I want to start today by sending our thoughts and prayers to anyone who was in the path of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy and I hope that you, your family and loved ones are all okay. Mother Nature can sure wreak havoc and destruction and the extent of the damage is unbelievable.
I also want to acknowledge Father Time today, as you should have slept in an hour later because you turned your clocks back last night.
For people who live in states prone to natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, etc.), when these events happen, they’re still catastrophic.
The Northeast is ill-prepared for these disasters and it’s hard to process that this could have happened to them. As a born and raised New Yorker, most folks in Manhattan have never experienced more than a blizzard or blackout, so to be without power, food, gas, public transportation, internet, cell phone service and possibly the loss of your home (or life) is entirely unimaginable.
To add insult to injury, a major snow storm is headed there now, expected to arrive by Wednesday.
People’s lives changed overnight and this is very similar to what is happening with mortgages held by Bank of America (how’s that for a segue?)
If you’ve got a Bank of America loan and you’re experiencing any sort of distress, you want to consider a loan modification, short sale or other exit strategy right away. Why? Because your loan could be sold at any time, which exposes you to a lot of uncertainty.
Consider this, Bank of America is paying homeowners anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 when they short sale their home. The payment is made at the close of escrow and our clients are thrilled to have this relocation assistance as a consolation prize at the end of an unfortunate journey.
I speak to many homeowners who are investigating their options and want to extend their situation for as long as possible. Bank of America just sent a letter out to their short sale agents with a “heads up” reminding us that they are the servicer for hundreds of investors. This means they send out your monthly statement and collect your payments, answer your calls but they’re not the decision makers regarding the loan itself.
The email I received tells how their investors can release Bank of America and transfer the mortgages to another company. If this happens, you as the homeowner will get a letter with a 15 day notice that your loan is being transferred. What does this mean to you? Even if you were in the middle of a short sale, the process starts over again with the new lender. From my experience, you’ll either be with Green Tree or M&T Bank and neither are giving any money to you at close of escrow.
Our clients doing a short sale with Bank of America cannot believe how simple the process is (it’s beyond simple actually), how quickly they close and how much money they get (over $10,000 to our most recent client.) To miss out on this opportunity is a shame and I don’t want you to say “but nobody told me.”
Have a great week!