Short Sale Confidential!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

Is it? here’s a good one for you. What are you doing to ensure your Short Sale Submission Package is kept confidential? More importantly, what are the Lenders doing to ensure this information is kept confidential?

Let me be a little more specific. How can we guarantee to our Sellers that their bank statements, tax returns, financial statements and social security numbers are not being stolen/sold/copied/shared by the hourly employee who receives the Short Sale Submission Package on the other end?

Have you thought about this before? Do you have a solution? I don’t.





Short Sale Basics

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 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi BB - I have asked this question of a couple of lenders, and they claim that there is no issue.  They say that there is no difference between how they handle what you submit for a loan app in any transaction and what you submit for the short sale package - someone has to see it and that person is "required" to keep it confidential.  I'm not sure that is a perfect answer, but at some point I suppose we have to cross our fingers and have faith that they will be honorable and law-abiding.

Apr 30, 2009 10:22 AM #6
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Bryant - This is scary.  I worry on my end about shredding documents, but we really don't have control when it goes to the short sale lender.

Apr 30, 2009 10:40 AM #7
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


I've analyzed the confidentiality of this type of information at length...My conclusion: There is absolutely NO way to guarantee that info will not be stolen/sold/copied/shared...!!! Thanks,   Fran

Apr 30, 2009 11:09 AM #8
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

BB - A confidentiality agreement signed by all parties involved - maybe? It is a great question. While short sales are so anonymous (no face to face contact) on the lender's side, owners are really at their mercy so to speak.

I remember when ssn# and credit card information of credit card holders have gotten into the wrong hands - what ever happened in this case?

Apr 30, 2009 11:14 AM #9
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Bryant- An employee at Countrywide was charged with identity theft. The very thing you fear here is what he was doing. Stealing customers socials, etc.

But what are the mortgage companies doing and the lenders doing to insure your privacy when you apply for a loan, and after you close? Same thing, nada.

We never give the acceptance letter to the buyers mortgage company or their agent. That is private for the seller. Agents tell me all the time that all the 'other' agents give them to them. I say, I don't follow what everyone else is doing.

Apr 30, 2009 12:06 PM #10
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

... oh boy, and there I was thinking I had most of the Short Sale answers .... 

Very interesting question, and a topic that could VERY EASILY come into the forefront as the short sales continue.

... when you come up with the answer BB - be sure to give me a ring ;o)

Cheers !


Apr 30, 2009 12:09 PM #11
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Bryant we can only control what is in our possession, and have no way of knowing what someone else does with it.  I know that we do not throw anything away without shredding it first.

We screan all our employees and do background checks on them, but there is always a chance that someone will misuse information that they have access to.

Apr 30, 2009 01:12 PM #12
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


I questioned the same thing when one lender lost my clients information 3 times yet no one seems know where his private information.

Apr 30, 2009 01:34 PM #13
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi BB... interesting topic.  I am parking here for a while to watch...

Since we, as agents, seem to have little (if any) control over lender short sale processing, I am not sure that there is anything that we can do to affect what they do with the information that we provide them any more than we can affect what a mortgage lender does with the very personal information provided on a mortgage application. 

Apr 30, 2009 06:37 PM #14
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Heck if you call our local DMV (Department of Motor Vehichles) you are talking to a prisoner at the local prison. How nice when they ask you for your drivers license and recently someones social security number.


Apr 30, 2009 06:44 PM #15
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Bryant, interesting topic.  I have a buyer that wants to see the sellers short sale info and doesn't quite grasp that I can't do that. 

May 01, 2009 12:09 AM #16
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

I have thought about this but I'm not sure there really is a way to keep all of the information confidential.  Where do all of the lost short sale packages go??  I guess there is a team that receives the faxes and scans them into a system, hopefully those people have had background checks!

May 01, 2009 01:56 AM #17
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Hi Bryant- the sad news is we cannot guarantee anything once documents leave our hands.  How many times have you heard about medical records showing up in dumpsters?  Happens too often.

May 01, 2009 02:24 AM #18
Josh Holt
RE/MAX Coast To Coast~ Dedicated to You! - Berwick, ME
Southern Maine and NH Real Estate - Your Source of Info on the Berwicks

BB- NOTHING. This has long bothered me, and I've often blacked out a few digits on account numbers, socials and such before sending it over. I also try to make my clients aware of this.... Good Topic...

May 02, 2009 12:58 AM #19
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity


I do not have much confidence in the banks ability to do much of anything right now.  Their greed has helped to create this huge mess and now that the people they qualified with a no down payment, ARM loan with stated income can not make their payments, the banks are saying their is no substantiated hardship and denying short sales to their customers.  How dumb is that? So no, I don't know how we can guarantee our clients privacy with a bank.

May 02, 2009 02:24 PM #20
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

BB, We cannot guarantee that the banks,lenders,or anyone else will keep this information confidential. I think I see another addenda in the future addressing financial security....or lack there of. Interesting topic to stay tuned with.

May 03, 2009 09:00 AM #21
Carol Lee
Dilbeck Real Estate - Oak Park, CA
Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes

Great pont, Bryant!  I have been making many offers on short sales lately, most are sitting at the bank, others have closed.  On one, the listing agent (who bills herself as a short sale specialist) send me my copy of the purchase agreement with the sellers loan numbers on it!  Oy!

May 04, 2009 11:48 AM #22
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Whew!  What a creep!  I'd put gum in her hair.

May 04, 2009 01:00 PM #23
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Whoa. A very good question. I hadn't even thought of this. Wouldn't the bank be held responsible if one of their employees, or whomever they out-sourced that job to, be held responsible for any problems? I know. That doesn't answer the question, and it certainly doesn't cover the client. But I would hope that the "liable" party would take care, if for no other reason than to cover their own butts!

May 04, 2009 04:42 PM #24
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

Bryant - As you are dealing with the lender that made the original loan(s) to the Seller there should be some level of trust.  If, however, there was identity theft what are they stealing?  They are getting someone at the other end of the spectrum from where they started - losing, not buying their home.  Not much to be gained.  I wouldn't worry about it until you actually have a problem, but it is interesting to ponder.

May 10, 2009 02:51 AM #25
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