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.