Bank Of America, Do You Care About Veterans?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747
https://activerain.com/droplet/Ml9

VeteranBank Of America, Do You Care About Veterans?

Negative blog posts aren't our style, but there comes a time when you pull out the biggest stick you've got in your arsenal, and it's social media.  I've tried phone calls to the people at my immediate level and frankly they just don't seem to care about communicating to this REALTOR(R).  My client is a friend of mine for the last 20 years.  An Air Force veteran with a partial disability in need of a VA loan.

You know how hard it is to find a VA eligible home that is mostly move in ready for under $75,000 in our area?  We'll it's not easy.  We've been working on finding a home for about a year.  LOTS of homes shown.  Offers written and declined because of bidding wars.  A 7 month wait on a short sale offer that the bank chose to foreclose rather than negotiate. 

And finally, we find a home that works.  A Freddie Mac foreclosure.  Good neighborhood, good price, just big enough to suit Jim and his family.  We don't mess around, full price and a smidge more, and it's ours (or so we think).

Now normally this is where you expect things to become routine.  Home inspection we can live with.  Only one VA required repair.  Fortunately the investor approves the repair and we scramble to get it finished.  But closing November 16th?  Not happening because Bank of America isn't done yet.  We file an extension until November 30th.  SURELY this will be long enough?  The contract was originally accepted on October 5th.

And it's not like we hadn't been communicating with Bank of America and making it clear we need to get the loan approved and closing scheduled!  So since the 16th doesn't happen we target the day before Thanksgiving....except the servicer goes on vacation and no one is really covering.  You know, they're short staffed and overworked and all that....

Messages continue to be left to the processor and the manager, but no calls back to me.

So now Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we're trying to get cleared by the end of this week to meet the end of the Nov. 30th extension deadline.  Communication is still horrendous.  Finally a call Thursday afternoon and the package is in for final underwriting!  MAYBE this can still happen the next day?? 

And then the crickets start chirping again.  More ignored voicemails and emails.  We're now almost EIGHT weeks after contract acceptance and STILL don't have loan approval.

And I finally reach the manager this afternoon and get the "It's not our job to communicate to you as the agent, it's the sales person's job, and we're overworked and understaffed and we can't provide you a closing date yet".

SERIOUSLY????  Then if you're NOT the right person for me to talk to, WHY didn't someone tell me that?  60 seconds to reply and give me another name wasn't available?  And you think the seller cares that you're overworked and understaffed?

I'll provide that answer:  WE HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 14th TO CLOSE THIS DEAL OR MY AIR FORCE VETERAN LOSES THIS HOME!!!  I was fortunate to talk the rep out of charging my buyer a per diem late fee since we're now on our 2nd extension, but he made it QUITE clear.  THERE WILL BE NO MORE EXTENSIONS!!!

So Bank of America, if you're out there, I need you to bring your "A" game.  NO MORE EXCUSES.  We need you to get this done PRONTO!  Because at this point, I find it highly ironic that a bank with the name AMERICA in it doesn't seem to care about getting Jim the Air Force veteran a HOME of his own!!


You want to talk details, I'm happy to provide them: 
Email:  Liz@LizSpear.com or call my cell:  513-520-5305.  Let's chat, shall we?

Regards,
Bill

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Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
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Ambassador
854,619
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Well...You know how I feel already...Told you that you would need to start driniking...these people are horrendus!!!  When our deal was supposedly out of underwriting, it didn't make it to the closer...although buyers agent was told everything was ready to go..it wasn't.  

My advice...you shouldn't have told them they have until December 14th...they probably think that they have all that time!  Call supervisors and tweet BoA at @bofa_help and they will respond.  They did for me and I was the sellers agent, they may actually talk with you more as you are the buyers agent.  Send them the short link to your post in a private message and LOTS OF LUCK!!!

Nov 30, 2012 09:42 AM #9
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Brenda, I don't think they even knew about the 1st extension, they're just totally operating on their own schedule.  Another Active Rainer already tweeted this for me to that Twitter tag, so they should get it.  They're closed until Monday....we'll get there!

Nov 30, 2012 10:05 AM #10
Rainmaker
631,213
Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA
Frustration, thy name is Bank of America!!! Crossing my fingers that this helps you get some results - keep us posted!!
Nov 30, 2012 11:11 AM #11
Rainmaker
863,796
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Liz and Bill - I suggested and also reposted your blog on google plus. The more exposure, the greater your chance of it been seen by B of A. They don't need any more negative publicity.

I lost out on a deal last month after a 6 month approval wait for a single B of A  lien.  B of A didn't have a time line even though it was Hafa approved. When  B of A  finally signed off on the approval letter, they expected my buyer to close the transaction within 2 days or they would be charged per diem.  Home inspection, disclosures and title weren't even performed. My buyers backed out because they felt pressured by the bank.  What give...Bank of America...are you really America's bank???

Nov 30, 2012 11:35 AM #12
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Nancy, We'll update here if we here from them or it gets resolved.

Sarah and Les, Thanks for the additional spread of this message!  Two days??  It can't be done what you needed done.  I was lucky there was a contact number for me to call today because the initial extension form I submitted with per diem waived was rejected.  I called the rep and explained it REALLY wasn't the buyer being the trouble, but BoA, and that my buyer and I were doing everything he could (and yes, I played the Air Force vet card), and fortunately he cut us a break on the per diem part.  Otherwise to have gotten tagged with per diem would have been insult to injury.

Nov 30, 2012 01:34 PM #13
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Absolutely outrageous Liz & Bill.  It sounds like you should have gone to any lender but BofA.  Good luck.

Nov 30, 2012 07:26 PM #14
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Conrad, Unfortunately this is the case of the buyer making the pick, and then you get the shuffle within the big bank system.  His rep is in California, then the grunt work is being done in Atlanta, and the manager in ATL is the one who has twice dropped the overworked/understaffed line on us.  While I can sympathize with her, ultimately I truly can't care about that....ALL that matters is my buyer is getting his life messed with because BoA can't get their act together and finish this loan.

Nov 30, 2012 08:47 PM #15
Ambassador
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Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Bill, you are not the type of person to post this publically unless it has really been awful. Most of the times it is the negotiator that got handed the file. Good luck on getting their attention. Twitter works good for me when I have issues with service from major corporations. 

 

Nov 30, 2012 11:09 PM #16
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

put this in a couple of places and hope someone will notice.  What a cluster.  Just went through a similar time line with another lender.  I put blame squarely on loan officer who make our mutal client a priority. 

Dec 01, 2012 12:43 AM #17
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Missy, You know me pretty well!  I try to keep our blog on a positive outlook, and try to always handle situations at the lowest possible level.  When that doesn't work, it's time to escalate the issue and get my buyer what he deserves.  Several Rainers have added to the Twitterverse this post, so I suspect Monday when BoA Twitter folks come to work they won't be able to miss this.

Tammy, Have definitely done that, and other folks like yourself are helping out.  I don't know how a bank can commit to a routine loan like this and miss the dates so badly.

Dec 01, 2012 03:18 AM #18
Rainmaker
414,937
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Liz & Bill -

I am surprised to see you write a blog like this.  The situation indeed must be horrible.

I must admit I am surprised your buyer is using BofA as a lender too.  I do my best to talk my buyers out of it because our local offices have not had underwriting authority.  The result -- one problem requires a 48 business hour turn around out of state.  "Escalating" means little because they are out of state and they have plenty of people in line before you and due to the way they handle their files -- EVERYONE seems to be in a state of emergency or has waited just as long as you!  Get in line and stay there!

Centralized processing/underwriting is profitable and easier for them to control -- but what does it do to the process for borrowers?  And what if the resolution you send over is not sufficient?  48 more business hours to determine if the revised resolution will do.  Throw in a holiday here and there and we are talking MAJOR delays.  Try as they may even managers are pretty much powerless to speed it along.  They can listen -- but they can't seem to do ANYTHING.  Hopefully the social media group can move the file along -- which I think is a shame to have to do absent a real issue with the file. The problem is that this type of timeline is not that unusual with them.  VA loans take a bit longer anyway -- and they just exacerbate longer timeline loans (in my opinion) and make it ridiculous.

On a 20% down perfect credit paycheck earner loan I think BofA can probably still perform decently, but after my last few experiences with them -- I have to only conclude that they do not want to do FHA/VA loans.  I've even had them bungle a 20% down buyer so badly that two years later when I contacted him -- he was still ranting about his experience with BofA.  And the last two government backed loans I recall with them (one as a listing and one as a selling agent) were both 70 plus days to close.  Ridiculous but I think this is business as usual.  One buyer I had (who had very little means) got hooked into them by a loan officer on a mandatory pre-qual REO property and they offered them an eighth less of a rate  -- but by the end of the process even they said it wasn't worth the "savings.".  Late fees and stress add up!  The best is when BofA tries to charge late fees to buyers on REOs that are using BofA as a lender.  I just love when they try to do that.

I'm sorry it is hurting a veteran this way when he is trying to use his WELL EARNED benefit. 

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Tni

Dec 01, 2012 04:51 AM #19
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Tni, Yes, this post is certainly out of character for us.  The buyer picked BoA, and he surely regrets it now.  I don't think he or we expected this kind of difficulty.  And the scenario you describe, the centralized processing is at the heart of this.  Poor communication regarding needs, if any communication at all.  The problems snowball from there.  When we have our closing scheduled we'll update.

Dec 01, 2012 05:13 AM #20
Rainer
215,519
Marshall Enterprises
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Antiques, Lawn Care, and Trashouts

This is outrageous.  Have you spoken to your local media?  Sometimes, that helps.  Talk to your congressional representatives, too.

I wish you and Jim and his family Godspeed....you will need it.

Dec 01, 2012 05:16 AM #21
Rainmaker
320,910
Sherry Scales
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Leander, TX
Realtor, for Austin, TX and surrounding areas

My client finally said, enough is enough on a short sale. They put an offer in over 9 months ago and all we have gotten is the run around.  Bank finally counter offered at 30K over appraised value! What was the bank thinking?  Something doesn't smell right at BofA.

Dec 01, 2012 05:20 AM #22
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

M.E., I think we'll get there, just need BoA management to step in and make sure this gets the proper priority to finish the deal.  The "overworked, understaffed" thing just doesn't cut it when the buyer risks losing their home.

Sherry, What's nuts is this is even a short sale.  Just a "routine" VA loan for my buyer.  Shouldn't have been this challenging.

Dec 01, 2012 05:22 AM #23
Rainmaker
544,206
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Bill, as a few people have mentioned, this isn't something that you'd normally write. UNLESS, it needs to be written. And I believe this does. Whether the bank has the word "America" in it or not, they really shouldn't stumble around like this. Especially when it comes to the people that are, or have, defended our Country! BofA, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Dec 01, 2012 06:38 AM #24
Ambassador
2,727,856
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Eric, Anyone who knows us, knows we don't do venom.  We try to maintain a positive outlook, enjoy life and our work.  This experience is sucking all the enjoyment out of finding the right home for him.  It's costing him extra money, preventing him from making plans to move, and frankly, this blog shouldn't have needed to be written.  We need to complete the loan, close the purchase and let Jim and his family enjoy their new home.

Dec 01, 2012 06:44 AM #25
Rainmaker
570,170
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

BLiz...keep us posted.  I had a client once....probably the most well-qualified buyer ever, big downpayment, high income, impeccable credit....insisted on using BofA b/c that's where he did his business banking....it was a nightmare like you describe.  It finally got done but it should not have been so hard.  Let us know if we can help with tweeting this to BofA or anything......

Dec 01, 2012 08:44 AM #26
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Christine, Several Rainers have been tweeting links to this post and I've got almost 100 short URL clicks so far, so I know it's getting attention.  My timing was probably off for BoA to respond since this was Friday late after normal business hours.  We'll see if my phone rings Monday from them.

I think in essence the system Tni describes in her comment is at the heart of the problem.  The centralized processing may be more "efficient" for them, but it certainly disregards the client and their agents.  If it's not adequately staffed, it's a recipe for disappointed clients, but they still have the loan and make their money when it finally does close.

Dec 01, 2012 08:51 AM #27
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

UPDATE:   THIS HOME DID CLOSE IN DECEMBER WITH TWO DAYS TO SPARE ON THE FINAL DEADLINE.  BUYERS ARE VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THEIR NEW HOME, AND NOT BIG FANS OF A CERTAIN BANK.

Jan 05, 2013 09:10 AM #28
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