Amid growing public anger and political discontent over foreclosures, some distressed California homeowners may be getting a temporary reprieve.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp., the nation's largest bank, said Friday it would stop sales of foreclosed homes in all 50 states as it reviews documents used to process foreclosures.
A week earlier, the company had said it would only stop such sales in the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by a judge.
"We will stop foreclosure sales until our assessment has been satisfactorily completed,'' company spokesman Dan Frahm said in a statement. "Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for our past foreclosure decisions is accurate.''
Statewide, 17,841 properties ended up on the auction block in September -- 16 percent more than in July, but little changed from a year earlier, according to ForeclosureRadar.com.
Home sales in Southern California fell 13.8 percent in August, marking one of the slowest periods in three years, as a weak job market and a lost sense of urgency among shoppers curbed activity.
State and federal officials have been ramping up pressure on the mortgage industry over worries about potential legal violations amid growing evidence that mortgage company employees or their lawyers signed documents in foreclosure cases without verifying the information in them.
Also Friday, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said he would hold a hearing on the issue next month.