Here Are Some of the Problems With AMS and Bank of America Preapproved HAFA Short Sales

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

There is an enormous benefit for me as a writer about homebuying for About.com and also working in the short sale business. That benefit means that I can talk first-hand about the horrid problems with short sales. I'm down in the trenches with all the short sale agents. I share the pain.

A client told me yesterday that she has no idea how I manage to do my job amid the frustration, incompetence and downright lack of human intelligence available in the short sale sphere. I have a sense of humor. That's how I do it. And I don't expect too much, so I'm not often disappointed.

As a Sacramento short sale agent, I handle my share of AMS and Bank of America short sales. I'm sure all of you have read that Bank of America is laying off 30,000 people. This news arrived recently on the heels of little-cat-feet-news that Bank of America was laying off 3,500 employees. I guess they figured they could afford to get rid of 10 times more than that number. Because they can hire AMS to do their short sales, and then lock the door and throw away the key.

In my world, nothing gets any better over at AMS. I have several short sales right now that are preapproved HAFA short sales. For the unitiated and madness-spared readers, this means the seller, the property and the sales price has been approved. The government set up guidelines for a HAFA short sale. They are supposed to be reviewed within 10 business days. These HAFAs fit the criteria, and the offers are on the nose. Yet, we're going on month #3 without any resolution from AMS and Bank of America.

Why? Because, in part, of HUD revisions. Every couple of weeks or so, AMS requests a HUD revision. We revise the HUD and send it. They ask for things such as please add a date to delinquent taxes, even though we have sent them a delinquent tax bill and we have identified the delinquent taxes as First Half 2010 / 2011. Then, they might ask for a period or a hyphen. Perhaps a middle initial. Maybe they want a different closing date?

Then the closing date will come and go, and they'll ask for another HUD. If we send a different closing date, then we will need to send a revised Terms of Sale. And the process starts over. It's sort of like Groundhog Day. You'd think that AMS could figure out what Bank of America wants on a HUD and be consistent first time around, but that would be too easy. I've lost count of the HUDs I have sent.

My solution to this nightmare is to never, ever, do another prepproved HAFA short sale with Bank of America and AMS. Because a seller can do a regular HAFA. It doesn't need to be preapproved. You save no time with the preapproved HAFA process. None whatosever. In fact, many California sellers -- unless they desperately need the $3,000 or fear the short sale won't get approved because of a cash-out refi -- don't even need the HAFA. They've got SB 458 for protection.

Lots of California sellers and especially their Sacramento short sale agents can just kiss AMS and HAFA goodbye. I'm so envious of those people. But, I'll just return to calling AMS. I called this morning at 5:53, 6:38, 6:50, 7:16 and now, 7:25. Nothing but voice mail. It's almost 10:30 AM on the East Coast.

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Weintraub and Wallace Realtors

 

 

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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  1. Jose Siojo Santos 09/15/2011 03:45 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
California Sacramento County Sacramento
Groups:
California Short Sales, REO's, and Foreclosures
Posts to Localism
Short Sales Specialists
Lyon Realtors
Diary of a Realtor
Tags:
elizabeth weintraub
sacramento short sale agent
sb 458
ams short sale
ams and bank of america short sale
ams and bank of america hafa short sale

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Rainmaker
1,282,480
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ
EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

Thanks for all the tips.  B of A is always difficult to deal with.

Sep 15, 2011 03:36 AM #1
Rainmaker
271,554
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

I am going to ship this blog post to my Congresswoman's office this morning. I suggest that all the AR members who appreciate Elizabeth's posts do the same. This BS just goes on and on with no relief in sight. Great plans like pre-approved, ten day processing prove to be as much of a mirage as the other Federal programs that haven't helped the housing industry. Congress is supposed to provide oversight. It's about time they took a closer look at the reality of the programs they are funding.

Sep 15, 2011 03:53 AM #2
Rainmaker
2,190,577
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Celia: I googled my negotiator as I sat on hold listening to her voice mail message. I was wondering what kind of person AMS hires. This one is a high school graduate who recently worked as an assistant manager at a call center. Before that, she was a debt collector -- that line of work is rewarding. She watches Wheel of Fortune and the Price is Right. Her favorite musicians are Marilyn Manson and Rage Against the Machine. She likes bowling. But she likes cats so she can't be all bad.

Sep 15, 2011 03:54 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,190,577
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Thanks, Dave. This is nonsense, I agree. They get full-price offers from fully qualified buyers, and they can manage to find a way to screw it up for months. I'm shocked these poor buyers are even willing to wait because they were promised fast approval. One of my sellers is so mad that he says he is going to march into Bank of America's office and throw his house keys at them.

Not like they will care.

Sep 15, 2011 03:57 AM #4
Rainmaker
592,790
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

More over-regulation and trying to keep all the i's dotted and t's crossed. The idiocy that runs these transactions is just insane.

Sep 15, 2011 04:22 AM #5
Rainmaker
2,190,577
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I don't mind over-regulation, actually. What I object to are the piece-meal changes and revisions made over and over and over. Why is it that AMS can't find a mistake with 2 maps and a flashlight? Why must they fix one item and then ask for another? Why can't they review the entire HUD at one time and ask for all revisions at once? Because they are incapable. That's why.

Although, the negotiator did call me about 20 minutes ago. She was very pleasant and happy that we made her most recent revision on the HUD. She said we'll get approval by Monday. Since I had her on the phone, I asked about another short sale that supposedly was sent for approval on the 12th. Oops. That one ended up back in her folder by mistake. Good thing I checked. She sent it back for approval.

Sep 15, 2011 04:33 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,650,208
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - Sounds like a situation where regulation has run amok.  It's not so much the over-regulation, as it is the multitude of ineffective programs designed for troubled homeowners.   You have an unbelievable amount of fortitude.

Sep 15, 2011 03:59 PM #7
Rainmaker
354,363
Melanie Ross
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
Benicia CA & Vallejo CA Real Estate, 707-319-2828

Can you spell IDIOTS?  It is amazing, I am bowled over with the ineptness.  Every BofA HAFA pre approved SS has been a disaster. I get steamed just thinking about it. And the clients think they will get a Deed In Lieu if the 120 days passes and no offer?  I got a bridge to sell you in desert.

Sep 16, 2011 03:08 PM #8
Rainmaker
2,190,577
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Myrl: I don't know if it's fortitude as much as I've adjusted to the ineptness. Oh, wait.

Hi Melanie: Bank of America and AMS appear to laugh in the face of federal regulations. But just the mere fact that there are federal regulations for HAFA means there are ways to completely ignore them.

Sep 17, 2011 03:58 AM #9
Rainer
77,312
Sara Mehrpouyan
Rodeo Realty 818-903-2040 - Los Angeles, CA
Short Sale Agent - Los Angeles

Hi Elizabeth. I had to make at least 10 revisions to the HUD by the time AMS approved the Bank of America HAFA short sale in Los Angeles. They wanted the buyer's side of the HUD filled in, etc etc and had to resubmit the RASS a couple of times.

Sep 17, 2011 11:24 AM #10
Rainmaker
168,544
Valerie Spaulding
Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA - Belfair, WA
Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise!

I think we are all seeing the same thing - resubmit - resubmit - resubmit - then they say Oh we're EXPEDITING this file - okay so we get it done in 6 months instead of 12??......   crazy.  One day before closing the final HUD comes out and a new rule throws $5 - yes $5 in the HUD for county tax stamps - guess what - that $5 is going to break the bank so they disapprove - thankfully the buyers that hang in there -hang in there because they love the house and they love the price.... A true patience game at best.  Time for my next hair appointment to get rid of this grey!.....  lol .

Sep 18, 2011 04:34 AM #11
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Rainmaker
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