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Bank of America offers up to $30K for short sale

(MoneyWatch) Bank of America (BAC) is adding to its foreclosure prevention arsenal, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the lender. In the release, Bank of America announces the launch of a nationwide program that offers delinquent borrowers increased assistance with relocation expenses upon the completion of a qualifying short sale.

The program is based on a similar one the lender tested in Florida last year.

Qualifying Bank of America borrowers could receive anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 in cash upon the close of a short sale. The amount of assistance provided under the new program is determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the value of the home, amount owed and other considerations not clarified in the press release.

"Bank of America is committed to providing alternatives to foreclosure whenever possible," Bob Hora, home transition services executive for Bank of America, said in the press release. "This program can help customers make a planned transition from ownership when home retention options have been exhausted or they have made a decision not to keep the home."

The news comes one week after Bank of America announced it was reaching out to underwater homeowners who could be eligible for principal reductions.

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To qualify for the relocation assistance payments under the new program, the seller must obtain a pre-approved sale price from the bank before submitting a purchase offer. The short sale must be initiated by the end of the year and close by Sept. 26, 2013.

Some short sales that have already started but have not yet closed may also be eligible for relocation assistance. The program is currently only available to borrowers with mortgages owned and serviced by Bank of America.

Relocation assistance is available nationally through Bank of America, but the lender anticipates the greatest response from borrowers in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and the other states hit hardest by the burst of the housing bubble.

If you believe you're eligible for relocation assistance and would like to learn more about short sale incentives, call Bank of America's home loan servicing hotline at 1-877-459-2852.

For more information about the government's foreclosure settlement, go to NationalMortgageSettlement.com. If you're a homeowner and have questions about whether you qualify for a loan modification or refinancing under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (also known as HARP 2.0), contact the Homeowner's HOPE hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE or go to MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

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