Bank of America Short Sales -Equator a Vast Improvement

Managing Real Estate Broker with Real Estate America

I have done a handful of short sales with Bank of America, and I am LOVIN' EQUATOR, their new automated short sale processing system. Before short sales were handled under this platform, the process was long and hard whether you checked in every few days or every month!!!

Heck, I closed one with Bank of America 2 years after the process started! I inherited this particular listing from an agent who just didn't have the time to deal with it anymore. I think the deal died and resuscitated several times going back and forth with the 2nd lien holder (Chase). So I'm going to say that before the Equator system, Bank of America short sales took at least 6 months on average from submission to approval.

The short sales I currently have on the system are moving along the automated process pretty smoothly, with everything up to the bpo being done in as little as 2 weeks! One recent short sale I closed took 2 and 1/2 months to get to approval, which is phenomenal compared to how long it took before.

if you've shied away from taking Bank of America short sales because it took so long and was so frustrating, you would be wise to start taking them now. Of course, my tip would be NOT to start the process with the bank until you've got an offer in hand because one of the first tasks on the system for you to do is to upload the offer, and you've only got a few days to do it before the task is considered overdue. In addition, the homeowner will not be able to upload their financials unless there's already an offer submitted by the agent.

Whereas I USED to exclude short sale prospects with Countrywide or Bank of America mortgages, I now seek them out. Funny how things turn around. Now, the pain in the bottom bank to deal with in my experience is Chase. I'll blog about that another time soon.

Comments (7)

Dana Voelzke
loanDepot (203) 733-9408 - Bethel, CT
Loan Officer/ First time home buyer specialist

I agree that Equator coupled with B of A's changes in their internal process are an improvement. Short sales across the board are getting approved faster. It's important to get the word out as listing agents about this because so many buyer's agents have had a few bad experiences with short sales.

May 24, 2010 08:12 PM
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

It's still a tough proposition for buyers.  If they're going to wait... they're taking a gamble... and with the market here in California now on the rise... if the gamble doesn't pay off, the next home they get involved with will be more expensive.

May 24, 2010 08:28 PM
Don Spera
CR Property Group, LLC - East York, PA
Serving York and Adams County, PA

The government really needed to step in to put the pressure on these lenders to streamline the process a lot better.  There are so many homes lost to foreclosure because of the lack of manpower.  But also the attitudes had to change on those answering the phones, because they never felt there was a sense of urgency, as they got paid by the hour and didn't have any emotional attachments.

May 24, 2010 10:40 PM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I agree Equator is a vast improvement and we are getting along just fine. ..but have you tried Wachovia FastStart Program? I had an approval in 3 days!

May 24, 2010 11:53 PM
Allison Mendez
Tampa, FL

Things do turn around full circle. I enjoy equator however they have seemed to become a little "off" lately. I have noticed the process rejecting quite a few procedures. Maybe its just a growing pain. I have also had great luck with reo prep. Similar to equator but a smaller company that actually cares. Well for now at least right:)

Aug 31, 2010 06:46 AM
Mercedes Tucker

Unfortunately, I have NOT had the privilege to personally work on a Wachovia short sale, but I know it's great! I know of agents who got approval on the first day!

I agree Equator has been "off" lately with the rejections citing either minor or vague reasons such as "Other" with no further details sometimes. I especially don't like having to start the process over when a buyer walks away and we have a new buyer in contract. I have a couple of deals where negotiations took so long to approve a great offer (over asking price, high end of market value)  that the buyer lost interest. Because of the continuing market decline in the area, all subsequent offers have been significantly lower than the original offer. Too bad for everyone involved! :(

With all its kinks and growing pains, I am still happy with the Equator system because it is more predictable than the traditional process with its timelines. They are continuing to improve their process by communicating status in more specific terms of the short sale more frequently than before, albeit by email. 

Sep 01, 2010 04:26 AM
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

Well sometimes i dont know what to think of short sales. They are getting better and then they are not!

Aug 17, 2011 08:11 PM