Monday, December 7, 2009

Banks: Best and worst to Short Sell with.

In general banks are large slow bureaucracies and it requires patience and persistence to deal with them. The only way to track a short sale is to regularly call into the customer service center of the bank. Most of the time there is no information to share accept that the file is waiting to be reviewed. It usually takes months before there is a person that can review and discuss the file intelligently. There are a few banks that are trying to streamline the short sale process, but even the best banks have a long way to go before the process is good.

The easiest Banks are the smaller regional banks that made a bunch of 2nd mortgages and home equity lines. These banks have little recourse and are happy to get any money they can. Since they are smaller they are quicker. Many times you can talk to one person through the whole process. Most of the 1st mortgages are owned or serviced by one of the big banks.

The award for the worst bank to deal with goes to Bank of America. They are disorganized and most of the people that answer the phone are incompetent. Their process takes the longest and the flow information is terrible.

Wells Fargo has Americas Servicing Company handle their loss mitigation; short sales, loan modification and foreclosures. Of the big banks they do the best job which doesn't say much. Wells Fargo communicates a time line and does a decent job of sticking to it if you give them the paperwork well organized.

One of the biggest reasons for delays or failures with short sales is giving the bank an incomplete or disorganized package. All of the paperwork the bank wants should be well organized and labeled before being sent. A messy or incomplete package is usually denied or discarded.

Citibank, Chase and Wachovia are all better than Bank of America but still have plenty of room for improvement.

I have a few suggestions for the banks if any of you bankers are reading my blog. The first is for you to embrace modern technology. It shouldn't take 2-4 days for a bank to acknowledge receipt of a fax! It is also possible to scan and email documents that can be transferred instantly. Instead of requiring everyone to call into customer service for information. Put the information online and allow access to it with the loan # and a password. That way the homeowner, their Realtor and Attorney can access it 24/7. It will save everyone time and money.

The federal government has released new regulations and standards for shortsales as part of Making Home Affordable program that will be put into action April 5, 2010. Let's hope that these regulations help streamline the process. The new regulations are voluntary but Banks that adhere to the new regulations will earn financial incentives. View the new guidelines here:


  1. Doc Central is something that the banks should look into. It is a website that is slowly gaining acceptance amongst real estate agents.

    Doc Central allows agents to post files pertaining to a property (contracts, disclosures, etc.) in one central location for everyone involved in the deal (agents, attorneys, buyer, seller, etc.) to access.

    The agent can control who has access to what files, and can view a log of who accessed files and at what time.

    A system like this one could certainly smooth out, and speed up the process.

  2. MSNBC recently had an article on their website that talked about loan modifications. The banks are not making them!

    "WASHINGTON - Just over 31,000 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications since March under the Obama administration's mortgage relief plan, spotlighting some of the program's failures.

    Among big lenders, Bank of America Corp. had the worst results. The nation's largest lender had only completed 98 modifications for the 160,000 borrowers who had signed up by the end of November. GMAC Mortgage had the most of any lender, just 7,100."

    Click Here to read the rest of the article:

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