BOA to Roll Out New Short Sale Approval Process

Bank of America Home Loans improves short sale process for homeowners and real estate professionals

As part of Bank of America Home Loans’ commitment to successful homeownership, our first priority is to keep owners in their homes through loan modifications or other remedies. Unfortunately, sometimes these solutions do not work and a “short sale” is deemed to be the best course for the homeowner. A short sale allows a borrower to sell the home for less than the total amount due on the mortgage loan secured by the home. It helps the borrower avoid foreclosure and reduces some of the lender’s loss by avoiding or minimizing foreclosure activities. The borrower does not receive any of the proceeds of the short sale.

High unemployment levels, declining home values and other factors facing some families have doubled short sales in the last year. The result: the slowing of an already time-consuming and intensive process in which participation from multiple parties is typically required.

We clearly recognize the need to improve the short sale process for both our customers and the real estate professionals who are critical to a successful transaction. In response to the rise in short sale volume, we have updated training, enhanced our technology and established a dedicated team of short sale professionals that is available to help customers and real estate professionals navigate the process.

We are also piloting a cooperative short sale program that includes proactive outreach to customers who have been unable qualify for a home retention solution, or have fallen out of a workout program, to measure their interest in a short sale. The property will be listed at market value, and Bank of America will work with the customer and agent throughout the marketing period. If an offer is received, we will be in a position to approve the sale within two weeks. This program is currently in a limited pilot stage, and we hope to expand it soon.

Bank of America has taken big steps to shorten response times and improve overall communication. We recently deployed a secure, password-protected internet portal called Equator (formerly known as REOTrans). Bank of America is the first to provide this around-the-clock platform for real estate professionals and homeowners to track the status of short sales. In real-time, homeowners, agents and bank representatives can see and exchange documents, track important dates and deadlines and significantly improve communication between all parties involved.

Below, we have provided some tips for agents and homeowners to help you better understand the short sale process and identify areas in which you can aid in advancing the process as well. In addition, we have included a link to a December 10 webinar sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS® in which Bank of America’s Dave Sunlin outlines the short sale process and recent enhancements.

Bank of America is committed to continually evaluating and improving our processes. As we pursue changes and improvements to ease the short sale process, we appreciate the support and patience of our customers and the real estate professionals we work with daily.

Tips for real estate professionals:

There are many things you can do to help minimize this lengthy process time:

Advise clients to contact their servicer as early as possible
Ensure all customer financials are in PDF format
Help clients complete all documentation accurately and as soon as possible
Make sure the purchase offer is a legitimate offer and fully executed
Submit the best possible purchase offer at fair market value
Provide listing information and comparables to support price
Frequent causes of delay to be aware of:

A change of buyer or agent at any time may require process to revert to an earlier step; notify client’s servicer immediately if there is any change
Investor/mortgage insurance approval is needed if the servicer is not fully delegated to approve the short sale
Release on a second lien must be received prior to issuing an approval letter
If customer has filed bankruptcy, the trustee must provide a court document that approves the sale of the property
View the December 10 National Association of REALTORS® webinar on short sales Opens in a new browser window..

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 9:42 pmand is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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