Banks

Bank of America Brings in Industry 'Heavy-Hitters,' a DS News Exclusive

Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bank of America has assembled what you might call a “Dream Team” of default servicing executivese to head up critical areas within its Legacy Asset Servicing division. Collectively, this new team has more than 70 years experience working with distressed borrowers.
John Berens joins the bank as retention executive. In this role, he will be responsible for loan modifications and collections. Berens’ anticipated start date is May 9.
A 25-year mortgage veteran, Berens most recently served as the default servicing executive for JPMorgan Chase. His prior roles include head of loan servicing for Washington Mutual, head of servicing for Advanta National Bank, and previous executive servicing roles at JPMorgan.
Patrick Carey joins Bank of America, effective May 16, as the Held for Investment (HFI) and specialty segments executive. Carey will oversee portfolio management and operational execution as it relates to the servicing of BofA’s HFI portfolio, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), and default servicing complaint resolution. He will also serve as operational liaison in default servicing to the GSEs, HUD, as well as external constituents.
Carey brings with him over 20 years of industry expertise. Previously he was CEO of Titanium Holdings, the parent company of Titanium Solutions, a provider of loss mitigation outreach services. Carey has also served as EVP of default and retention operations for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. where he was responsible for all the bank’s default functions.
Bob Hora joins Bank of America as executive in charge of short sales, REO, and deeds in lieu. He will be responsible for streamlining the bank’s efforts to leverage short sales and other property liquidation tools to prevent foreclosures. He will also oversee the management and marketing of properties in the bank’s real estate-owned portfolio. Hora starts with the company on May 23.
Hora is a 25-year mortgage veteran who is currently the national servicing operations executive for Fannie Mae. His previous roles include head of enterprise loss mitigation at GMAC-ResCap, head of default for Homecomings Financial, and various leadership roles within Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
Tony Meola, Bank of America’s SVP and default servicing executive, says these new high-level additions to his team represent an extension of the company’s commitment to its distressed borrowers.
“Our true north is to deliver fast, fair, and final decisions to our borrowers in loss mitigation resolution,” Meola said. “When you think about the plight of the home borrowers today, you want an anxiety-free process…you want to be proactive, responsive to them, and frankly, you want to be approachable and have accessibility.”
“So for us,” Meola explained, “we’ve sort of bundled that up to ensure that we make resolutions to their needs in a way that is fair, number one. That it’s fast because borrowers want resolution quickly in this time of need. And that it’s final so there’s some finality in their situation. That’s the mantra of the organization and that’s how I will manage and judge our success.”
Meola himself joined Bank of America just 60 days ago from Morgan Stanley’s Saxon Mortgage where he held the position of chief executive officer. He says the drive to bring in top leadership to compliment the “significant talent” already on board began with Terry Laughlin.
Laughlin was named to head the new Legacy Asset Servicing division that was formed in early February for the purpose of handling the default aspect of the bank’s portfolio.
Meola explained that this division’s total focus is on the distressed borrower and delivering to each individual borrower the appropriate level of loss mitigation, and ultimately the correct resolution for that borrower’s situation.
This customer segmentation “is designed with one thing in mind, and one thing only, and that’s to provide the most focused and best service for those customers,” Meola said.
It’s this type of commitment to “execute at the highest level of precision and accuracy” that Meola says makes the three new additions to his team – Berens, Carey, and Hora – an ideal fit for the organization and will position Bank of America as the “standard of excellence” in default servicing.
By: Carrie Bay DS NEWS


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