If you have been reading my columns for any length of time you know I have not been a Bank of America fan and have been very critical of their handling of short sales. I still remember doing a short sale with Bank of America which took over a year to approve! Believe it or not this was after the homeowner got a call from the bank suggesting a short sale. That may have been the longest it has taken us to get a short sale approved, but requests we made to Bank of America had other horror stories. Most of the banks negotiators often treated Realtors like we were stealing money from their children, were often rude and outright hostile. There was a time when we were considering not accepting any more short sales where BofA was a lender. The reason we kept working with them was because, with the purchase of Countrywide, BofA has more home loans in the Sacramento area than any other lender.
I wrote a number of columns and blog entries complaining about Bank of America but now, I am happy to report it has changed. On the short sale front they have completely turned it around and considering the massive size of their organization, the combining of various portfolios through acquisition and the sheer number of investors (over 500 different investors who actually own the loans BofA services) this was no easy task. Today, we are happy to work with clients who want to consider a short sale with BofA as their lender. From one of the slowest processors of short sales, BofA is now among the fastest. Rather than treating us like criminals they now refer to Realtors as clients and partners. Yesterday, on a call to their short sale customer service department, the representative was overly courteous, helpful and at the end of the call asked if she had resolved all my questions and if I would be willing to take a brief survey about her level of service. Today, when we run into a less than cooperative negotiator we have a clear path to escalating the issue and getting it resolved. Even more impressive is the underlying culture change completed by such a large organization, they have gone from an attitude of we lose you win if they approved a short sale to win win when a short sale is completed.
Today, I am acknowledging the success Bank of America has achieved with the way they treat and process short sales. If they can make the same kind of cultural changes in how they are currently making home loans they could return to the bank A.P. Giannini, founded for the people.
If you have a BofA mortgage or one from another lender and are considering a sale of a house which is currently worth less than the mortgage please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the MagnumOne Realty office in Roseville (916-290-9339). We can answer your short sale questions and/or let you know about the refinancing opportunities currently available under the revised Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).