Got a Bank of America loan and trying to successfully complete a Short Sale? Well buckle up and read on, you have just found the right website! It has been my experience that Bank of America is one of the toughest lenders to work with in completing short sales. Here is what you need to know to successfully close a Bank of America Short Sale:
The Paper Trail:
Customers and Realtors I know describe working with BOA with words I cannot put on this blog without putting an R-rated warning. Here’s a quick history of Bank of America’s challenges (not defending BOA by any means). During the lending bust BOA went on a buying spree and purchased several lenders that targeted subprime borrowers (remember Countrywide?). The documentation on some of these loans was amazingly incomplete (if not fraudulent in some cases). What does this mean for you? Get ready to provide lots of paperwork multiple times. Here is a quick hint; scan and download all your documents to your computer. Carefully label every one of your docs. When you are speaking to a BOA make sure you stay on the phone with the BOA rep until they verify the email has been received. This will at least slow down the “we never received this or that document” excuse.
The Outsource Game:
Bank of America has begun outsourcing call centers, short sale departments and loan modification centers (yes your short sale packet will visit India). What does this mean for you? This will have two impacts on you: 1. The person you are speaking with over the phone usually doesn’t know jack about your file and in most cases is simply reading from a script. 2. You will be given conflicting information each time you talk to a BOA rep. Hang in there and keep calling!
Timeline is a joke:
Bank of America loves to tout its timeline for completing short sales and loan modifications. Please consider these timelines as nothing more than wishful guesses. To complete a short sale in Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William counties (areas such as Washington DC and Maryland can take longer due to more stringent Real Estate laws) you are looking at least 90 to 120 days from start to finish (that’s if you hire a Realtor that knows what he or she is doing). Its not unheard of for short sales to take 6 -12 months to close!
Escalation means nothing!
Bank of America also loves to tell its client and Realtors that if you ever have a problem you can simply “escalate” to a supervisor. In most cases you will be transferred to another department that knows less about the issue you are having than the current BOA rep you are working with. If you want BOA’s attention start hitting the company where it counts. Fire up that Twitter and Facebook account! If you are on Twitter voice your concern using the hashtag #boafail. You can also share or give a “Google +1” to blogs like mine that expose BOA’s continued failures. BOA has a Social Media department that trolls the web looking for negative comments. I’m pretty sure one of these BOA trolls is reading this now!
What does all this mean for you if you are thinking of completing a short sale? I would highly suggest you interview at least 3 Realtors that specialize in Short Sales. This is indeed a specialty and very few agents are as crazy as I am for taking on banks like Bank of America. Make sure you hire an agent that has success negotiating Short Sales. Many Realtors now outsource short sales and really have no idea what lenders are looking for. Make sure your Realtor has a CDPE designation (Certified Distressed Property Expert). This is an extra real estate course that teaches Realtors how to work with lenders. Need more information on completing a Short Sale in the Fairfax or Loudoun areas? Call or email me for a confidential one on one appointment to discuss your specific needs.
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