Today is just one of those days that I wished I had just slept in and taken the day off work - so I am going to take a break and write for a moment so that the I do not bite off the head of the next person that walks through the door! With that said - I am taking a moment to breathe deeply and count to ten. :-)
I am not new to the business as I have been a full time Realtor in the Antelope Valley for over 6 years - but it has just been the past few months that I have started working short pays again. When I first got my license I did one or two in Lancaster & Palmdale, but it seems like these days they are much harder to do - I don't know - maybe it is me because I am getting older and we live in the information age where we have 24/7 access to the Internet, Instant Messenger, 24 hour news channels and the list goes on and on ..... so this being the case why does it take the bank 4 weeks to tell us that they will not accept a short pay???
Now I know that the loss mitigators are very over worked and have huge case loads - so this is NOT a personal attack on them. I am sure that their job really stinks because they are dealing with stressed & emotional homeowners (and agents) . I imagine that since the banks are taking losses on these loans they are probably not hiring an excess amount of staff to process these requests -but what is it going to take for the banks to wake up and smell the coffee that the current system they use is probably costing them much more money in the long run!
I am not sure how the rest of you agents out there feel about this, but it drives me nuts to not be able to get any kind of an answer as to where our file is in the pile of hundreds on their desk. I always try to ask how long to expect to wait before I get any kind of returned call. I do not want to call to much as I know their voice mails are full - and I do not want to wait to long as we are usually running up against an auction date. I am only able to get e-mail address from about 1/2 of the banks I am trying to work with and even then I seldom get a reply. But it seems to me that they would be able to run things much smoother if they used a system like transaction point so we can access 24/7 and see exactly where our file is - and what has been done. Depending on which bank I am dealing with I am sometimes able to at least get a real person who can usually not tell me much other then "yes they got the paperwork" or "it is in review".
I guess the reason this is irritating me so much today is that I have been working on a deal with a lender - who bounces you from the loss mitigators to their attorneys. The attorney I was dealing with was actually very nice and as helpful as she could be - but mostly they seem to be nothing more then the paper pushers and can not make any real decisions and they tell you to call back loss mitigation. When I told the attorney I had left several messages and had no phone calls in over 10 days she suggested to keep calling - hang up and call again over and over again until he answered. First of all if I was on the receiving end of a phone that rang like that and I finally picked up the phone I would probably put what ever file was being called about back to the bottom of the stack. So that was not an option I choose to do - instead I pushed different extensions until I finally got a live person and they were able to transfer me to a manager who looked up the file and told me it was still in review - after I pointed out to her it was going to auction the next business day (Monday) her response was- well they are coming in this weekend to work on things.
Now I do appreciate the fact that they are working late and coming in on the weekends - but how happy is that going to make that employee giving up family time to spend all weekend at work?? Do you think they are going to try to sit down and look close at the files to approve them.. no - they will take a peak and say "no" and move on - which is fine is you still have some time before the sale - but when they come in on Saturday and your sale is on Monday morning how are we supposed to go back and try to get the buyer to raise the price??
In the example I am referring to I do not think that we would have been able to work out the deal anyway because the attorney told me that the lender will only discount at the most 15% the total loan amount - which again makes no sense if the house was way over leveraged to begin with and the market has declined at least 15% in this particular market place. I even sent a copy of the information from realtytrac showing that there were already 330 bank owned properties in that zip, 191 going to auction in the next 21 days and 631 in pre -foreclosure (and this zip code does not cover a very large area).
Anyway- I guess my whole point to this is that if we had known even on Sunday the offer was rejected then maybe we could have gotten a counter offer for a higher amount to the buyer. I had the house listed over 60 days and $25,000 under market value. I told the buyer to make sure they gave me a best and final offer - although I still think he would have gone higher. I only had 1 other agent show the house plus the offer I got. How do the banks think that they will be able to net more money in the long run for a home that we already had priced below market and in a County with a huge amount of foreclosures??
This is not about the loss of a commission check to me (although a payday from all the time spent on the phone would have been nice) .There has just got to be a better way for the banks to keep us up to date on status. There are a lot of really good people out there who are just trying to salvage what they can of their dignity and walk away from their home with their head not dragging to the ground.