BofA Tests Lender Program

    Pedestrians pass by a Bank of America Corp. branch in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. Bank of America Corp. is scheduled to announce earnings before the opening of U.S. financial markets on Jan. 19. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Victor J. Blue, Bloomberg News / Getty Images

    Bank of America has adopted the role of landlord for some homeowners headed into foreclosure. On Friday, BofA began testing its new lender program on some 1,000 distressed homeowners in Nevada, Arizona, and upstate New York, selling their homes as rental properties to investors. The program offers homeowners a chance to stay on as renters for as long as three years in order to avoid having their properties seized in foreclosure, leaving them with disastrous credit scores. Bank officials say rents would be less than a monthly mortgage payment and based on independent estimates. If the program's trial run is successful, with the goal of investors taking over as soon as occupants relinquish ownership, it could be applied across the country.

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