I am sure you are all thinking that I am in outer space mentioning nirvana and Bank of America Short Sales in the same sentence. But before you think I am crazy, I did have a most enlightening day on Monday that led me to believe that maybe…just maybe…we can achieve short sale nirvana. My day started as a normal Monday usually does in Northwest Florida…phone calls, emails, more phone calls and a hurricane (Ida) looming hundreds of miles away. As I was going through my voice-mails, I had message from a gentlemen at Equator (formerly REOTrans.com) asking to speak with me. I immediately called the number back with my mind racing as to why I would be receiving a call from Equator…was it the numerous blog posts on Bank of America Short Sales and the new Equator relationship or just someone wanting to speak with me about the account I have with them. I called the number and gentlemen by the name of Chris answered the phone. Once we got past introductions it was clear Chris was very interested in learning what my understanding was of the Equator and Bank of America relationship as it pertains to short sales. I explained how I had a few short sales transitioned from the Bank of America system to the Equator system and it appeared there was a disconnect as to what was the next step would be in the short sale process. From my blog it appeared that a few others were experiencing the same situation where Bank of America representatives did not know the next steps with Equator or how to make the short sale proceed forward. What I learned next was not shocking, but was extremely interesting and made me hopeful that short sale nirvana can be achieved…just when? First, a little bit about Equator (formerly REOTrans.com)…Equator is a technology platform. They are the leader in automating the Default industry. They are the chosen platform for 17 of the top 25 lenders nationwide and have handled over 63 million transactions that represents over $67 billion in transactions. For Bank of America they have spent almost 8 months building a Bank of America Short Sale Portal. If you click the link you will see the Bank of America Short Sale Processing System. Yes, that is correct…Bank of America has a short sale processing system built just for them that will completely and dramatically change the way they handle and process short sales…and it is powered by the Equator technology platform. This is the same platform that has processed millions of transactions and has been completely customized for short sales. Well that is the good news. The not so surprising news is that Bank of America does not know how to utilize the system yet. They are so overwhelmed with the volume of foreclosures, mortgage modifications and short sales that they are not able to adequately train and effectively roll out this system…a system that could be short sale nirvana if there is such a thing. Let’s assume this is short sale nirvana, how is the system supposed to work? Pay attention so you can help train your Bank of America loss mitigation specialist on how the process works:
- Bank of America calls the borrower and authenticates the borrower by verifying loan numbers, contact information and etc.
- Bank of America representative then REGISTERS and INVITES the borrower to the Bank of America Short Sale Processing System via EMAIL (this is where the wheels fell off on the short sales we have on this system)
- Bank of America Short Sale Processing System Portal will send an email to the borrow where the borrowerr will authenticate their access to the portal
- Borrow then selects their agent in the system (you are registered with REOtrans.com right?)
- The portal will then email the agent associated with the borrower and their specific short sale
- Agent and borrow can then upload files and have full insight into the process and next steps of the short sale. No guessing, no nagging, no waiting on hold for hours upon hours
- BPO agents, Appraisers, Investors, Fannie Mae, PMI and others are all linked into the system so the short sale will process smoothly and efficiently
Equator is working on allowing the Real Estate Agents to initiate the short sale process and authenticate the borrower and invite the borrower to the system. This will greatly simplify the process since some borrowers may be adverse to using the system and learning how to use the portal. So how is this nirvana? Equator has standardized the short sale process and developed proven work flow to manage the process…yes a standardized process and work flow…could you imagine having that with Bank of America on a short sale? Or any of the big service providers? Many of the evaluation components such as BPOs and Appraisals would be initiated via the Short Sale portal and will speed the process up from 7 to 10 days to 24 hours. Right now I would be ecstatic for 7 to 10 day turn around…24 hours would be nirvana! Investor, PMI and Fannie Mae approval would be automated and reduce processing time down from months to days. All of these companies have already worked with Equator on millions of REO transactions so the systems, processes and work flow are in place and proven to work. They are not reinventing the wheel, they have optimized and customized the system to specifically handle short sales. According to Chris 7 other large lenders will be launching a similar Short Sale Portal in the next 3 months. Which is exciting news as we are all anticipating short sales to continue to flood the market for at least another two years. As my conversation was ending with Chris Saitta, I asked him what his role was at Equator. He replied, “I am the CEO.” I was pleasantly surprised that Chris would take the time out of his busy schedule to personally call me and discuss the Bank of America Short Sale Portal and how it could significantly reduce the short sale processing time. Many thanks Chris for your time. On a side note: Equator’s call center has been completely overwhelmed with calls regarding Bank of America Short Sales. Please keep in mind that Equator is a technology platform for handling short sales. They do not negotiate or approve short sales for Bank of America. It would be like calling Quickbooks to find out where your tax refund from the IRS is. Let’s put pressure on Bank of America to get their loss mitigation specialists trained and knowledgeable on the Equator system. Let’s use this system already. I want short sale nirvana!