an authorized third party.

Can I see how my payoff was applied to my account?

Please contact customer service 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST) to request a payoff breakdown.

Will I be charged a fee for a payoff statement?

There is no charge to have a payoff statement mailed to you or an authorized third party. A fee may apply if you would like the payoff statement faxed.

Why did Bank of America return my payoff funds?

There may have been an issue with your payoff. Please contact customer service at 800.934.5626 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm EST) for further details.

When should I expect my overage check?

If there is an overpayment, your refund check will be sent within 20 business days. This ensures funds received are sufficient to fully satisfy the payoff.

Requesting an off-us subordination
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What is an off-us subordination agreement?

An off-us subordination agreement is an agreement between your first mortgage lender and Bank of America, your home equity lender. It allows us to agree to remain in second lien position after your first mortgage lender's refinance.

How long does it take to process a subordination request?

Please allow 10 business days from receipt of the complete package for us to process your request.

When will Bank of America begin processing a subordination request?

Bank of America does not begin processing the request until receipt of all information requested in the subordination checklist. Please allow 10 business days from receipt of the complete package for us to process your request.

Can you expedite a subordination request?

We are unable to expedite any subordination requests. All requests are processed in the order in which the complete subordination package is received.

What if the subordination package is missing information?

Our subordination associates will work with your new lender to make the process as quick and transparent as possible. Often the requested documentation is available with your new lender and once we receive the complete package, our process usually takes 10 business days.

Can you waive the appraisal requirement?

Full appraisals are required for all home equity lines of credit greater than $250,000 and cannot be waived.

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