Another Fine Banking Representative

Managing Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Rand Realty License # 49FA1074963

PugI got a call today regarding one of my listings from the lender on the property. The person was in the collections department, and it was one of those calls lenders sometimes make on a distress property. However, I think somewhere someone lost the memo that common sense would be a good idea, as I journeyed into bizarro bank land with this rube. 

After informing me that this was an attempt to collect and debt and all information collected would be used for that purpose, I reminded her that I was the broker, not the debtor. She was undeterred. She then asked me what the address was of the property, and I told her she gave me the address when I first answered the phone.  She was clearly following a script. She asked me to fax the listing agreement, which was hilarious- it had been faxed so many times I had them on speed dial. When I asked to whose attention it should be faxed, she said just fax it, it will get here. That went back and forth a few times too, but I finally got from her that the account number would go on the cover letter. Again. 

Then we really went into orbit. She wasked me at what number I could be reached. I reminded her that she had just called me. She again asked for the number. I said "the number you just called." No, she needed a number. 

We went around in circles, on half a dozen other details that were either self evident or information already volunteered by this person. What made it so peculiar was the arrogant attitude. SHE was the bank. SHE was the boss. This is a switchboard grunt, clearly, a low level collector at best, and not a negotiator. 

This is the caliber of person dealing with the public at the big box bank. If she worked at a restaurant or office she'd have been sacked her first day if she conducted herself like this. Anywhere else (like for example, J. Philip Real Estate), such obtuse, arrogant robotic ineptitude would never be tolerated. We have MBAs out of work while this one collects a check for...what?  Something is wrong with this picture. Is it too much to ask that the people reaching out to the public from the banks at least know how to deal with the public? 

Comments (74)

Isaac Bensussen
Pacific Coast Real Estate Group - La Jolla, CA

When Banks begin paying more money to robo-callers they might get a higher caliber of people. Trained callers. Receptive callers. Perceptive callers. Responsive callers. Everyone will win. 

Sep 05, 2011 07:01 AM
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

So glad I am not the only one dealing with this challenge.

I now have to keep a list in my purse of all my short sale addresses, owner names, and last 4 of ssn. If the bank calls you and you are actually not SITTING at your desk waiting for their call, with immediate access to the info they request, they put in the notes of the file that the realtor is not cooperative!

Yes, learned this the hard way.

Sep 05, 2011 07:28 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Why were you so accommodating? I would have ended the call by simply saying you are not the debtor period.

Sep 05, 2011 07:38 AM
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

It is amazing that the banks received all the TARP money and all the money for HAMP and HAFA and they couldn't spend some of it to get decent people in their short sales department.  My thinking is that they want them to be "strategically incompetent"  How can banks who process millions of debit and credit transactions every day 24/7 and rarely miss or lose a transaction yet lose listing agreements and purchase offers on a regular basis.  The banks are technology leaders yet they still have us faxing to old fax machines.  Equator has helped somewhat.

Sep 05, 2011 07:41 AM
Jim McCormack
Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-796-6898 - Murfreesboro, TN
Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure

This behavior is standard at the large and regional banks and mortgage companies.


Sep 05, 2011 08:12 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

This is probably the same caliber worker the banks hired to do loans several years back when all anyone needed to qualify was a pulse.  The only requirement those loan officers of yore needed apparently was a resume to include pizza delivery previously.  (If you believe what was stated on CNBC's House of Card awhile back). Look how well that all turned out.  I'm just not surprised by anything much these days.

Sep 05, 2011 08:14 AM
Rocky Dole
Revelation Real Estate - Maricopa, AZ

I think the problem here is in the caliber of people that the banks are able to obtain.  The banks generally pay only a very small wage.  Because of this fact, only the bottom level workers are generally attracted to these low paying jobs.  We are probably lucky if they can even speak English.  Until the banks start paying these people a decent salary and start lessening their workload we will probably continue to see this situation.  Also, there is generally very little if any training involved in these positions.

Sep 05, 2011 09:46 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

J. Philip:

How frustrating talking with lender is now a days.  And in most cases we have to do this over and over again.  Help.

Sep 05, 2011 10:59 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I like the banks that call me to ask me questions of the seller. I tell them why don't you just call them? But they are undeterred & just keep rambling on. After I tell them I don't know the answer to any of their questions, they hang up in a huff. I'm not sure why or how being a listing agent has to do with answering their questions. What about someone's privacy?

Sep 05, 2011 11:27 AM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

I am going round and around with a negotiator at BOfA.  This has been going on for over 4 months and last week, I finally went over his head (I found a way).  Hopefully we will close the end of the month.

Sep 05, 2011 12:49 PM
Deb Espinoza
Stage Presence Homes, San Diego Real Estate - Ramona, CA
GRI, Broker, SRS,ABR ePro, SFR, CNE

Hello Phil and welcome to my world. If this didn't piss me off so much it would be funny that people are so stinking stupid. It's a wonder that any short sale deal ever gets done with the incompetent boobs they hire

Sep 05, 2011 01:39 PM
Robert Rucker III
Fairbanks, AK

Hello J Philip,

Great post. You are to be commended for your patience. Thanks for sharing.

Sep 05, 2011 02:41 PM
Digital Digital
Alachua, FL
full service

Hi Philip,

Thanks for sharing your interesting encounter.

Have a wonderful week!

Sep 05, 2011 03:26 PM
Louise Thaxton NMLS 69996
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp Louisiana NMLS#2289 Equal Housing Lender - Leesville, LA
Military Mtg Specialist - 866-960-9115 VA FHA USDA

Phil - it is no wonder that some of these big banks are in the shape they are in - and that it is next to impossible to get anything done - when the employees are of this caliber!

Sep 05, 2011 04:24 PM
Valerie M. Blake
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Distinctive Marketing - Exceptional Service

Over the course of two weeks I got three calls from the a collection organization wanting information on the sale of my client's property. Interestingly, it was not a property I had listed and when I inquired as to how they found me I learned that my name, photo and contact information appeared next to the listing on a mass-market website.  Rather than reading the listing information, they just hit "contact the agent for a showing" and up came my number.  I had to escalate to the supervisor to be removed from their call list. (And, BTW, I would never have given them any information even if the seller HAD been my client.)

Sep 06, 2011 02:12 AM
Peter Michelbach

JP -- we live in a complicated world...

...had a similar "iron curtain" encounter with my building company who went with the wrong electrician, and wrong electrical plans. Luckily the "mish-mosh" was discovered in time...While I was just fed up, and decided that I would have been better off going again owner builder, I feel sorry for your distress clients,  the additional frustration and your time loss. Hope all goes well. Peter

Sep 06, 2011 02:19 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I am dealing with people like this now and it is very frustrating.  Thanks for the reminder of why National Banks need to be made to pay.

Sep 06, 2011 03:27 PM
Michael Singh,Broker
Singh Real Estate - Corral de Tierra, CA

The joys of working with banks  

Sep 06, 2011 08:19 PM
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

I would think that a combination of Karen (#5) and Dan (#42) in response would work wonders with them getting things straightened out relatively quickly.  Especially since your hourly rate is obviously above $50/hr.

Sep 07, 2011 07:29 AM
Kathy Stoltman
Balboa Real Estate - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

The banks need a serious infusion of common sense.  In this age of technology I find it incomprehensible that information and documents cannot be uploaded and attached to the loan# in one file in the clouds or some other secure location, where all those working on the loan can see what is going on. 

Sep 07, 2011 09:00 AM