How do you get an answer back on a Bank of America HAFA Short Sale?

Real Estate Agent with Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC

Someone who knows the ropes, please let me on on the secret of how to get a HAFA approval from Bank of America.  I thought I was Bank of America Short Sale savvy until they implemented AMS as their servicer for HAFA Short Sales.  I have had a HAFA Short Sale complete with all documentation submitted for almost a month and a half.  The BPO is done.  I only know that because the agent called me about access to the house.  AMS had no record that it had been done.  I send regular messages through Equator requesting an update and call AMS every week.  Week after week I get the same answer, "the file is in underwriting for review".  I found out that that meant the file had been sent back to Bank of America for approval.  I have worked with Bank of America and I know how long it takes for them to process a file and send it to their investors for approval.  It could be anywhere between 3 - 6 months.  Isn't the purpose of HAFA to shorten the process?  Someone who knows the ropes, please let me on on the secret of how to get a HAFA approval from Bank of America.  I would appreciate it very much.  I am ready to tear my hair out.  It could be ugly!!!!  HELP me spare the hair!

Posted by

Barb Merrill Works 4 U!

Comments (12)

Indera Coggins
Re/Max 100 - Dunkirk, MD

HAFA takes just as long as a regular short sale. Just got a HAFA approval after 4 months. Well, just got a short sale approval after 11 months also. Good luck

Nov 09, 2010 05:54 AM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

We have the same problem with Bank of America HAFA short sales. Apparently BOA has exempted itself from having to comply with HAFA timelines. They are also supposed to issue target prices in advance, which they refuse to do.

Nov 09, 2010 05:58 AM
Ron Tarvin
Residential, Investment properties, rehab projects, property management, luxury homes, new construction! - Katy, TX
Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095

LOTS of prayer I think...the new EQUATOR system has made things even slower than they ever were!

Sorry...wish I had more positive to add but it's been frustrating with this short sale I should have closed 5 months ago!! :)

Nov 09, 2010 05:59 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Barb...Through a connection here in Activerain I was pointed towards a group "Short sale super stars" it's a Free on-line group that shares their common experiences and the newest forms required to get the short sales done. google shortsalesuperstars...look in the B of A section for the latest help.

Nov 09, 2010 06:00 AM
Barb Merrill
Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC - Tempe, AZ
GRI, Associate Broker

Thanks for all of your suggestions and support!  I'll check out Short Sale Superstars.

Nov 10, 2010 02:26 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hey, Barb – I see this is your most recent post. Hope all is well with you and yours, that you're really busy, but that you'll be back soon to Play in the Rain with us. Take advantage of that love affair between Google and your ActiveRain blog!

Jan 26, 2011 12:56 PM

Hey Russell,  Thanks for checking in.  I don't know all the ins-and-outs of ActiveRain, how did you come across my blog? 

Jan 26, 2011 02:23 PM
Jayson Hoffer
Jayson Hoffer Insurance Agency Inc. - Tempe, AZ
Mesa AZ 480-948-6115 Home, Auto, Life Insurance

Barb, What a great post. I am sure there are tons of Realtors that want the answer to this. I wish I knew but not being a Realtor, it does not matter to me. Being knowledgeable to the RE industry helps me be a better insurance agent!

Apr 25, 2011 01:25 PM
Kimberly Gross
Full Commitment Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA


BofA has subcontracted their HAFA processing to 3 companies, depending on the investor. I have worked with 2 of them.  AMS is impossible.  They do not use Equator to communicate or to send counter offers. "The file is in underwriting for review" is their stock answer no matter where the file is.  Our offer was countered but I did not know for almost 2 weeks. I called them daily (a total of 15 times over 13 days) for an update and received the above stock answer until the 13th day when the rep told me about the counter offer. When I asked him how I was suppose to know about it he said I was suppose to call and ask! Tha's what I had been doing!! We were also told at one point that the offer was approve and the approval letter was ordered and would be emailed to me within 72 hours. After 72 hours, and no email, I called and was told it was a mistake. The offer was too low and was rejected. Also, the "investors" wanted $29,000 more to do the HAFA process through AMS then a traditional sale direct with BofA.  I know this because we had an offer on the property approved through the traditional BofA short sale department. When the Buyer walked the Seller decided to try a HAFA short sale.  Suddenly the minimun the investors would take is $29,000 more then before. It appears BofA is transferring the cost of using AMS directly to the Seller.  I don't think this is what the federal government has in mind.  The big problem is no one at BofA can or will help you. I actually took it to the Office of The President and CEO at BofA.  The gentleman assigned to our case didn't even know who AMS was. He tried to help by calling AMS and inquiring about our file. He was told, by BofA, to stop calling AMS.  In the long run my Seller decided to pull out of HAFA, with all the benefits it could offer her, and do a traditional short sale.  Sorry for my rant.  I did make a little headway by emailing Richard Caruso,  I didn't get a reply but it seemed to escalate the file.  Good Luck! 

Jun 12, 2011 07:38 AM
Chester Grice



I have just experienced what most of you already know about AMS. They called me this morning to notify me that my time had expired. I had until July 22, 2011 to get a buyer. My broker did get a buyer in mid-June. We submitted all the paper work to equator by June 21, 2011. 2nd has signed off with a 90 day limit that expires around September 10, 2011. Now AMS is saying we need to go back to BOA and do a "traditional Short sale" with a new negotiator.

I am concerned this transaction will not occur and that AMS does not have its act together at all. Any advice?



Aug 01, 2011 01:29 PM
Barb Merrill

Go back to AMS and talk to a different representative.  Each person has a  different take on how a Short Sale should be handled.  Keep calling until you get a rep that will give you the right answers.

Aug 02, 2011 02:43 PM
Diana Case

I have been dealing with AMS since Feb 2011. my client has accepted in the program the appraisal was done, AMS could not find it  in the system. after many calls, I got the list letter on June 10 2011. then it went no where. Freddie Mac is the backer of the loan. called them and they request that the sale date to be postpone, it was not, it sold on the court house steps on August 5, 2011.

On August 18, 2011 I get a call from a appraiser from Bank of America because the other one is to old and said why bother they no longer own the home.

Still shows in equator that we are in premarketing

my clients are now meeting with a lawyer. We did everything right and it ended so wrong.

I will never deal with AMS again. BofA has it own program and the client gets $2500 to move and they cut your commission but you can get it closed

Aug 20, 2011 12:14 AM

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