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REALTORS®…Not the Only Profession in Need of Short Sale Training

Real Estate Agent

REALTORS®…Not the Only Profession in Need of Short Sale Training


I have had it with AMS Servicing!  AMS Servicing is one of the companies outsourced by Bank of America to process HAFA short sale transactions.  I have been working a HAFA short sale with AMS Servicing for nine months now.  Today, we are no closer to closing this transaction than we were nine months ago!  No…I am not kidding!  In fact, I have not found a single person at AMS Servicing that has a clue as to how to process a short sale transaction!  Even an associate at Bank of America confirmed that AMS Servicing does not have a clue.  What's worst?  What in the world is going on at Bank of America that they still have this company on payroll?


In my opinion, if the government is going to design programs to help homeowners in need, then for heaven's sake…help them!  As a REALTOR® who is trained in the art of short sales and one who has invested the time and resources into earning a short sale designation, I am outraged!  I cannot successfully facilitate a HAFA short sale on behalf of my clients if I do not have a trained professional on the other end of the transaction!  It's just not possible!


To all the lawmakers, financial institutions, and business entities involved in creating and making these types of programs available for homeowners, I gladly say...Thank You!  However, homeowners are desperate for programs that work! 


When it comes to short sales, the banking industry is notorious for requesting the services of real estate agents who have undergone short sale training and those that have earned one or more short sale designations.  In return, real estate agents are requesting the same!  We are tired of calling your "scripted" help desk and are tired of working with your untrained staff.  In this business, REALTORS® are not the only professionals in need of short sale training, bankers need it as well!  So get on it!


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Lisa Dunham, MBA
Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Alexandria-Kingstowne
703.562.1800 (office)  |  703.298-6546 (direct)
Licensed in VA, MD
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Comments (4)

Kristin Hamilton CA REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway California Realty - Beaumont, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

I am just starting a B of A short sale right now. I am trying to get my name on the file so I can submit two offers. What confused me was I told my seller to call BofA in May and tell them that I am listing the home so now in August they don't have my name on it? My seller told me he gave them my name and email. I am hoping the rest will go smoother when they get me up and running.

I had my seller call as the bank expects the homeowner tell the bank they are short selling it so they wouldn't be surprised. I thought this was a rule; tell the bank they are not interested in a loan modification told to me at a B of A short sale seminar taught by a B of A West Coast Manager in July. I was surprised when I logged into Equator and found there was already a file but no agent. What???

Aug 27, 2011 12:46 PM
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Kristin, what you described is consistent with BoA.  It only gets worst from here.  I can only hope your short sale is not a HAFA short sale through AMS Servicing.  If it is it will never close.  If it is a traditional short sale, you may have a chance.  In my experience, one of the major problems with BoA is the lack of consistency.  It is very difficult to find two representatives to give you the same information and procedures. I found the entire process extremely frustrating and a complete waste of my time!  I will likely not take on another short sale through BoA.  It is just not worth the aggravation!  All the best to you moving forward!  

Aug 27, 2011 03:14 PM
Georgia Perez
Windermere Real Estate / WSI - Seattle, WA
Broker, ABR, CNE, Seattle, WA 206-356-9872

Lisa, I handle a lot of Short Sales and have closed many with BofA. The best that I can say is they are wildly inconsistant. For my HAFA qualified short sale listings, BofA had me and my sellers work with REDC. I won't say they sound much better than AMS. The saddest part is that the HAFA program, at its best, gives the homeowner some protections against being asked for cash or promissory notes and gives relo money and governs the amts the additonal lien holders get. When you are up against the wall in your experience with AMS or the seller has a need for things to go more quickly - they may actually need to "decline" HAFA so that they will be allowed to go the "traditional"short sale route and maybe get through before they are unable to wait it out any longer. I agree with you, this is not living up to the promise the program implied for these distressed home owners!

Aug 27, 2011 04:39 PM
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Georgia, I have closed multiple short sales as well.  I have also served as a dual agent in a short sale transaction and have successfully closed all of them.  I have never, ever wanted to walk away from a short sale transaction, but this one has practically driven me to that limit.  If I was not totally dedicated to my client, I would walk away from this transaction in a heartbeat!  This is actually my first short sale with Bank of America and it has been a nightmare from day one!  I realize that all short sales are tedious, HAFA or not, but nobody... I mean nobody at AMS Servicing can give me a definitive answer about anything!  It is just INSANE!

Last week, I actually did suggest to my client that we close the file with AMS Servicing and try the traditional short sale.  I am hopeful that a traditional short sale will be a better route for her.  Of course, this angers me because my client qualifies for HAFA and should be able to capitalize on the benefits of the HAFA program.  Walking away from the program because of the incompetence of AMS Servicing is not an issue that I am willing to let go unresolved.  

Meanwhile, my client has two liens on the property.  The 2nd lien holder has been an absolute BREEZE to work with.  Approval in 48 hours and anything I have ever requested from them has been delivered within the same time frame.  I love HSBC!

Aug 28, 2011 02:42 AM