Bank of America Short Sales - Setting the Industry Standard

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Bank of America Short Sale


The key to success in any business is communications.  This is equally true for the short sale industry.  Which company sets the standard? Bank of America. Their model needs to be emulated by short sale lenders.  They are leaps ahead in terms of responsive, communications, simplicity and efficiency of processing.  I’ve done hundreds of short sales with dozens of different lenders. No one else comes close to the customer service and systems in place with Bank of America.  Of course, they are not perfect.  But they get better all the time. Here is why, and here is what should be emulated.

Equator Model.  Bank of America’s Equator model is far easier to use than its competitors, even those who also use Equator.

o   Wells Fargo use of Equator – They rely far too much on the agent entering in exact HUD figures, guessing at what is needed in the required fields and answering questions, that are better ascertained by the negotiator or processor. For example, they have a SEVERAL PAGE HUD entry required to be filled out by agents,  compared to ONE PAGE Bank of America requirement. Not only is the Wells Fargo Equator process cumbersome, it is error-prone, especially since expecting someone in the sales field, i.e. a real estate agent, to be a “title agent” number cruncher is overreaching.  I can see how this saves Wells Fargo work, by requiring the agent to fill in the blanks, but it is not customer service oriented.

o    The same can be said for the GMAC Equator usage, which differs from Bank of America, but seems to require the agent to “guess” at filling out some of the questions.

o    The competing system to Equator, RES.net used for example, by Carrington/Vericrest mortgage, is also cumbersome and similar to Wells Fargo’s set up in Equator.  It’s just not user-friendly.

Customer Service.  The short sale lenders need to consider the real estate agent their customer. Bank of America does this. I rarely find other short sale lenders have the same attitude. In fact, most of them feel the agent is working for them, and must “comply” with their system.  One improvement this year is with Chase, who has set up an escalation hot line for agents.  Again, Bank of America needs to be emulated in its customer service. Here is why:

Numerous Lines of Communication

Bank of America offers three ways to communicate with the negotiator (or other persons on the short sale file). They don’t “hide” contact information or prevent the agent from communicating, as do some other lenders, who go as far as refusing to provide email addresses to their negotiators.

·         Bank of America provides a general short sale customer service number, an internal email address for the negotiator and a direct phone number to the negotiator.

·         Bank of America allows and provides direct phone numbers to supervisors of negotiators, and their email addresses, as well as higher up management, without requiring the agent to go through hoops, beg and plead.

Bank of America Twitter Bank of America’s Twitter Help.  I am constantly amazed and impressed by their social media escalation team.  They have moved  transactions for me, gotten last minute approvals and straightened out problems quickly, with interest and results.

These communication practices by Bank of America should be short sale industry standard.  Calling some lenders, and getting their customer service department saying, “No, you cannot have any contact information for the negotiator. They’ll contact YOU when they want” is simply unacceptable in today’s business world.  Communication, efficiency, responsiveness, and a high level of customer service is the key to success in short sale processing, for both the agent, the borrower, the buyer and the lender.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Toll Free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy:
itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

www.ShortSales-EmeraldCoast.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". She has successfully helped hundreds of families avoid foreclosure through short sale along the Emerald Coast of Florida. Wendy Rulnick is knowledgeable in all aspects of short sale, including VA Compromise Sale, FHA HUD pre-foreclosure sale, HAP military PCS, HAFA, Bank of America Coop program and more.  She is also co-founder of www.ShortSaleSuperstars.com and short sale instructor to agents across the United States. Wendy Rulnick sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. 

 

Posted by

"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-650-7883 ext 204

email itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

www.rulnickrealty.com property searches and community info

 

Wendy Rulnick is the marketing choice for sellers on the Emerald Coast who want to list and get their homes and condos sold in Destin, Sandestin, Bluewater Bay, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Kelly Plantation, Regatta Bay, Destiny and more.

Rulnick Realty

 

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Rainmaker
1,282,380
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ
EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

They must have recently made a drastic turn-around, as B of A use to be the worst of the worst on Short Sales.

Feb 12, 2012 03:52 AM #1
Rainmaker
914,008
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I just completed a B of A SS as the buyers agent.  I knew the listing agent as I gave her the file to start with - didn't want to do both sides.  Our B of A HAFA Short Sale took 8 months, with one loan.  Partly because the seller hadn't kept up her HOA payments.  Even if you knock off 2 months, it's still a 6 month Short Sale.  I haven't done nearly as many as you, but my GMAC with one loan took 3 months recently vs. this one.  A royal pain. 

Feb 12, 2012 03:56 AM #2
Rainmaker
504,950
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Jan - I agree - when BOFA outsources to third party vendors, there is a slow down!  That is one specific improvement needed.

Feb 12, 2012 04:00 AM #3
Ambassador
3,689,842
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wendy

I was pretty impressed when reading this, given how much negativity there is out there about BOA. This deserves to be shared - so I suggested it.

Jeff

Feb 12, 2012 05:38 AM #4
Rainmaker
504,950
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
Jeff- Thank you. I've watched them improve over the last few years, and I know they listen to agent feedback.
Feb 12, 2012 06:12 AM #5
Rainmaker
675,126
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Too funny. I still hear nothing but complaints around here about BOA and Equator. Maybe it varies from state to state, I know of 3 recent ones here where BOA auctioned property less than what the existing cash contract was for, another goes to auction soon even though t has a decent contract, and 3rd one, owner just completed DIL because buyers got tired of waiting on BOA and contract would have netted BOA 85=90% of fair market value.  You are the only agent that I have ever hears say thea they were impressed with BOA's short sale process. Oh, I just thought of a 4th BOA short sale on a condo in FL that took well over 1 year. I have the HUD and docs here because I am working with the sellers here in VA. It was a nightmare, and you can bet that they won't ever use BOA again for anything.

Feb 12, 2012 07:27 AM #6
Rainmaker
504,950
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Jeff - I find that amazing. Bank of America is my favorite lender to work short sales with.  I know their system. If I have a problem, I get a response by going through the avenues I outlined in my article.  There are always exceptions. If a company has thousands of employees, all cannot be "perfect", but it's usually a "system", not a person, that creates the opportunity for a good result. When I have an observation and suggest an improvement, they listen.  Watching that company over the past several years, in terms of short sale processing, grow from poor to "excellent" is not something I would say without truly believing it.

Feb 12, 2012 10:41 AM #7
Rainmaker
709,238
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Wendy

I guess there's hope. The BOA short sales I've had have been real challenges and had to go through several buyers before I finally got a responsive negotiator. What got me through is the Twitter help --- THEY were the ones who turned the tide around.

Would love to feel better about Chase's escalation process, too. I escalated once, and I felt like I was talking to the wall!

Feb 23, 2012 03:38 PM #8
Rainmaker
504,950
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Pacita - I agree, the BOFA Twitter Team is the best. We need some other lenders to start doing the same. I did use Chase escalation once, too, but had a good experience.

Feb 23, 2012 09:40 PM #9
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