Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is preparing to sell off hundreds of foreclosed homes in bulk as part of its ongoing effort to clear out its inventory of distressed assets.
Citing unnamed industry sources, Reuters reported late Thursday that BofA has put out word to institutional investors that it is accepting bids on up to 500 mostly vacant, single-family homes in California, Georgia, Florida and several other states. BofA inherited at least some of the properties four years ago when it acquired Countrywide Financial, which had been the country's largest subprime lender.
The bank is looking to capitalize on growing interest in these properties from large investment funds, some of which are out raising capital to buy up large pools of foreclosed homes. Sources say these investors are interested primarily in renting out the homes for steady cash flow rather than quickly flipping them.
The bulk sale would be the second for BofA in recent months — it sold off about 200 foreclosed properties late last year — and would be among the largest ever executed by a bank.
BofA is sitting on piles of foreclosed or delinquent mortgages, many of which it acquired in the Countrywide deal. The company is exploring a range of options for unloading the affiliated properties, including investing in technology that would help it speed up the approval process on short sales.