Bank of America Now Allows Initiation of Short Sale Process WITHOUT an offer!

Services for Real Estate Pros

Short Sale Specialist Network

Here is an email we received a little while ago regarding Bank of America short sale offers and the equator system. This is excellent news, and will hopefully aid in further streamlining the Bank of America short sale process.

April Technology Enhancements Drive Changes
to the Short Sale Process

Bank of America continues to improve the short sale process so agents can help homeowners avoid foreclosure. In March, fields were added to the initiation page in Equator so Bank of America can identify which short sale the homeowner qualifies for and best fits their situation. Starting in April, a series of technology enhancements are being implemented to improve the short sale process.

  • Integrated Technology for Deals With an Offer and Without an Offer:
    Agents can now initiate a short sale in Equator prior to marketing the property. The benefits of this type of "pre-offer program" include understanding the terms of the short sale and gaining investor agreement for a list price upfront in the process. In addition, the homeowner may qualify for a cash incentive and have their deficiency waived.
  • Short Sale Specialist Assigned Earlier in the Process:
    If a short sale is initatied with an offer, a short sale specialist will be assigned in Equator earlier in the process. If a short sale is initiated without an offer, agents should be aware that many initial steps in the process require homeowner contact to determine program eligibility. Once the appropriate short sale program has been identified, a short sale specialist will be assigned and Equator will launch the agent tasks.

Action Required:

  • For status updates and immediate questions, agents should continue to contact Short Sale Customer Care at 1.866.880.1232.
  • Agents should use Equator messaging as the primary way to communicate with their short sale specialist.
  • Homeowner Documentation:
    Short sale specialists are able to identify earlier in the process which homeowner documents, if any, are required. Depending on the homeowner's situation, the amount of documentation required may be significantly reduced. However, the short sale process will not move forward until all required homeowner documentation is provided.

Action Required:

  • Agents can message their short sale specialist to clarify which documents are required.
  • Agents should obtain these documents and upload them to the Equator Library under Property Files as soon as possible.
  • Initial Offer Evaluation:
    If an offer is submitted that is significantly lower than current values, the offer may be rejected and the agent will be notified in the Equator system. The Submit Short Sale Offer task will reopen and a new offer must be submitted.

Action Required:

  • Agents should renegotiate with the buyer to agree on the highest and best offer and execute the new signed contract.
  • In order to complete the task, all supporting documents must be updated to reflect the current offer details.

Stay tuned for future communications and educational materials related to this series of technology enhancements.

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Comments (69)

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I love working on Bank of America short sales, and I was probably the biggest complainer about them 5 years ago. In fact, you can still find those blogs where I ranted and screamed. That's not to say Bank of America is perfect by any stretch -- you want to know who is perfect? Wachovia!

But when I saw that email yesterday, I did a high-five dance because it's about time. B of A has been telling me over and over about its cooperative short sales and preapproved HAFA process but it's been tying my hands to implement, leaving initiation instead to the consumer. I want to help my short sale sellers in Sacramento, not transfer all the work to them, so this is great. I am happy. Do I expect perfection from B of A? Ha, not really. But this is a big improvement. I probably handle more Bank of America short sales in Sacramento than any other type.

Apr 12, 2011 03:30 AM
Mike Linkenauger
Jacksonville, FL
Short Sale Specialist Network

Hi there Elizabeth!  I know you do boatloads of these short sales as well.  The bottom line with Bank of America is that they ARE getting better.  Wells Fargo Financial is PERFECT as well.  Wachovia is one of my favorites and Litton is right up there also.


The short sale process times at Bank of America have improved dramatically, and with new procedures like this, will continue to improve.   It is about progress, not perfection. Their escalation teams have improved as well.  Am I the only one that remembers a few years ago when negotiators would literally just "loose" the file after they had been processing them for a couple months, only for the next negotiator to get tired of working with you and "swithch" negotiators suddenly.

I currently have my hands in 5,000-10,000 active short sale listings around the country, and that number grows quickly.  Trust me, short sale processes and time periods with Bank of America, in general, ARE getting better.

Apr 12, 2011 03:53 AM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Thank you for the information today.  Good read.


Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Apr 12, 2011 05:30 AM
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

BANK OF AMERICA CAN KISS MY YOU KNOW WHAT. Is this supposed to make me happy? Should I supposed to be doing the happy dance because of this? Should I be shouting for joy? I agree 100% with Karen's comment-Number 3. That's all I am going to say. Thanks Mike for letting us know about this.

Apr 12, 2011 05:52 AM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

It makes you wonder how Bank of America rated so high when they are held in such low estimation by the agents here.

Apr 12, 2011 06:25 AM
Mike Linkenauger
Jacksonville, FL
Short Sale Specialist Network

I hear you.  I was amazed and wouldn't have even put them in the top five myself.  They are still way off and have a long way to go before they catch up to even other major lenders such as Wells Fargo and Chase.  Please note that Bank of America was also noted as #5 or #6 on the list of Worse lenders to work short sales with.  Frankly, I still have major problems with them from time to time, heck, I even drew national media attention a couple months ago to one of our deals where they refused to honor their own approval letter

One reality I would like to point out, and this may expain why agents are on here fussing about how bad Bank of America is.   A couple years ago, Bank of America was the worst of the worst lenders to work short sales with, hands down.  Countrywide, prior to merging with Bank of America, was also at the bottom of the list.  Bank of America spent YEARS developing a reputation as being horrible to work short sales with.  There was a period in 2008-2009 where we would not even list Bank of America short sales anymore.  Because of THIS tradition of unbelievably poor service, it has been a slow climb to even get up to par with the poor service standards provided by OTHER major lenders and servicers. 

In other words, the main reason why they have such a poor reputation on here, is due to the fact that they have ALWAYS had a poor reputation.  It has been a long climb towards gaining SOME agents trust to now be considered "mediocre" by many standards.  Those of us, such as Elizabeth, Satar, myself and MANY others who process and close Bank of America short sales like clockwork have noticed major improvements over the last eighteen months since they started using Equator in December 2010.

And when our experience is vast and on a national level, it becomes fact.

While they do have a long way to go, they have improved.

Apr 12, 2011 06:48 AM
Amy Law
Alliance Properties - Crosby, TX

Funny. I did not get that email. But I did get an email from a guy named Teo. It said,

"Amy my name is Teo I am the assign negotiator on this loan. Please email me back with ph# so I can call you to let you know process & answer any questions you might have. Thanks"

The title of the email was a random string of numbers. I thought, "Oh CRAP" I didn't pay a bill and it has gone to a negotiator!!!!" I started checking all of my accounts. I had NO idea what bank he was from, or which loan he was referring to. I thought it had something to do with one of my personal accounts!!!! So, I emailed him back, "to which loan are you referring to?" He then replied with an address of one of my listings. Whew!!! Not my personal problem then. Then it hit me...a negotiator on a BoA shortsale before a contract??? What the heck???

So, now I know. And, appearantly the system isn't quite right yet, since the information that is going out is spotty.

Apr 12, 2011 08:17 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

That's very fear would be that they will issue an approval higher than the market will allow, but we'll see how it all plays out.

Apr 12, 2011 08:25 AM
Lee Ann Obenauer
Metro Roberts Realty - Buffalo, NY

I am currently working with Bank of America. The process seems to be going quite well.  I do not have an offer yet, but my client has submitted all of the necessary forms and all of their finanical information and have been approvided for the short sale. I am keeping my fingers crossed that when I do  get an offer, it will go somewhat smoothly.

Apr 12, 2011 08:29 AM
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes


Paul- It is disgusting how some agents take marching orders from the lenders! We don't work for the lenders. We work for our sellers. Offers on short sales are bi lateral agreements between a buyer and a seller.

I'm 1000% with you...

Bank of America has gotten much better then they were a year ago in PROCESSING Short Sales...

Working in the best interest of the homeowner to help avoid foreclosure? Working in the best interest of the real estate market in general to move forward?

We'll see... but I'll put money on it that it's just another PR campaign.



Apr 12, 2011 08:54 AM
Allen Deaver
Sky Realty - Kyle, TX
Allen Deaver

I have done many Short Sales with other Lender's, but Bank of Un-America takes the cake. The last home I listed with Bank of Un-America was a nightmare.  In the future I will refer all Bank of Un-America Short Sales to someone else.

Apr 12, 2011 10:00 AM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Mike, I have mixed feelings. I think many agents do. At the top of the heap is the red tape no matter how you slice it, and the fact that a crappy BPO by an overworked agent can erase months of hard work. 

Apr 12, 2011 01:33 PM

From Reno.  As a buyer who is currently trying to complete a deal on a short sale loaned through BofA, I can tell you that this process has been extremely frustrating in my case.  Not so much because of the length of time - we are 68 days from initial offer to buyer, 48 days since accepting BofA counter - but because nothing we're told is ever true.  Negotiator says that all approval letters are done so that we can open escrow (sellers negotiated promissory note for the insurance lien, need just the official approval letter), but they aren't in the Equator system yet.  Been told "any" day now for nearly three weeks.  So, while maybe the process is smoother, it doesn't seem to be in my case.

Apr 12, 2011 01:40 PM
Michael Ford
Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes - Marion, AR
Matching Families with Homes

Great News and thanks for sharing the update.  Short Sales need to be easy. 

Apr 12, 2011 02:01 PM
Mike Russell
Mike Russell Real Estate Group - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate

BofA still has a long way to go, they declined my documents 3 times, all for BS reasons. They even called me to tell me that they were rejecting the documents because they couldn't find the buyer in the system and had purged all of the documents.

They will sit back and blame everything on equator, they are still the problem. Wells Fargo has them beat hands down.

Apr 12, 2011 03:52 PM
Jason Killam
Beach and Mountain Properties, LLC - Myrtle Beach, SC
Make Every Moment Count!

This is Good News!!! We do several BOA transactions/listings. Thanks for the information!

Apr 14, 2011 09:12 AM
Mike Linkenauger
Jacksonville, FL
Short Sale Specialist Network

I'm taking all of this as "good news" as well.  We'll see how things play out over the coming months.  I do agree that it is frightening that Bank of America will be dictating a list price, but how is that different from an REO listing?  Reality is, if they want to sell the property, and it is overpriced, eventually they will come down on it.  As many of you have experienced with Bank of America, they will refuse one offer, only to accept one much less a few months up the road.  Hopefully they can streamline a process to avoid all of this and get these things approved in a timely manor.  We do short sales in Jacksonville Florida ourselves, and Bank of America is without a doubt easier to work with than they were a few years ago.

Apr 15, 2011 06:24 AM
Mike Linkenauger
Jacksonville, FL
Short Sale Specialist Network

Have any of you guys submitted any bank of america short sale packages on Equator yet without an offer?  Curious to see if you guys are seeing them take action on them yet.

Apr 20, 2011 05:44 PM
Stephanie Arnett
Mississippi Magnolia - Starkville, MS
Best REALTOR in Starkville | Crypto + Seller Rep

Thank You!!

Nov 17, 2011 04:49 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I am starting to use e-quater and it seems that is the way the banks want to go seems like extra work but I am new to the process

Mar 31, 2012 02:20 AM