Bank of America and Equator: Hints for Short Sale Success

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.

EquatorIf you and your short sale sellers are having problems with Bank of America and Equator (formerly Reotrans), you are not alone.  My team and I have been "experimenting" with the new short sale upload system since we've been forced to start using it two weeks ago. Not only does the short sale agent have to use Equator, so does the short sale seller. The idiosyncrasies of the software can be intimidating-- even to a savvy internet user.  

Passwords don't work, information is wiped out, and files are rejected for reason code: OTHER.

 Today a Destin short sale seller came into my office for help entering his financial information.  We had already uploaded his last two years tax returns, last two months bank statements and last two paystubs by separate pdf.  After entering his information and filling out thirty plus data fields, his information was WIPED out three times by Equator.  WHY?  He hit the back-button!  But did we give up?  No way! After a while, through trial and error, we found some tips to help you along your Bank of America-Equator journey.

Remember to have your seller log onto bankofamerica.com/shortsale (no www).  He should already have his password, after registering at 1-866-677-2516 and having one emailed to him.

Bank of America short sales

There are NO DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS, but these hints will help you to success:

  • The system does not accept commas in all numeric fields.  It will kick out entries with commas in the lower section of the seller financial fields, those underneath the income section.  (Some may find it difficult, for example, typing 100000.00 and keeping track of the correct number, but that is what it wants.)
  • The seller can only "Save for Later" if they fill out a complete section on the screen, from the BLUE to BLUE (HELP to HELP) area of the form.  Otherwise, the info will be WIPED OUT!
  • When totalling numeric fields (like expenses, for example), click OUTSIDE the data entry field to the right of the "total" at the bottom of the column.  Don't try to add up the fields.  This will add them up for you. ( I know it makes no sense).

Finally, if you want CHAT HELP, there is no button. or link on the screen..  I knew there was a CHAT, so I called the Equator Tech Line 310-469-9167. (Expect to be on hold for thirty minutes to three hours).  After finally getting through, and being put on hold for twenty minutes, they came up with this to find CHAT:

Equator

Click on the HELP button at the top of the screen.  In the "Search" field, type in the word "CHAT", then an icon will appear.  I am sure you would have figured that out on your own, right?

That's all for today.  For more Equator hints, check back here and on the Short Sale Superstars Equator group.  Until then, happy typing!

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR     Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Destin FL Real Estate

Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.

Read Wendy's Destin Real Estate Blog

For Agents: www.ShortSaleSuperstars.com

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". Call Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner,to list and sell your home or condo on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County-  Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. 

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"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-650-7883 ext 204

email itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Wendy Rulnick is the marketing choice for sellers on the Emerald Coast who want to list and get their homes and condos sold in Destin, Sandestin, Bluewater Bay, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Kelly Plantation, Regatta Bay, Destiny and more.

Rulnick Realty

 

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Rainmaker
323,621
Stephen Arnold
HomeSmart Elite Group - Scottsdale, AZ
CRS, GRI, SFR

Hi Wendy~  Thank you soooo much for posting this!!  BofA is the demise of my existence!!  Quick Question:  Has your office had any experience with Real Time Resolutions? 

Jan 22, 2010 12:31 PM #10
Ambassador
879,834
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Wendy... thanks for the reminder... I have been meaning to call you to share my fun equator story.  If you had asked me if BofA short sales could become any less consumer friendly I would have doubted it... then they rolled out equator!  Just goes to show how wrong I really can be!

Jan 22, 2010 02:32 PM #11
Rainmaker
155,172
Ray Wright
Keller Williams Realty - Riverside, CA
- Inland Empire Realtor

Thanks for this post!  Fantastic info!

Jan 22, 2010 05:37 PM #12
Rainmaker
2,383,830
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

Yet another challenge confronted and conquered....there are lots of agents who see BOA and run the other way....lead the charge for change...we know you can do it !

Jan 22, 2010 10:06 PM #13
Rainmaker
3,580,541
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good information Wendy.  Just hard to believe how difficult they are making it.

Jan 22, 2010 10:19 PM #14
Rainer
4,292
Reese Stewart
RE/MAX Properties SW, Inc. - Orlando, FL
SFR, ABR, CDPE

Wendy, Great information... I too had to learn the hardway... BofA said this should be easier and quicker... After having a negotiator assigned named "Generic Negotiator" in REOTrans/Equator for 2 months I finally got a real one.... We'll see how this plays out... Thanks again for the information!

Jan 23, 2010 12:38 AM #15
Ambassador
1,224,878
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Oh, lovely Equator. If only you were as wonderful and exotic as your name implies. We could take a walking trip around the whole world--following the Equator--and still be waiting for our short sale approvals. Happy Saturday!

Jan 23, 2010 01:05 AM #16
Rainer
204,707
Jane Cross
Homes By Cross serving Charlotte NC Real Estate Needs - Charlotte, NC

Wendy, what a pile of scrambled eggs that is. Good for you with your diligence and for putting together this detailed post!

Jan 23, 2010 09:50 AM #17
Rainmaker
357,701
Lynn Pineda
Keller Williams Realty - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs REALTOR- Promises Delivered

Wendy, very valuable tips you noted.  You would think that Bank of America could have put their stimulus money to better use?!

Jan 23, 2010 11:47 AM #18
Rainmaker
594,489
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

And this was supposed to make it easier???  Yikes, let's hope it at least speeds the process.  Thanks Wendy for the tips! 

Jan 24, 2010 12:19 AM #20
Rainmaker
327,370
Minna Reid
Keller Williams CT - Southington, CT
Team Lead - Reid Real Estate Group

I cant say I'm a fan of the new system...My latest BofA seller  - who is physically diabled, does not drive and does not even own a computer is being forced to try to navigate this. I had to set him up with an email account, give him instructions to call and get the username and password so I could take over. He can't manage uploading docs. Period. Anyway he called and was on hold so long he ran out of minutes on his prepaid phone and then I couldnt reach him for a week either. Nice.

And this is BofA's streamline solution? Figures.

Jan 24, 2010 03:27 AM #21
Rainmaker
175,446
Maya Thomas LLC, Broker
Key West, Key Haven, Geiger, Sugarloaf, Cudjoe, Summerland - Key West, FL
Key West FL Historic Old Town Estates, Bungalows

I can't believe how many buyer's agents are still doing business with BoA.  Great idea, give all your business to the worst company on the planet.

Jan 25, 2010 07:45 AM #22
Rainmaker
670,652
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Wendy, Oh no, not another way to make short sales more difficult than they already are. That's not good news!

Jan 26, 2010 02:38 AM #23
Rainer
157,024
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

Thanks for your tips which should make the "Equator" experience a little less frustrating for us all.

Jan 26, 2010 04:01 AM #24
Rainer
38,725
Todd Sabatini
Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City Beach, FL

Wendy, thanks for the info i am getting excited to tackle this soon on 1 of my SS'S. Looks like it will be a loads of fun...

Feb 03, 2010 12:51 AM #25
Rainmaker
237,073
Barbara Jenness
Barbara B. Jenness, P.A. - St. Augustine, FL - Saint Augustine, FL
St. Augustine FL Real Estate

Wendy, Thanks for the how tos on Equator. I have been negotiating the "old" way with BofA, but surprise, surprise, the offer was not approved. So, I am thinking the next offer from a buyer will need to go through this system. Your post will help me be better prepared. Thanks!

Feb 08, 2010 10:36 PM #26
Rainer
29,267
Tommy Welchman
Keller Williams Peace River Partners Realty, LLC - Punta Gorda, FL

Good post; this will help my agents sort through the jungle of BofA.

Thanks

Feb 12, 2010 02:37 PM #27
Rainer
29,267
Tommy Welchman
Keller Williams Peace River Partners Realty, LLC - Punta Gorda, FL

Good post; this will help my agents sort through the jungle of BofA.

Thanks

Feb 12, 2010 02:37 PM #28
Rainmaker
153,813
Deb Espinoza
Stage Presence Homes, San Diego Real Estate - Ramona, CA
GRI, Broker, SRS,ABR ePro, SFR, CNE

Great information! Thanks. And yes, if you have a short sale in process BofA will sometimes make you put into Equator. We had one in since October and were required to enter all into Equator in January. Basically started the whole process over again. HO had to call to authorize Equator to "give" BofA the information that was input into the Equator system?? HUmmm. wasn't that already in BofA's possession??? HO on hold for 40+ mins for 'required' phone call to start process, never got first email to open up the system and had to call again.. AHhh  BofA. Then almost 2 months of NO contact from our assigned negotiator "jade" a male, who NEVER answered an email or phone call- Finally had to call for an 'intervention' from supervision since Jade passed his deadline to complete his 'tasks'. And, as in the past with BofA, not everyone has this system, some who have the system don't even know how to log in to it much less use it, so you get to call the CS phone and hope someone better, smarter, that has the Equator system answers... Definately NOT an improvement ..yet?

And FYI- GMAC and all Fannie Mae backed loans are supposedly using the Equator system too. Maybe Barney Frank and his buddies designed this?? haha

Feb 22, 2010 04:01 AM #29
Rainer
3,271
Hans Welbergen
RE/MAX Properties SW Inc - Windermere, FL

I have used Equator and I think it is a mess and I am a savy internet user. I am of the opinion that the short sale process is done wrong. Why not submit a hardship letter first to the bank (and investors), then get the results of a BPO within 10 days from the bank which is approved also by the investors. This is the approved minimum sale price good for let's say 3 months . This would save time going back and forth between buyer and the bank and would make short sales competitive with REO's. I have done my last short sale , it is just not worth my time and the way BOA has set it up in Equator may  create extra liability for the agent..

Jul 08, 2010 12:03 AM #31
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