1. Business

Bank of America lets go nearly 500 local contractors who worked in the Independent Foreclosure Review program

Published Jan. 8, 2013

TAMPA — Nearly 500 local contractors who reviewed Bank of America foreclosures are out of a job after regulators and banks announced an $8.5 billion settlement, the bank confirmed Tuesday.

The contractors were hired about a year ago as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review, in which homeowners could seek a second opinion about whether their home was foreclosed in error.

The settlement announced Monday with 10 banks, including Bank of America, replaces the review with direct payments to 3.8 million people who were foreclosed on in 2009 and 2010.

About 86,000 people in the Tampa Bay are could qualify for those payments, Federal Reserve data show.

The Independent Foreclosure Review program required people to sign up before the Dec. 31 deadline, after which the program would have been wound down as the reviews were completed.

Bank spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens said, "We have been thoughtful about how we built these teams — including the use of contractors and vendors — so we could minimize the impact on our bank employees as these short-term assignments eventually wind down."

The contractors were placed by temporary personnel firms. None of the more than 200 bank employees in Tampa assisting in the review was laid off, Bauwens said.


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