BofA CEO says foreclosure deal will take time

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Reuters) – A settlement between a coalition of federal and state agencies and U.S. banks over foreclosure practices will take longer to hammer out than many expect, Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said Wednesday.

Moynihan, speaking at a Sanford Bernstein conference in New York, said talks with state attorneys general, the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies are progressing, but the number of parties involved slows down the discussions.

“The time frame keeps moving out because you have 50-plus people involved by definition,” he said. “I think it will take longer than people will think.”

BofA, the largest U.S. mortgage servicer, and several other big mortgage lenders have been engaged in discussions since last fall to settle allegations that the industry cut corners in repossessing homes from delinquent borrowers.

In April, the largest U.S. banks, including BofA, settled with federal bank regulators, including the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Under the terms of that deal, the banks are overhauling their foreclosure processes and hiring outside consultants to review foreclosures completed in 2009 and 2010.