Bank of America certainly turned some heads last week when it told its retail loan officers nationwide that the lender will halt, for now, originations of cash-out refinancings, citing what it calls a “surge of refinancing activity” and capacity problems. A memo written by B of A home loans sales executive Matt Vernon notes that “while we regret the inconvenience this will cause to some of our customers in the short term, we are making the responsible choice that is in the best interest of our long-term capabilities to provide a predictable customer experience.” In spite of arguments that this is some of the cleanest product ever to be originated, and profit margins being solid for many in the business, BofA continued to de-emphasize residential loans in the fourth quarter, producing just over $22 billion in mortgages, a stunning 75% decline from 4Q 2010.
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