Underscoring how important sales and people skills have become for loss mitigation, Bank of America Corp.'s home mortgage unit now has 660 originators working on loan modifications, said Rebecca Mairone, B of A's national default servicing executive, at SourceMedia's 4th Annual Mortgage Servicing Conference in Dallas.

These are people who understand the most "complex refi," which is what Mairone calls a modification and who understand how to handle the customer. Addressing more than 350 conference attendees, she said the total staffing in customer outreach at Bank of America is over 15,000. Local home retention events and door knocks are producing better results than phone calls to borrowers, Mairone said.

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